Here is a look back at Arkansas’ most memorable games at War Memorial Stadium, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year.
Matt, thanks for your article. It spans my lifetime which started in 1948. I have been to every game on that list since around 1954, except for a couple of those. I feel like Forrest Gump being in the stadium for all those historical games.
Some things I remember from those years:
- The men wore coats and ties. The ladies dressed up. Everybody smoked.
- Whiskey bottles were carried in the inside pocket of the sport coat.
- The stadium smelled like a bar.
- We wore grey pants in the 50’s. How’s that for tradition? We also wore dark cardinal jerseys and helmets…not red.
- We would eat at Frankie’s or Bruno’s Little Italy on Roosevelt before the games. Mr. Jimmy Bruno would toss the pizzas.
- Kids would go to the Fair Park carnival rides before the games. The fun house lady is now in the Loca Luna restaurant in LR.
- Coach Broyles was red-headed and larger than life…shirttail flying…out of control.
- The bands played at halftime and were a big part of the show. No music from the loud speakers.
9, Cheerleaders would run on the field during time out and call the Hogs.
- A preacher would give an invocation before the game praying for the players and their safety.
11 The Baylor Bear could drink a Coke by holding it between his paws. No kiddin’. He was on the sideline with a collar and a chain.
12.Ken Hatfield back to return a punt against Texas at night. The PA announcer said, “Run it all the way back, Kenny”. The crowd roared.
- Going to all the Little Rock games and Fayetteville games with my family and friends. Good times.
That was a Dr Pepper, by the way. DP was invented in Waco (the year before Baylor moved there) and the drink has been a Baylor staple ever since, including for the mascot. However, like the pregame prayer, giving Dr Pepper to the bear is no longer done; veterinarians advised BU that the sugar was bad for their teeth.
My main memory of an invocation at WMS would have been in the 80s some time. The minister somehow worked the word “orgy” into his prayer and you could hear the stir in the crowd as that registered with the fans.
Swine, where did you find that picture? Those were the good old days when you could get a Coke or a Dr. Pepper made with cane sugar… They were so much better tasting than the fake sugar we have today. You can still get Mexican Cokes made with cane sugar.
Googled “Baylor Bear Dr Pepper” and it popped right up
Man, as someone who believes for revenue and chance to be take program to new heights, we should always play in Fayetteville now, this article makes me remember my childhood growing up in central AR and growing up at LR games in late 70s holding my dad’s hand, 80s and 90s and some later like Miracle on Markahm after I moved away.
Reading this I think we should play one game in that old place once a year if for no other reason than to celebrate our history.
Best game I ever saw in person was the 89 game against Houston.
I believe Houston was on probation or the game was not televised. (I can’t recall now)
They were as high powered O as they come, and as good as coach Hatfield was, most of us thought that we would not hang close that kind of passing offense with our flex bone.
We came out passing and when Grovey hit Derek Russell for a TD on an early series as if to say we will shoot out til the end, it was the loudest sound of sheer joy I have ever heard in a stadium.
As I recall, in the 60s, Razorback stadium and War Memorial were close in capacity. While I was in Jr/Sr High 1963-68, my Dad would take me to a game most years, often the Oklahoma State game. We wore jackets and ties. I had forgotten that the cheerleaders no longer go to the middle of the field during time outs to call the hogs! And, I went to the All-Star high school game in War Memorial every summer for a few years.
Both. Back then probation meant no TV. Then they decided that also punished the other team.
As for your memory of the Grovey-Russell TD, I wasn’t there (on the sports desk at the Gazette that night) but I cannot imagine anything being louder than RRS was when Ronnie Wingo got open on that wheel route on the second play of the 2010 Bama game. I’ve been in the Superdome when LSU was playing there and it couldn’t hold a candle to that moment at RRS. Too bad we couldn’t maintain that.
Actually WMS was quite a bit bigger than Razorback Stadium until the upper decks was added to the west side in 1985. That made them about equal at approx 55k. Then the big expansion in 2001 took RRS to 72k
Pre-expansion, RRS seated about 40,000 on the sidelines and about 3,000 on the bleachers in the south end zone. The WUD took it to 52K+, then they took down the south bleachers for a few years which brought it to 50K before the 2001 expansion.