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Razorback Nation: Part 2 United We Stand

NCAA Football: Mississippi at Arkansas Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Despite most of the division I mentioned in Razorback Nation: Part I, A House Divided, and I do have more to say about that, one thing almost always rings true as a uniter of the Razorback fanbase - The Hog Call.

When that first fan stands up, arms rising into the air, and you hear that low “Wooooooo” starting to echo through the venue;and then the next fans join in, and the “Wooooooo” grows louder and louder as more and more people join in untileventually you have thousands standing shoulder to shoulder, voices raised, hands shaking in the air, and you know you are just waiting for that silent signal (no one ever gives it but everyone knows when it is) to drop your arms on “Pig” and pump the air on “Sooie!” and you know you a part of something special.

Something no other school can claim.

The crowd does it twice more and then finishes with a loud “Razorbacks!”, again punching the air for emphasis.

For that brief moment, all differences of opinion are set aside – probably to be picked back up later, true, but not in that moment. It doesn’t matter if you liked the coach’s decision on 3rd and long, or to bring in a designated hitter in the 9th inning, or to pull the starter who is struggling on the free throw line. None of that is relevant as compared to being at one with the multitude of fans and showing the opposing team just how much noise the Arkansas faithful can generate; how much support is transmittedto the team through that Hog Call.

How much we all love our Hogs.

The effect is similar to when the National Anthem starts playing, or the preacher starts to say grace over the meal. Conversations stop. Beverages are set down. Hats come off and are held in hands. Attention is given to the flag or heads are bowed in reverence to the prayer. All are united as one for those few minutes.

Being a part of the Razorback fanbase is like a family. We won’t always agree on everything. In fact, a lot won’t agree on anything. But just like a family, someone from the outside hadbetter not say one single solitary derogatory word about any of us. I have watched people delete their social media after saying something about a Razorback and getting absolutely devouredby the entire fan base. Even people that I can see arguing with each other another topic on the timeline are in full support with each other against the “enemy.”

You know what I mean – maybe you can say your little brother is a pest but no one else had better ever say it. You will leave that fight with your arm tightly around your brother’s shoulder.

As it should be.

Another uniting factor, I guess, with our Hog Call is that we can do it anywhere and feel like a part of the bigger collective. I call the Hogs from my living room every time I hear the crowd doing it on television (side note, the dogs all think I’m a little nuts, but they’re used to it.) It makes me feel a bit closer to the game, even though I’m not there. I haven’t lived in the State of Arkansas since 1991 but I have called the Hogs from many states and countries and always feel like I’m home when I do. I’ve only been stopped one time – Arkansas’ own Justin Moorewas doing sets one summer as a part of the Fox and FriendsSummer Series in New York City and I was there. Knowing he is a huge Razorback fan and seeing so many fans in the audienceI was more than ready to start a Hog Call but was “discouraged”by my family to do so. That maybe, just this once, it wouldn’tbe the right time and place. Honestly, I think he would have joined in with a huge grin on his face – it would have made him feel a little closer to home – but we’ll never know.

I think it’s nice in today’s social environment of “say anything or do anything no matter the consequences or how it impacts someone else” to have a unique “something” that does bring us all back together, reminding us of who we are at our core - united diehard fans that love our Hogs and all things Razorback.