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OPINION | WALLY HALL: Memories of my dad and Razorback football

by Wally Hall | September 8, 2021 at 12:27 p.m.

My dad was not a huge sports fan. In fact, he discouraged me from playing sports when I was a kid and helped me get my first paper route when I was 12.

However, my dad, like many Arkansans who would never see a game in person, liked Arkansas Razorbacks football.

Our car had an AM radio and we were probably listening to KAAY and the Razorbacks in 1964 when we lost the signal for the Arkansas-Texas game. We were driving to Searcy to visit family on that Saturday.

A minute later the signal came back and dad did something he rarely did. He stopped.

Wherever we were going, even if it was California (we only did that once) he was going to get there as fast as possible. Stopping to see any attractions was out of the question unless they were at a pit stop when we gassed up, got food and went to the bathroom.

The No. 1 ranked Longhorns, who had a great defense, tied the score at 7-7 early in the fourth quarter.

Ken Hatfield had returned a punt 81 yards in the first quarter to put the No. 8 ranked Razorbacks ahead.

After the ensuing kickoff the Razorbacks started at their own 25 and Freddie Marshall went to work, driving the Hogs 75 yards in 12 plays that took 5:22 off the clock.

The touchdown was a 34-yard pass from Marshall to Bobby Crockett.

The Longhorns then drove 70 yards for a touchdown and opted to go for the win with a two-point conversion that the Razorback defense stuffed.

The Longhorns dominated statistically, but Arkansas' defense turned a corner in that game.

They shut out their next four opponents, gave up a touchdown to Nebraska in the Cotton Bowl in a 10-7 win and were named National Champions.

That afternoon in the car we sat and listened for at least 20 minutes and as dad pulled out on the road he said, “That was worth it.”

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