DALLAS — A more specific dateline would read "where I-30 and I-35 collide."
The citiscape was very familiar, but ahead by the side of the on-ramp, is a sad sight. Four mighty columns and the remains of a reddish-hued metal honeycomb — all that remains of once mightly Reunion Arena.
With a full moon over the Hyatt and Reunion Tower, old memories of Barnhill South. That’s where I called the first — and only — time a women’s basketball from outside Texas won the Southwest Classic, as in the postseason basketball tournament of the old Southwest Conference. It’s where Nolan and Eddie owned the court, and the Razorbacks dominated the SWC world.
That quick vision of the past was sandwiched between a pair of stops of the future; a Razorback Foundation and Arkansas Alumni Association pair of events celebrating the start of a new tradition with a new Southwest Classic.
Kickoff between Arkansas and Texas A&M is 6:30 p.m. Saturday, with the game set for ESPN2.
Today started outside of the new home of Arkansas alum Jerry Jones’ football team, Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. Pictures, video, media accounts — they really do not do justice to the facade. The massive structure dwarfs the nearby Ballpark, home of the Texas Rangers, once a pretty imposing building.
Tomorrow, Arkansas and Texas A&M begin a new tradition, a 10-year run at the new America’s Stadium. Most of the players on both sides of the line weren’t born or were shortly out of diapers the last time these teams meet with something on the line, as the two school traded conference titles and Cotton Bowl hosting duties in the late 1980s.
For them, it’s a chance to play on the star; to share the field used by the men who play on Sundays. In time, not unlike the series with LSU — a rivalry from a distant past — they will revive those archrival passions.
All the talk about the past, this game really is about the future. That future driven home by our last visit, an accidental passing of Texas Stadium. The wrecking ball is poised in the parking lot of the house of Landry, ready to render the stadium with the hole in the roof so God could watch His team the same shambles we saw earlier at Reunion.
Good times, those old Southwest Conference days. We thought those were the peak, and those two massive stadiums, the state of the art.
Better times start tomorrow.
PREGAME BLOG NOTES
Since the blog is here in the Metroplex, full game blog on the main website. As we’re considering this a "home" game, the @RazorbackRoad feed on Twitter will run with highly detailed notes, but not opening at the four-hour to kickoff mark since we will not have the traffic, parking and stadium updates to hand out. Scores and quarter highlights run on the main feed @ArkRazorbacks.
Speaking of @ArkRazorbacks, we offered a chance for tickets tonight at the rallies and there is one more shot for fans without tickets to win a pair of seats to the Southwest Classic. If you are in the DFW area, follow the @ArkRazorbacks feed tomorrow and we will have tweet-up opportunities to score seats.
The festivities at Dallas Cowboys Stadium begin at 3:15 p.m. with the pregame parade, then the pep rally to follow at 4 p.m.
If you want a look at what happened around Dallas tonight, be sure to click over to the RazorVision coverage of the various events.