It was nearly 100 degrees in Fayetteville Saturday and most people were removing as much clothing as they could without getting arrested. When the Razorbacks' new coach, Bret Bielema, came running onto the field in a zipped-up windbreaker, astonishment was general, from fans to TV announcers. After the initial shock, we were reminded of another Razorback coach who made his debut unconventionally attired.
Maybe it was his first game at Little Rock rather than his first game ever — memory grows furtive — but Lou Holtz once startled the multitude by leading his team onto the field while wearing a green sweater. The players, like the fans, were all in red. After the game, Holtz minimized the significance of the green sweater — just an old thing hanging in his closet — but Hog fans sent him hundreds of red sweaters and there was no more wearing of the green. We're told that Bielema is superstitious and wears a windbreaker for luck at every game. It seems a strange practice at an institution of higher learning, and the dean of the College of Home Economics has issued a statement saying the coach's clothing has no influence on the outcome of a football game. But most people will stick with the coach, as long as he's winning. Beat Alabama and we'll all wear windbreakers.