As I’ve aged a little bit, the things I enjoy as a fan have changed, too. I’ve come to have great appreciation for the process of improvement. In fact, the most enjoyable thing is watching a team work, grow, get better, and ultimately succeed. Teams that build from the ground up. It’s often painfully slow, and there are times when the search for a silver lining seems futile. But the work goes on, and this is the time when the "grinders" shine.
I am certain the Razorbacks have a coaching staff and a team of players who believe in work. They believe in the process, and even though the scoreboard hasn’t shown it the last three weeks, their attitudes remain positive and their course remains steady. We may not realize it right now, but players like Alex Collins, Hunter Henry and Dan Skipper are going to have great careers and win a lot of ballgames. The trials of their first seasons as college players will give way to the confidence that comes from experience, and what’s happening now will become a distant memory. We’ve been fortunate enough to watch it happen before, and we’ll see it again in the not too distant future.
The news that Will Hines may return this season is certainly welcome. Hines is a pretty good player. He was asked to do some things last season before he was truly ready, but he’s better for it now. Most of us can’t understand all that goes into the physical and mental preparation that players go through. And to have it all go out the window on one play has got to be disheartening. That’s the part of an injury that makes it toughest.
Homecoming week may not mean as much to hardcore fan as it once did, but it’s a big week on the campus. Lots of activities. A few distractions for the team. But ultimately a day for alums to remember days gone by and appreciate the ones to come.
What everyone could use most right now is a "W". THAT’S what would make it a happy Homecoming.