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Bill’s Blog: Dog Days

Bill’s Blog: Dog Days

In The Gardens, they partied like it was 1990.

That was the last time the Arkansas Razorback football team was preseason ranked by the Associated Press as high as the Hogs were today — a 17th ranking for the 2010 team.

That’s 20 years ago. Back when Quinn Grovey was a QB, not a member of the Razorback Foundation Board of Directors.

That’s before the Southeastern Conference era.

That’s back when this comedy called Seinfeld had just survived cancellation, and was back for a second season.

And it seems that might have been back when you last saw the Hog Helmet in or near Razorback Stadium.

The famous Hog Helmet The RazorBug

Every possible mode of Hog transportation was on display at the second annual preseason rally and team autograph fan day. From the legendary helmet to a custom chopper, it was there. In talking with the keeper of the UA Admission’s Office’s RazorBug, I surmised you could assemble a fair Homecoming parade from the well-known VW, Tusk III’s custom trailer and fifth-wheel hauler and the others. Maybe add in the football team’s custom paint job 18-wheeler equipment truck and somebody to pull the giant Hog grill.

The Hog chopper The Hog Grill

The crowd of over 5,000 was roasting in the sudden summertime heat that has invaded Fayetteville just in time for the start of classes on Monday. Nobody cared, because the only thing hotter than the fans was their Razorbacks. Many of them stood in line for autographs of the 2010 team, but no line was longer than the one for the pavillion that housed the Hog QBs and LBs. It took a panorama stitch to get the serpentine line that had five or six switchbacks like an E-ticket ride at Disneyland. Pretty much everyone you see in the line — triple wide at the left and winding across the image are in the line at about 2:45 p.m.

Opening in the AP preseason top 20 solidifies the Razorbacks as a contender, capping off a run of preseason watch lists for numerous individual players.

The only down side — it will still be another two weeks before the top 20 Hogs hit the field.

In the meantime, Razorback soccer and volleyball takes the stage, starting Sunday with Erin Aubry’s team hosting Florida International at 1 p.m. Next weekend, it will be Robert Pulliza’s turn as Arkansas hosts a four-team tournament Aug. 27-28.

Fans who missed out on the festivities can see a video package from today by Blair Cartwright with New Media, and check out the photo galleries from our New Media interns Nate Keys and Zach Swartz. Nate and Zach will share the keyboard tomorrow for the first-ever regular season interactive blog from Arkansas soccer. Former Razorback Kat Moffett joins me in the booth for the RazorVision video webcast starting at 1 p.m.

So for now, the football fans can get their Razorback on with futbol.

Judging from the excitement today, Sept. 4 can’t get here fast enough.

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