To The Arkansas Razorback Fanbase, In The 2018 Football Season

To The Arkansas Razorback Fanbase, In The 2018 Football Season

No one said love was always easy.

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If you're reading this you're probably a Razorback fan looking for hope, or you hate the Hogs and want to see what words of encouragement I could possibly come up with that will make this season seem not as bad. I'm not going to do either of those things, because I think the issue at hand extends far beyond hope and feeling encouraged. No, what I want to talk about is much deeper than just the score or record books.

I want to start by saying that I am in the Razorback Marching Band, so I attend every home game no matter the score or probable outcome of the game. This also means that I truly do want the Hogs to do well, because any Bowl game they go to, I get to attend as well. So, I know firsthand that this season isn't going as we had hoped. I think we were all hoping for some magical turnaround after last year, and I think to some extent, we all believed it might actually happen. Unfortunately, it isn't looking like this will be the case. It seems as if last year might not have been the bottom, and we might, in fact, hit bottom out this year.

But, hog fans, no matter the scoreboard, this never gives you the excuse to turn on this team.

At the North Texas game on September 15, fans were booing (yes, booing) Cole Kelley when he came onto the field. That shouldn't have ever happened. What kind of fans "boo" their own players? What do you think that does to their self-confidence knowing that the very people they sit by in class, shop near at Walmart, and walk past every single day were literally booing them the weekend before? I bet it isn't boosting their self-esteem by any means. Even more than booing the players we already have, what kind of recruit is going to want to play for a school that turns on their team the second they mess up? Probably none of them.

No, fellow Razorbacks. This is not how we're supposed to act.

We're supposed to be supporting our team no matter what happens. I understand this is the south, and we play for the SEC. Football is life here, and I get that. But if football is only life when things are going well, is it really "life?" This season isn't looking like its going to be one we want to remember, but that doesn't mean we stop being Razorback fans. If anything, it means we should be even bigger fans, because you know those boys want to win those games for us, and they want to do it to a stadium with people in it. They want to do it to fans who cheer for them no matter the score. They want to do it for students (and teachers for that matter) who speak highly of them in class. They want to do it for all of Razorback nation. So support them. It's not always easy. You'll disagree with coaching decisions. You'll disagree with the execution of a play. You'll disagree with who is in the game at any given moment in time. But through it all, support them. Be their biggest fans. Because Razorback fans, we are better than this. And our team deserves better than this.

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To The Coach Who Ruined The Game For Me

We can't blame you completely, but no one has ever stood up to you before.
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I know you never gave it a second thought, the idea that you're the reason I and many others, never went any farther in our athletic careers.

I know you didn’t sincerely care about our mental health, as long as we were physically healthy and our bodies were working enough to play. It’s obvious your calling wasn’t coaching and you weren’t meant to work with young adults, some who look to you as a parent figure or a confidant.

I also know that if we were to express our concerns about the empty feeling we began to feel when we stepped onto the court, you wouldn’t have taken the conversation seriously because it wasn’t your problem.

I know we can't blame you completely, no one has ever stood up to you before. No one said anything when girls would spend their time in the locker room crying because of something that was said or when half the team considered quitting because it was just too much.

We can't get mad at the obvious favoritism because that’s how sports are played.

Politics plays a huge role and if you want playing time, you have to know who to befriend. We CAN get mad at the obvious mistreatment, the empty threats, the verbal abuse, “it's not what you say, its how you say it.”

We can get mad because a sport that we loved so deeply and had such passion for, was taken away from us single-handedly by an adult who does not care. I know a paycheck meant more to you than our wellbeing, and I know in a few years you probably won’t even remember who we are, but we will always remember.

We will remember how excited we used to get on game days and how passionate we were when we played. How we wanted to continue on with our athletic careers to the next level when playing was actually fun. We will also always remember the sly remarks, the obvious dislike from the one person who was supposed to support and encourage us.

We will always remember the day things began to change and our love for the game started to fade.

I hope that one day, for the sake of the young athletes who still have a passion for what they do, you change.

I hope those same athletes walk into practice excited for the day, to get better and improve, instead of walking in with anxiety and worrying about how much trouble they would get into that day. I hope those athletes play their game and don’t hold back when doing it, instead of playing safe, too afraid to get pulled and benched the rest of the season.

I hope they form an incredible bond with you, the kind of bond they tell their future children about, “That’s the coach who made a difference for me when I was growing up, she’s the reason I continued to play.”

I don’t blame you for everything that happened, we all made choices. I just hope that one day, you realize that what you're doing isn’t working. I hope you realize that before any more athletes get to the point of hating the game they once loved.

To the coach that ruined the game for me, I hope you change.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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Recapping Super Bowl 53

This was not the Super Bowl that fans of offense were hoping for.

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To most fans, Sunday nights showdown of Patriots against the Rams was fairly disappointing, as it ended up being the lowest scoring Super Bowl in history. Although the game was relatively a close game, it wasn't the close game that fans were hoping for at all. No touchdowns being scored through three full quarters made it tough to watch for fans, apart from those who were entertained by watching great defensive performances.

The game just seemed to be going back and forth with a punt after punt as neither team could put together any string of nice plays. Out of those punts, one of them broke the record for the longest punt in Super Bowl history, by Rams Kicker Johnny Hekker (65 yards).

As the fourth quarter went on, Tom Brady managed to do his thing and march down the field, ending the drive in the only touchdown of the night. This made the score 10-3, which allowed the Rams to stay in the game until an interception was thrown by Jared Goff in Patriots territory during the final minutes of the game.

After this interception, the Patriots were able to get another field goal, making the game a two-possession game of 13-3. The clock struck zero and the Patriots were Super Bowl champions for the 6th time, adding another ring to the Tom Brady and Bill Belichick era, or dynasty as some would say.

Julian Edelman, who caught for 10 passes and 141 yards, was awarded the Most Valuable Player award, winning his 3rd Super Bowl. Julian Edelman's story to MVP is a true Cinderella story, being drafted in the 7th round as the 232nd pick in 2009, he was always seen as an "average at best" player. Even with all of the people doubting him, he still managed to have a monstrous Super Bowl leading his team to a record-tying 6th Lombardi Trophy.

Although the 2018-2019 NFL season, in general, saw their ratings improve upon the previous 2017-2018 season, this did not hold true with the Super Bowl itself. Reports came out on Monday, February 4th that this year's Super Bowl had the lowest ratings in 10 years.

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