This article originally appeared in the blog, Digital Rhetoric: Exploring the Digital Environment
1. There are two types of people…Hog fans and those who underestimate us (HATERS).
My freshmen year of college, I worked the Color Run when it came to Memphis (it was FANTASTIC!). It just so happens that as I was course marshalling, I had my Razorback baseball cap. More than once I heard people running by say, “Go Hogs!” It was a good time. Hog fans are everywhere, they are passionate, they are AWESOME!
On the other hand, even my own boyfriend teases me about being a Hog fan (I’m working on making him into one). People love to downrate us because we never have big seasons, and the reputation of big games only lasts a season. But we’re okay with this because we know who the best team really is…#woopig.
2. Gamedays are stressful but being the underdog every week is right where we want to be.
Because we’re always expected to lose, literally almost every game. When gamedays roll around, fans are hoping for the best but seem to know the worst is waiting to happen. A lot of prayer happens on game days. Yet, personally, and I know many other fans that feel similar, I love being the underdog. The underdog has something to fight for, something to prove, and when they do, it’s a great feeling. I wouldn’t want my hogs any other way!
3. Our “big plays” are famous and oh so sweet…4th and 25, anybody?
So let me tell a little story of being the aforementioned underdog, and totally blowing away fans, rivals, and random people that like ESPN. We were playing Ole Miss, we were down by 7 in overtime. It was our last chance to make a first down. It was 4th and 25.
We. Needed. A. Miracle.
And guess what…Paul “Bear” Bryant reached down from his football field in heaven and made it happen! Just watch…
4. Our hype videos are on point. So are our hashtags. #uncommon #neveryield #WPS
Whoever U of A has to put together their hype videos needs a raise. Before the season starts and before big games, the team puts out a video of practice footage and basically anything to get the fans pumped up and ready for game day. Any true fan gets an adrenaline rush just watching.
Also, while some other teams have pretty catchy sayings (Roll Tide, Hotty Toddy), the hashtags used to trend Arkansas football just stand on their own. Some inadvertently play on the fact that we are the only Razorback in the country (uncommon) and on our fight song (Give a cheer. Rah! Rah! Never fear. Rah! Rah! Arkansas will never yield!) and the ever popular, Hog Call (Woo Pig Sooie).
5. The Hog Call is intimidating…and we do it with gusto.
We do it on kick-offs, and sometimes in between just because we can. It’s been said that the sound of 70,000+ people participating in calling the hogs is truly an intimidating experience.
It’s down right fun too.
6. We’re starting to get over Bobby Petrino’s betrayal.
Football is a game that takes a lot of practice and long-term improvement (usually). Every season, the Razorbacks made a better showing in the SEC and in the NCAA, in part, thanks to the consistent coaching of Bobby Petrino. Alas, all good things come to an end, and Bobby Petrino’s 2011 scandal ended our rise in the ranks. A betrayal made even more cruel by the debacle of the John L. Smith season (cringe with me fellow Hog Heads). Yet, in this day and age, where every season we are on the upswing, Petrino’s shame has lost some of its sting (even though his team stomped the mess out of Florida State last weekend). Watch yourself Bret Bielema…
7. We root for an underrated team…just ask the NFL.
Since the Hogs have never won a National Championship, a common response to my being a fan is, “What have they ever done special?” Well, since 1975, 135 Arkansas Razorbacks have been drafted to the NFL…and that’s just since 1975! We are actually ranked in the “Top 50 Colleges That Have Sent the Most Players to the NFL.” So what have we done special? We make pros out of amateurs. Deal with it.
8. We root for a team with class.
From sending condolences to LSU’s sick mascot, to helping the 2016 Baton Rouge flood victims, the Arkansas Razorbacks know that rivalries should stay on the field. Come game day, win or lose, when a fellow school is hurting or in trouble, they reach out. That’s a team to be proud of.
9. About those rivalries…
We play for the Boot and the Battle Line, we absolutely cannot lose to Ole Miss, and everybody’s season goal is to beat Alabama. It’s just the rules of engagement (in college football).
10. Finding a fellow Hog fan outside of the state is like meeting a long-lost family member.
I am from a small town in the Delta region of Arkansas where football was tradition. The Razorbacks are my home team, they are our pride and joy. We don’t have a pro team so the Hogs are all we have.
When I moved to Memphis, I moved to a city that repped the Grizzlies and the Tigers, with little fondness for my beloved team. I hear more criticism than I do Hog Callin’ nowadays. However, every now and then, I’ll wear my Hog shirt, or my hat, and someone from out of nowhere will comment and say they are also a fan, and we end up talking about the last game or upcoming season. It’s a nice reminder that I’m not alone in my team love, no matter where I live!
11. We take pride in being the one and only.
Need I say more?
12. We are vigilant in our team pride.
We wear the gear, we know the cheers, we’re tuned into the games every weekend. No bandwagoners allowed. If you’re not here for the Hogs, stick around we’ll have you hooked in no time.
Mary Clark is an editor at The Galleon and a senior studying English for Corporate Communications at Christian Brothers University