“To Mike: Best wishes to a future Razorback All-American.”
That was the message inside the first book my grandad gave me when I was 10 years old. That book was “Hog Wild” and that message happened to be written and autographed by then Arkansas Athletic Director and former Head Football Coach Frank Broyles, who the book was about.
My grandparents would take a different grandchild to each Razorback home football game. They didn’t have season tickets for all of us and on one of those trips my grandad got the book.
Always wearing red and usually wearing my No. 32 jersey (I loved Sidney Moncrief), I tried really hard in baseball and in basketball. I even tried football, but I knew that wasn’t going to work out for me. I wasn’t good enough to be a Razorback All-American.
For as long as I can remember, it was always my dream to grow up to be a Razorback. Once that didn’t happen it became ‘Well, let’s be a coach. Let’s be an All-American-type coach at the University of Arkansas.’
That became the dream.
The University of Arkansas has been a special place for as long as I can remember. I used to cry when the Razorbacks lost until a very embarrassing age.
I remember where I was when:
• U.S. Reed hit the half-court shot to beat the defending national champs, Louisville.
• The Arkansas women beat Texas to end their 132-game Southwest Conference win streak.
• Christy Smith went sliding across the floor to send the Razorbacks to the 1998 Final Four.