All right. Well. Seeing as how I was in a post-operative Codeine coma during the Arkansas/Auburn game last Saturday, I just today got a private, husband-hosted viewing of said game, especially the highlights, with replay-within-replay courtesy of Husband and TiVo, with many, many pauses, rewinds, and slo-mos. Although I'd already known of the surprising outcome, my interest in the actual game had been piqued by an earlier reading today of Austin Murphy's account of it, "The Pigs Are Flying," in the just-delivered issue of Sports Illustrated
. SO--some bullet points (and I was just kidding in the title--you can go ahead and laugh; A football afficionada I am not):
- FIRST and foremost, a huge congratulations to Clay Henry, publisher of Hawgs Illustrated, on being quoted in SI. Wow. I would have that article framed and on my wall faster than you could blink, if I were Clay. The SI article was a good one--and while it physically covered a page and two-thirds, the font was much smaller than what's used in most of the magazine, so if they'd had the room to full-size-font the piece, it might have taken up as many as four "regular" pages. The quote from Henry was a one-liner, but it drives home the fact that Sports Illustrated is reading Hawgs Illustrated. I am proud by proxy.
- If you are at all interested in Arkansas sports, then you, too, should be reading Hawgs Illustrated. I will admit that, when the first issue (subscribed to, naturally, by Husband) arrived at our house long ago, I looked at the title (which I now cut more slack, speculating that the titular misspelling of "Hogs" may be due to some Broyles-related copyright stricture) and the very few total pages (the magazine is much more substantial now, due in no small part to having picked up an impressive slate of advertisers, though content still makes up the bulk of it), expressed shock at the $45 subscription price, and pretty much wrote it off as "not much." I was wrong. I've read almost the whole thing today, cover to cover. That's saying something. I was really surprised not to see it represented a last week, when the Tuesday Democrat-Gazette ran a full feature story on Arkansas magazines--I mean, they wrote about First Electric Co-Op's customer publication, Rural Arkansas, for crying out loud.
- "Trick" plays such as "Woody," from the Auburn game, in which offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn had Reggie Fish squat down on the ground and hide behind Zac Tubbs, only to take the ball (while Mustain simultaneously--and convincingly--faked a handoff to someone else) and scoot down the field like lightning while the entire Auburn team, save one, tore out after the decoy? All right, now those kinds of plays should not only be encouraged, but MANDATORY. I had not laughed so hard, from pure joy, since going under the knife. It was a thing of joy every time I saw it, and with Husband's involvement, that was quite a few. Never fear, though: no popped stitches.
- Husband then took me back, via the magic of TiVo (has any better techno "toy" ever been invented?) and showed me a tricksy play from the Alabama game (the one where Mustain just trotted out, scooped up the ball, and flung it back to Felix Jones, who took off running while Alabama's players were still getting set to line up), and I'm now confessing that I think I love Gus Malzahn.
- I got an up close and personal demonstration of the now-illegal "fumblerooski" play from which "Woody" may or may not have evolved. In my living room, performed in the format of a one-man-in-khaki-Dockers-show? PRICELESS.
- The Razorbacks should totally hire me as a consultant for developing trick plays. Although Husband assures me that most of my ideas, such as tattooing realistic-looking images of footballs onto the forearms of the larger players so that they can pull up one sleeve, cradle the arm, and run with it as if they had the actual ball, would most likely be illegal, but I'm sure that, given the rule book, time enough, and Hoglawyer's help, I could come up with some fun stuff.
- Once again, football-play-creating-people: MORE TRICK PLAYS. And sixty-to-eighty-yard runs, too. THAT is fun to watch, way more so that that "run around a few feet, fall down, repeat 8,000 times for four hours" style of play that I grew up with, and which formed my extreme frustration at being subjected to an entire football game at one sitting.
- I also realized, just as an aside, that my worst obstacle in watching football on T.V. is that I never know, unless someone just busts out of the pack and OWNS the field, where the stupid ball is. I wish every once in a while they'd light the darn thing up, or something. Hey, if they can put that magic first-down line on the screen, they could darn well show me the football, especially just after the snap, the better for me to follow the action. You men who've grown up playing this game can pretty much anticipate where the ball's going to be, just from experience. Me, I need help. Something akin to Large-Print ESPN would be good.
- Someone should organize, for the benefit of those of us who are late-comers to the appreciation of the sport of football, a special exhibition game. One in which all of the now-illegal "trick" plays of the past are allowed. Just for fun.
- Go Hogs. Dominate the SEC, and please, please unveil that rumored "fight song" play while I'm watching. You have me intrigued. (I'm talking to you, Gus.)
Belinda also blogs from her "home" on the Internet, NINJA POODLES!