It doesn’t take a lot of searching to see that fans of the Arkansas Razorbacks aren’t exactly thrilled to be bowling in Memphis this year. Most fans, it seems, were hoping for either Nashville or Houston, which would have been great. Both locations are easily drive-able, and have all the amenities needed for a fun trip.
What I don’t understand is why Hog fans aren’t feeling the same way about Memphis. Geographically speaking, there isn’t a better location for Razorback nation. Memphis borders the state, and provides easy access and plenty of hotels, food, and entertainment for the people going to the game.
I think part of it stems from the last time Arkansas went to the Liberty Bowl. The temperature that games was around -1000000 degrees, and when you factored in wind chill, it dropped to -SONOFA&%$@#. But Memphis is a southern city, you guys. The average high in January for Memphis is 50 degrees, and the low is 33. That’s cold, but it’s January! What happened in 2010 was a freak occurrence, I promise you. Pack a jacket and maybe a hat, but there’s no need for the coat. Memphis is great in January, usually.
Also, I can’t think of a better city for food than Memphis. It’s LITERALLY world renowned for it’s food. And while Nashville is certainly a hip “foodie” city, I’d take some BBQ, ribs, and fried chicken any day over some gastrointestinal cuisine.
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I’ve also seen some fans complaining about the “low payout”. Ok, yes, the Liberty Bowl doesn’t exactly make it rain, but the real question is, why do you care? The Arkansas Razorbacks are one of the few teams in the nation who don’t need a big end of year check to be financially secure. Does the department want more money? Of course! But the Liberty pays out a fair amount in it’s own right, and the extra practice time, exposure, and (hopefully) 8th win are more valuable for the team in my opinion.
I’d also like to point out that it seems some of you have already forgotten where you came from. The Razorbacks didn’t stroll into this Liberty Bowl bid easily. The Hogs started off this season 1-3, with home losses to Toledo and Texas Tech. Now, as we look back at those early season struggles, it’s clear that the massive loss from injuries crippled the Arkansas offense. If we played those games again, I’d take the Hogs in at least 2 of them, if not all three.
But we can’t play them again, so as it stands, the Razorbacks are 7-5, with some bad home losses countered by some great road wins. Hog fans should be happy to even be bowling at this point. If you would have told me in September that the Arkansas Razorbacks would close out their season by winning 6 of their last 8 games and make the Liberty Bowl, I would have laughed in your face. IN YOUR FACE.
Lastly, some folks are complaining about our matchup with Kansas State. It’s either A) boring or B) not challenging enough. You folks are ridiculous. If you think Bill Snyder isn’t going to have his team ready to go after a month of preparation, then you don’t know football. And yes, the Hogs have opened as a 13 point favorite over the Wildcats, but how is that a bad thing? How is a win a bad thing?
It’s not. If the game is a blowout, then so be it. Let’s take that momentum into the offseason and carry it over into 2016. If it’s a close win, then great! We probably had some good ratings. A win is a win, and the Razorbacks need that 8th win. It improves off of the 2014 season, it would get the Razorbacks back to back bowl victories, and it would make Arkansas look like a team that is on the rise. Which is great, because I think we ARE team on the rise.
So stop complaining about Memphis. It’s a fun city for a bowl game. Go drink, call the Hogs in crowded areas, and get some sauce on your face. We’re bowling, dammit! Act like it!