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OPINION | WALLY HALL: Little Rock Touchdown Club's list of speakers doesn't disappoint

by Wally Hall | August 11, 2021 at 2:32 a.m.

Dueling quarterbacks, college and pro football hall of famers, national champion quarterbacks, Super Bowl quarterbacks and more headline this year's Little Rock Touchdown Club lunch bunch.

David Bazzel, founder of the LRTDC who was introduced Tuesday to the standing-room-only crowd by Simmons Bank Chairman of the Board and CEO George Makris, dazzled with the names of this year's lineup of speakers.

It was like he picked off a pass and went 99 yards for a touchdown.

The club did not meet last year because of the coronavirus but will return to the DoubleTree Hotel with a bang when University of Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman kicks it all off on Aug. 24, just 11 days before the season opener with Rice.

On Aug. 30, the CBS voice of sports Vern Lundquist, now retired, will be featured. In his career he covered everything from Super Bowls to the World Series to the Masters.

Vince Young comes to the Rock on Sept. 7, four days before the Texas-Arkansas game. Young quarterbacked the Longhorns to the 2006 National Championship and he ran nine yards on fourth down for a touchdown to beat USC 41-38. He went on to play six years in the NFL.

Nationally known NFL analyst Terry Bradshaw will speak Sept. 14. Bradshaw played 14 years in the NFL and won four Super Bowls.

In 1969 he led Louisiana Tech to the Grantland Rice Bowl in Baton Rouge to face East Tennessee State and were stunned 34-14. Bradshaw probably would like to forget that game, but Larry Graham, who passed for the final two ETSU touchdowns won't. Graham has been the circulation director of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for 41 years.

Bradshaw, who was the first pick of the 1970 NFL Draft, has done pretty well for himself, too.

On Sept. 20, Arkansas' Director of Athletics Hunter Yurachek will share what the last year has been like and what the future of the Razorbacks is with the addition of Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC.

Favorite son and the greatest Razorback running back ever, Darren McFadden will be the speaker Sept. 27. McFadden is a two-time runner up the Heisman Trophy and played 10 seasons in the NFL.

On Oct. 4 comes the first duel when Eli Manning and Matt Jones share the podium. They were the starting quarterbacks in the 2001 seven-overtime game when Arkansas beat Ole Miss 58-56.

New Arkansas State Coach Butch Jones comes to town Oct. 11. Jones arrived at ASU from Alabama where he was a special assistant to Nick Saban. No doubt he has some great stories but probably can't share all of them.

Former Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen will share his Razorback experiences and what he's doing down on Oct. 18.

The following Monday features two Pro Football Hall of Famers and Dallas Cowboys teammates, Cliff Harris and Drew Pearson.

Nathan Brown, head coach of the Central Arkansas Bears, is set to speak Nov. 1.

Walt Coleman is the following week, and he is one of best storytellers in the lineup. Coleman, an Arkansas graduate, worked as an official a record-setting 30 years in the NFL.

Another dueling quarterback combo is set for Nov. 15. Houston's Andre Ware and Razorback Quinn Grovey quarterbacked the 1989 shootout that the Razorbacks won 45-39. Major league baseball legend Willie Mays attended the game.

Ken Hatfield will wrap up the regular season on Nov. 22. He is one of the all-time great Razorbacks as a player and coach. He's also a great person.

The speaker for the awards banquet on Jan. 13 will be announced later.

Print Headline: LRTDC list of speakers doesn't disappoint


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