ARKANSAS COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Rex Nelson picks this weekend's games, says this may be worst Hogs team of his life
Silly me. I picked Arkansas to win a close one last week in Fayetteville against North Texas. After all, Arkansas is in the Southeastern Conference and North Texas is, well, North Texas.
After attending the summer meeting of the Arkansas Press Association at Eureka Springs, I wrote a column about the little tourist town where there never seems to be a shortage of good stories. I noted how Eureka Springs continues to be a fun place to visit for those of us who love history, art and architecture. That tends to be an older audience, though. To attract younger, affluent visitors, the city also must focus on outdoor activities--mountain biking, hiking, floating the Kings River, fly-fishing for trout on the White River and more. Since then, I've written about the world-class mountain biking trails being built at the city's Lake Leatherwood and on the grounds of The Great Passion Play.
No. 1 North Little Rock is making high school football in Arkansas look good with wins over top programs from Oklahoma, Louisiana and Tennessee in its first three games.
A real football stadium: Razorbacks' tradition of playing in Little Rock started some 70 years ago with construction of War Memorial
War Memorial Stadium, the historic facility in the middle of Little Rock, has been in the news this year. Tuesday will mark the 70th anniversary of the first game played at the stadium.
Hunter Yurachek, the relatively new athletic director at the University of Arkansas, is scheduled to address the Little Rock Touchdown Club on Monday. I look forward to meeting him and thanking him for making a sincere effort to understand this unique state, its people and what makes us tick. The fact that Razorback football teams will continue to play games at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock tells me a lot.
I'm in the office of Stephan Mc-Ateer, which occupies part of the basement of the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History. I'm in a good mood for several reasons. It's a beautiful Friday afternoon, football season has arrived, we're talking about one of my favorite subjects (Arkansas history) and Ron Fuller has brought ribs for lunch from Sims, which has been serving barbecue in Little Rock since 1937 when Allen and Amelia Sims opened their restaurant.
There just isn’t much good to say about the state of Razorback football these days.
My first byline appeared in Arkadelphia's Daily Siftings Herald when I was a boy. I wrote accounts of youth baseball games on notebook paper. My mother typed the stories, and I then delivered them to the newspaper's offices in an old building downtown. I was hooked.
What did we learn last week in high school football?
It was a tough decision to leave the newspaper business in July 1996. I was in my 30s and having the time of my life as the political editor of Arkansas' largest newspaper. Bill Clinton was in the White House, and all political roads seemed to lead to Arkansas. Whenever big-city radio stations or television networks would call, those calls often were sent to my desk. Arkansas journalists were getting their 15 minutes of fame.