J.R. and Henry's Sports Column: Auburn in a blowout, and other UA problems | Rock Candy

J.R. and Henry's Sports Column: Auburn in a blowout, and other UA problems


J.R. and Henry: A plot thwarted, a nation saved

Add band director to Houston Nutt’s expanding resume. We didn’t know that was one of his talents when he was hired at Arkansas, but we’re grateful that it is. After Arkansas lucked-by Alabama, Nutt threw himself onto the field and up the ladder to lead the band in song. 

Maybe the reports that Broyles told Nutt to stop leading the team out of “A”, throwing fits on the sidelines during games, and spending significant time after meaningless victories organizing pep rallies as if he’s just won a BCS championship, were false.  Nutt hasn’t calmed down a bit.  In fact, his behavior has intensified. 

We think it helps the program. After all, as the cheerleader-in-chief, Nutt needs to make best use of situations like Alabama (think Ole Miss last season). These pivotal games mean the a lot to Nutt. He’s got a job that pays pretty well, and unless a better program comes and courts him away (take that Nebraska and LSU!), he intends on keeping it.

So it’s only reasonable that Nutt would tear off out into the field accelerating with every stride, dodging trombonists and trumpeters to get up that ladder. The “top of the mountain” metaphor has logical application here. Nutt was there, waving his hands and expelling all of that energy he once saved for hand signals, calling the same play on third down and chewing his fingernails. He’d just beaten Alabama, by golly. He deserved to be on top of the mountain.


We didn’t care what the national sportswriters said about Nutt and Arkansas, we’re just proud to know that our coach can act this way and still keep his job. 

Speaking of absurd acts, shame on Caleb Larru.

By now you’re all intimately familiar with T-shirt – gate, the thwarting of a well-conceived plot by a Razorback fan to infringe on the copyrights of the U of A.

The t-shirt featured a cartoon of someone who might resemble Houston Nutt (his name is never mentioned above or below the cartoon) and a litany of statistics related to Arkansas’ record since the Nutt era began.  Getting fired up? We are. 

It’s devious! It’s outrageous! It’s preposterous! 

In the words of Howard Beale, “were mad as hell and we’re not going to take it any more!”  Matt Shanklin, the U of A PR man and Scott Varaday, the U of A counsel heard our cry.

After all, who would possibly conceive of an idea to take, wait for it ... facts about the Razorback football program during Nutt’s tenure and put them on a t-shirt with a cartoon?  And then wear it! 

I’m thunderously pounding the keyboard, grateful that this sinister plot to speak the truth was stopped.

Shanklin and Varaday righteously say it has nothing to do with the statistics, which include reference to Nutt’s failure to live up to any of his promises during his tenure at Arkansas.  His teams have been whipped by Florida, Georgia and Tennessee consistently. 0 BCS bowl berths.  0 SEC championships.  0 Top 10 recruiting classes.  0 SEC wins against teams with a winning since 2002.

It’s the cartoon.  If it in any way resembles Houston Nutt, it’s copyright infringement.  “How dare Mr. Larru do anything of this sort?” one can imagine fans of Nutt saying behind closed doors, surfing message boards.  

After all, Mr. Larru should know better.  Houston Nutt football is not about facts.  It’s about delicious, walking along the beach at sunset possibilities.

“We’re so close,” “We’re just a few plays away,”  “It was a moral victory,” are explanations for why Mr. Larru’s presented facts aren’t totally accurate.  It’s clearly another case of fuzzy math.  “Libel” we cried from the Ozark hilltops.

While Mr. Larru may have emerged as the moral victor in this battle of wits and dreams, the U of A wins in the end. These despicable shirts are off the streets.  Our children are safe. 

* * *

On Saturday, the Razorbacks take on Auburn.  After narrow victories over poor teams, the Hogs had two weeks to get ready for the mighty Tigers.  In a news report this morning, Arkansas defensive coordinator Reggie Herring was asked to comment on the game plan to stop Auburn.  His response, “God bless us all.”

Enough said, we think.  Auburn received a scare last Thursday against South Carolina.  Tuberville will have his troops in line for the Hogs.  Arkansas’ offense will struggle and the Hogs weak defense will get mauled by Kenny Irons and company.  Not even the Almighty can save the Razorbacks on Saturday.  And there’s nothing satirical about that.

JR and HENRY PREDICTION: Auburn 40  Arkansas 14


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