9:05 a.m. — Bags are packed and its time to load the cars and head back to Fayetteville. I hope you have enjoyed the coverage we brought you from bowl week. The goal was to take you inside the experience of the Arkansas Razorback football team here at the 51st AutoZone Liberty Bowl.
If you missed some of the blogs, photo albums, video packages or stories, we will leave the Razorback Bowl Central on-line as an archive of what happened.
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8:30 a.m. — Reading through the local coverage of the game, I’m touched by the story of East Carolina’s kicker in the Commercial-Appeal. It was just over a month ago that our own place kicker was in that same place. Athletics takes you to some of the greatest heights and throws you into some of the deepest lows. One hopes there is always a reason behind what happens as life is bigger than the playing field.
It was talked about after the game that Ben Hartman was known as Mr. Clutch at ECU. He was the all-time career leader in points scored. He had six game-winning field goals. Two in overtime. Two as time expired. I recommend Geoff Calkins’ column in today’s Commercial-Appeal. Hartman tries to come out of the locker room to talk to the reporter. I’ll leave the rest to the story. Reflecting on last night and thinking back to the last week of November, perhaps for all fans today, the lesson is it be careful with your passions — the player who was your hero sometimes lets you down and the person you have poured out your frustration upon may become your savior.
8:00 a.m. — Collecting things and moving out of the Peabody after a week in-country here for the bowl week. Yes, it is a lot of excitement. But also, yes, it’s a lot of work. We notice the players and coaches, but there are a lot of people who work in the background, from trainers to managers directly around the team, video staff that are still making daily cut-ups but on portable gear, administrators and their assistants who are keeping things like bus schedules together, meal plans in place and coordinating visits and tours. All those folks now return to Fayetteville, and many of them will jump right in as we have a solid week of home events waiting for their support starting today with a women’s basketball home game at 2 p.m.