ON THE ROAD, SOMEWHERE IN EAST ARKANSAS — By the time this posts, I’ll be about halfway to Oxford, Miss., which remains one of my favorite road trips in the Southeastern Conference.
It’s not The Grove — in fact, this weekend marks my first ever true SEC football road trip. Remember, good readers, the past 20 years at Arkansas road trips were mostly for women’s basketball.
I will confess to some disappointment in the early start because I did want to have time to see what the fuss is about with Ole Miss football tailgating, but being at the press box for you at about 10 a.m. tomorrow cuts that out.
What — did you say at the press box? Yes, for the balance of the season, the live blog will be out with the Razorback football team. Men’s and women’s basketball, we will play by ear later this year.
That means we will be providing the home game commentary you’ve requested for the entire year tomorrow morning. Significant updates on the main Twitter feed, but again, since we are not operating at home @RazorbackRoad will not carry the full details.
Aside from the first football road game (Dallas doesn’t count — really, that was pretty neutral), it’s the chance to drop in on Square Books that makes this trip special. Anyone who has been there knows. Anyone who hasn’t is thinking I’m nuts.
This year is the 30th anniversary of the little book store that could, and it has never disappointed. My shelves are filled with obsure literary gems from Oxford.
(Before offending the home crowd, Fayetteville is the home of one of America’s greatest used book stores — I’ve seen them from coast to coast and nothing, nothing is the equal of Dickson Street Bookstore. Period.)
Granted, many rate their SEC road trips by resturants, or night life, or tailgating. I measure by the books. Lexington and Joseph-Beth Booksellers is a close second. Nashville moved up in the rankings when Joseph-Beth bought out one of the locals in Village Mall. After that, pretty wide and pedestrian gap. Athens has both of the major chains, and a nice stocking at Borders. The Baton Rouge mega two-story Barnes and Noble is good. Tuscaloosa’s got the best Books-A-Million in the region (probably because it’s close to being the chain’s mothership).
However, buying books and blogging football isn’t the only reason this is a special weekend. Several other firsts are in process:
SWIM STREAMING: For the first time, we plan to stream live video from the Arkansas Natatorium on Saturday at 2 p.m. of the double dual with Florida and Kansas. That rounds out the offerings with every on-campus venue streaming live video for RazorVision members. Tomorrow is a one-camera production with natural sound for this first attempt, but we have plans for enhancements.
SOCCER TV: Cox Sports Television will have the Florida-Arkansas match on Sunday. This is a change to the previous schedule.
SOCCER, TAKE TWO: There is also KXUA radio and our regular RazorVision production at soccer as well.
RED-WHITE TONIGHT: We’ll have some of our fine journalism students providing the annoucing tonight for the Red-White men’s and women’s basketball from Walton Arena.
VOLLEYBALL WEEKEND: Two weeks ago, we began streaming coverage of all our road team events. That continues with Razorback volleyball tonight and Sunday.
THE E-GUIDES: Soccer, volleyball and both cross country teams received their enhanced on-line media guides this week. Look for more in the coming weeks.
iHOG IS OVER 10,000 STRONG: This past week, the 10,000th download for iHog in the iTunes App Store. We’re pleased and with the additional 5,000-plus 1.1 upgrade downloads, the UA’s own information app is one of the top in all of college sports.
So, you can see it’s been a busy past few days here at the World Wide Headquarters of the Razorback Nation.
Back with you soon in a few hours from Oxford.
It’s gonna be special.