For Razorback football players, there is nothing to compare with entering the stadium for a home Arkansas game. The emotion of running through the “A” stays with a player for life.
Loyd Phillips won the Outland Trophy more than three decades ago. The veteran of the 1964 national championship team, Phillips remembers it like it was yesterday.
“The butterflies are flowing and you are [running], but it doesn’t feel like your feet are even touching the ground,” the 1966 Outland winner recalls.
Two-time Doak Walker Award winner and two-time Heisman runner-up Darren McFadden agrees.
“It is hard to describe the feeling you get as a Razorback player right before you take the field for a game,” McFadden said. “You can hear more than 70 thousand fans calling the Hogs and can feel the excitement building. I will always remember that special feeling of running through the A’.”
The Razorback Marching Band sets the stage by forming a huge “A” as they march the length of the field playing Arkansas Fight. When they finish, the “A” stretches from the Razorback locker room to midfield. To the roar of the crowd and the band blasting out Arkansas Fight, the current Razorbacks run onto the field through the “A,” connecting them to generations of previous men in the Cardinal and White.
“Just to be able to run through that A’ and hear the fans cheer for you is unbelievable,” 1989 All-American offensive tackle Jim Mabry said. “To sit in the stands now, I still get chill bumps every time the band starts playing and I see the guys running out.”