Although I was born in Florida, I was born to parents who were from Arkansas. I was fortunate enough to move back to my parent’s home state when I was young and I can’t ever remember a time when I didn’t love the Razorbacks. Being a Hog fan is not for the faint of heart. Here are a few things that I think you should know.
- Razorback fandom is a heritage. Yes, there are some who come to it later in life, by marrying in or attending the university of Arkansas, but for many of us it has been passed down through generations. My mawmaw turned down a trip to Europe back in 1994 because the Hogs were having a great basketball season and she was sure that they would make the final four. They not only made the final four, but they won the tournament and she was at the game! Italy is still there, but the Hogs haven’t won another NCAA tournament. She made the right decision!
- Because it is a generational thing and they indoctrinate you so early, you do not have to have attended the University of Arkansas to be a Hog fan. It is basically a birthright (or maybe a teeny little bit like a cult.) My nephew could sing the fight song at age 2 and I know that my parents bought their first grandchild a Razorback receiving blanket. I see little girls wearing hog cheerleader outfits and little boys in Razorback jerseys and helmets. I attended a small private university in my state, but I am a Razorback fan because I was born into it. I couldn’t tell you what is happening with my college football team, but I can tell you everything about the Hogs.
- If you weren’t lucky enough to be born into a Hog loving family or to have been brought into the circle by attending the University of Arkansas, then perhaps you will be lucky enough to marry a hog fan. But if you do, heaven help you if you don’t convert. My Arizona husband now calls the hogs with the best of them.
- Oh, and that call…Whooooo Pig Sooieee! Spirit hands and all. We know that some people think it is dumb and we don’t give a rip. A true fan calls the hogs with pride! One of my favorite moments at any game is when the announcer says, “Alright Razorback fans let’s get on our feet and CALL THOSE HOGS!!!” I mean Roll Tide is pretty decent and Hotty Toddy is kinda cool, but nothing, I mean nothing, beats calling the hogs.
- It’s all we’ve got people! There are no pro teams in this state. We go to St. Louis to watch the Cardinals, or to Dallas to watch the Cowboys and sometimes we might wish for something like that in our own state, but for now, it’s all about those hogs!
- Razorback fans get their hearts broken, they face disappointment over and over again, yet their hope springs eternal. They are always convinced that THIS is the year. It’s a form of madness really. But it bonds you with other fans in a way that winning all the time simply can’t.
- If you are a fair weather fan then you really aren’t a fan at all. Definitely no band-wagoners allowed! We support our hogs through the good years and the bad. (lately more bad than good) I confess that I have wondered from time to time what it might be like to be an Alabama football fan, or a Kentucky basketball fan and win and win and win – but really, does that build character? I don’t think so. Arkansas fans have character built from weathering years of trial…or maybe they are simply characters?
- We have the gear. All the hog stuff. Now, I myself have never worn a Hog hat, but I will confess to having more red and white apparel and Hog shirts than any woman actually needs. Sometimes I like to go to Kroger or Walmart on Saturday in the fall just to feel a kinship with all the other fans out shopping for their chicken wings because we are all wearing our Hog gear. Honestly, if they aren’t wearing crimson and white then they are a little suspicious.
- We are always the underdogs and If you get down to the nitty gritty you will discover that we kind of like it that way. We are never expected to win and the national announcers rarely have anything positive to say about us, (can you say HATERS?) but that just makes it even sweeter when we prove everyone wrong.
- Our bad moments are really, really bad, (Petrino? Being up 24 – 0 in the bowl game of 2017 and then losing it all in the second half?) but dang it if our good moments aren’t amazing! (Qualls dunking on Kentucky to win in the last second? Needing a miracle at Old Miss and actually getting it?)
- Being a hog fan gives you an immediate bond with someone especially when you are out of the state. We were in California at Disneyland and my husband was wearing a Razorback shirt. A young couple came running up to us to introduce themselves because they were Hog fans, too! They had been living in California for a while where no one understood their mania. They were so happy to see us and to talk about the upcoming football season.
- We have the best hashtags ever. #WPS #neveryield #uncommon
- We love our players. Especially the ones who are from the state and stay in the state to play. (On the other hand, leaving the state to play elsewhere? Not cool. Not cool at all.) We especially embrace the players who say they always dreamed of being a Razorback. We love them like they are celebrities of some sort. We also follow the ones who go pro and feel proud of them when they do well. (and, by the way, a lot of our players go pro and do well!)
- The SEC. I mean. It’s serious.
- We respect your right to cheer for another team even though we don’t understand it. So when you are telling us that you love Boise State or Oklahoma or…(anyone who isn’t us) on the outside we are nodding and smiling and saying, “well, isn’t that nice.” but on the inside we are thinking, “bless your heart.”
- Being a hog fan is the best. It’s a lifestyle. A commitment that you can’t escape and that you don’t want to. #WPS4life
Of course, as I said above in #8, having adequate Hogs gear is essential to being a Razorback fan. While I do dress up for some games, I love having casual attire for when it’s 100 degrees during the beginning of football season or when I just feel like repping in my every day life! I recently discovered the CUTEST boutique for game day gear and now they are my go-to. My Hogs tank is from there and no lie I’ve worn it a million times since receiving it in the mail. If you rep other teams in the south, no worries, they have several different college team shirts and tanks. If you are a girl who loves her some sports, definitely head over to Livy Lu right now! And if not you should anyway because they have some other adorable tees that you need this summer!
What team do you represent?