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OPINION | WALLY HALL: It was going to be very difficult to be perfect

by Wally Hall | September 7, 2023 at 2:40 a.m.

OK, War Memorial Stadium workers could have done a better job last week before and during the Arkansas Razorbacks football game.

There is no excuse for running out of water in the third quarter, especially in this heat, and bottled water is good for a very long time, so any leftovers weren't going to spoil before Catholic High and Parkview High finish their seasons.

IMG, which is responsible for concessions at Reynolds Razorback Stadium, has had the same issue with water shortages in opening games.

The good news is there was not one deer poached or tree cut down illegally at WMS on Saturday.

OK, that was supposed to be funny because WMS is owned by the state and operated by state parks and tourism, which is widely known for its great game wardens, who were on patrol, along with Little Rock's proud police.

Little Rock owns land adjacent to the stadium but not the stadium itself.

Other than water and some differences in ticket procedure between the east and west entrances, there were no problems. Security was very good.

While some entering from the east didn't have their tickets scanned, personal experience on the west side was a briefcase thoroughly inspected, including binoculars and head phones.

War Memorial Stadium has good leadership and on a whole is well-run. But when you host one Razorback game every other year, it is going to be difficult to be perfect.

The guess here is after the Razorbacks host UAPB in 2024 and Arkansas State in its historical meeting of the schools in 2025, a state tradition of WMS being the home away from home might end.

When the Razorbacks started playing in the capitol city, Fayetteville was a sleepy little community and Little Rock was an easy drive for a weekend of football, feasting and shopping.

Now Northwest Arkansas is a thriving metropolis with no signs of its growth and advancement slowing.

Like Rex Nelson, noted columnist for this newspaper, yours truly has long been an advocate of the Razorbacks making a tradition of opening the season with the Red Wolves at WMS.

A festival including the Arkansas State Fair could be held that weekend.

Whatever the future holds for Razorback games anywhere but in Fayetteville will be made by people with what is best for the program.

Last Saturday may not have been a great experience, but the Razorbacks won, there was no poaching and it was for the most part a peaceful, safe environment.

. . .

Deion has been neon since the Colorado Buffaloes took a 45-42 victory over TCU, which was soundly thrashed in last season's national championship game.

Deion Sanders, in his first season as head coach of Colorado, has equaled last season's win total. He raised eyebrows as he overhauled his roster, but he has never backed down an inch in his passion to turn the program around.

Colorado had suffered through six consecutive losing seasons.

Sanders apparently interviewed for the Arkansas job when Sam Pittman was hired, but as dynamic as he was in the interview, he had zero college coaching experience.

He ended up going to Jackson State and in three seasons, all of them winning, he was 27-6 and that was good enough for the Buffaloes' brass to give him a shot, one that has apparently hit dead center.

After last Saturday's game, he took shots at his skeptics through the media and talked about how his team, a 20-point underdog, knew it didn't get any respect.

Many coaches have ridden the "we get no respect,' to wins, but the interesting thing will be to see how he handles a loss. Deion is neon as a winner.

Print Headline: It was going to be very difficult to be perfect


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