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Bill’s Blog: Cloudy Day Big Game

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Bill’s Blog: Cloudy Day Big Game

Chuck Barrett didn’t fall from the sky. Neither did Todd Blackledge as the weather would not cooperate with the exhibition jumps by the U.S. Silver Wings.As the students begin to pitch more tents and string up their hammocks, the disappointment for Chuck and Todd doesn’t dampen the feeling in Fayetteville tonight.It’s SEC football tomorrow.The Fayetteville home opener seems like the regular season opener. Two weekends ago’s game with Missouri State at War Memorial feels as distant as the spring game.Fans headed to Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium will have some small changes this season — the gates open for the general public two hours out, the traffic turns over to game patters at four hours out and the south alley behind the stadium will close after the first quarter to all traffic except public safety and credentialed personnel.The beautiful weather of the morning is still fall like, although cloudy, and the mood in Fayetteville is almost 100% football.Almost because tonight there is another SEC opener as Robert Pulliza’s volleyball team gets ready for South Carolina at 7 p.m. in Barnhill.There is a buzz in the Barn, not only for the volleyball showdown but the not-so-faint hum of generators and air conditioners out of the TV compound — full to capacity with four production trucks, support vehicles and two uplinks.Today’s attempt was not what the voice of the Razorbacks and the color analyst for ESPN planned, but as the Silver Wings jumpers said, if it can’t be a safe jump, there’s no jump at all.Cruising up to the planned jump height of 10,000 feet, the crew in the vintage twin-engine Beech flew through the thick cloud deck around 4,000 feet. Hopeful of a break that would allow the all-important visual sighting of the airport, we orbited for some time.Years spent on the board and as president at the Arkansas Air Museum provided some understanding, but it’s been a few years since I’ve been up. You forget how cold it gets at even modest altitudes, but the experience of riding along as the videographer was fantastic.It was also humorous to watch the tandem jumpers working to stay nonchalant during the ascent, and the ice-breaking jokes from the Army paratroopers to keep them loose. There is the outside chance of a re-jump tomorrow, but with the high traffic at Drake on arriving airplanes it’s not likely.

PREGAME FAYETTEVILLE NOTES:

The Razorback spirit squad conducts its Chi Omega Greek Theater pep rally tonight at 8 p.m.

Tusk II begins his drive from the house around noon, with a pep rally at PDQ North Russellville then the Hill Top Truck Stop in Rudy on the way to Fayetteville. Tusk II will visit the Road Hog Park around 3 p.m., be at The Gardens at 4:20 p.m. before arriving at the southeast tunnel of Razorback Stadium at 5:00 p.m.

FINAL PREGAME ON-LINE NOTES:

Check out the time lapse video of the installation of the turf for Razorback Stadium. A full story on the install will be a part of this week’s Bobby Petrino football coach’s show.

Remember tomorrow’s game is on ESPN, and is full national. For those not near cable, the game will be on ESPN 360, the network’s streaming video option on-line. If you do not have your ESPN 360 login, DO NOT wait until 6:45 p.m. central tomorrow to get it and test your plug ins. That always leads to bad outcomes.ArkansasRazorbacks.com will stream the stadium video from two hours out until kickoff. By SEC and TV contract rules, we cannot stream the games; but we can give you a chance to experience the pregame activities. For internet followers, when our stream goes dark, remember to switch over to ESPN 360.Audio streams from three hours out — the pregame show is now 180 minutes long — and that is available live for RazorVision members.Twitter followers have two options. The main department feed, @ArkRazorbacks, will have scores at the quarters and scores when they happen, but to get the detailed information, please follow @RazorbackRoad.We started @RazorbackRoad with the War Memorial game, and saw a lot of positive feedback. There were 152 Tweets over the course of the pregame, game and postgame — be ready for your phone to go off all night if you subscribe with text updates.@RazorbackRoad starts four hours to kickoff, and includes important information for fans in the vicinity of Razorback Stadium as well as the game details.Time to head out on the court to check on volleyball and get ready for the first soccer Tweets of the evening.



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