It's just what you do in Arkansas.
You explain to your babies what a Razorback is, and you show them that when the boys play, you wear red and white and have big parties. And you scream "WOOOOOOOOO. PIG. SOOIE." as loudly as you can to show your love.
When the kids ask why you say "because mommy bleeds Razorback red and so does daddy and now so do you." Afterall, my kids' daddy and I have both lived here most all of our lives. We both come from the land. My family's acreage is in western Yell county lining up to the Ouachita National Forest. Daddy's lineage traces straight up to Newton county in the heart of the Ozark Mountains. Our children were born in this state, and this is where they'll likely be raised.
('lil Razorback cheerleader)
(lil hog fan just before an Arkansas game..)
It's who we are.
So when the Razorback football team hits the field, there is an unspeakable, but very palpable, sense of pride and unity. They represent each of us in a way unlike any other. Win or lose, during those games, we are all one, we all come from the same place, and there is a strong sense of unity in this. When they play, it brings us all together -- rich or poor, black or white, young or old. On game days, we all share the same goal.
And that's the beauty of it.
It's also why -- when we are betrayed like we were by this latest coach scandal -- it truly hits where it hurts. And I believe every Arkansan was betrayed.
Betrayal comes in all forms. By it's very definition, it means "to disappoint the hopes or expectations of; to be disloyal or to lead astray; to deceive." I personally believe that coach's choices up in Fayetteville disappointed and deceived us all. Yet I have absolutely no judgement because we are all human, and we are all frail, and we all make mistakes, and we all err all the time. Judgement is for our maker. Forgiveness and understanding is for us. It is heartbreaking that so many people have been so deeply hurt in this mess because of the choices that two people made. A wife, children, grandchildren, a fiance', an athletic director, athletes, fans, students, alumni... the entire state, really. The two who made those choices are hurting too. And it is my belief that when one soul is hurting, we all hurt. It is part of humanity. As is forgiveness and understanding....
I kinda think that's where we collectively go from here. We forgive and move forward. We keep calling those hogs.
And we teach our children to tell the truth no matter how tough it is. And remind them constantly that every single action you take has a consequence.
Woo Pig Sooie!