Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Thoughts on the new Razorback coach

The uniquely named John Smith, new head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks.

Good hire, I guess?  Really, when push comes to shove, I suppose I really don't care about who heads the team with the same kind of gusto several of my good friends and family do (also, the chuckleheads and callers on local sports talk radio...thank you, I'll hang up and listen).  There was a time that this was decidedly not the case, where I very much cared about the Head Hog and our sports teams' records and how much respect! we were getting at the national level.  But in recent years, that interest has ceded to the more enjoyable and relaxing position of supporting the teams on game day, hoisting a cold beer when they score a touchdown or sink a three-pointer, but being able to sleep soundly after a win or a loss -- especially after a loss -- and not letting the result affect me one way or the other for the rest of the week, season, or year.

I'm not sure when the change came, whether it is the effect of simply getting older and further and further away from the relative ages of the players themselves (making college sports look in my eyes like more and more of a game that kids play -- Big Business, sure, but still a game), or whether having children just makes everything else so tangential and inconsequential, or for some other reason.  I do know that when I canceled my subscription to the Democrat-Gazette and stopped reading daily dispatches from the practice fields and (thank goodness) Wally Hall's perfectly and pointedly stupid daily Hog Yes-Man/Apologist sports-page column, my compulsive interest almost immediately waned.  Likewise, tuning out sports talk radio was a godsend for disconnecting myself from the rabidity displayed by the overwhelming majority of Hogoholics.

Now, don't get me wrong -- I was well attuned to the circumstances and almost-daily breaking news of Bob Petrino's shocking downfall, as well as the who's-it-gonna be drama surrounding the search for his successor.  I exchanged bits of news I came across with several good friends and enjoyed the speculation and internet rumor-mongering.  How could I not?!  It was an Arkansas Soap Opera of the highest order!  Even the relatively disengaged such as myself could not help but be drawn into the fray of discussion.  But now that the music's over and John L. Smith Has Signed a Ten-Month Contract Only (trademarked phrase), I have no real feelings about it one way or the other.  It could have been him or Jon Gruden or Garrick McGehee or Bud Foster or Bill Freaking Belechick.  Doesn't really matter - I just want the team to do well and play an enjoyable (from my perspective) style of football.

And Hell Yeah I'm excited about the prospects of the team this year, with Tyler Wilson! and Knile Davis! going for the Heisman! and BAMA AND LSU AT HOME! and all that, but I'm perfectly happy not worrying or thinking about it one whit until, oh, I don't know, August the 10th or something like that?  Two weeks prior to the season sounds about right.  It'll be lots of fun for those four months.  But to everything there is a (football) season, and my fan-sense is perfectly happy with enjoying those twelve Saturday afternoons in the fall and leaving it at that.

So, go Hogs and Woo Piggie!  Now, I'll redirect my attention to almost anything else.  Let me know when the first game is.

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