I know many are aware of this, but there was a time (yes - after dinosaurs roamed the earth) that the Razorbacks were one of the elite football programs in America. Most of you have seen the iconic Sports Illustrated cover with Harry Jones on the front (it often comes up in uniform discussions). But here, I’ve provided a link to the story that was carried in that issue.
Nothing new here, especially for us oldsters. But I think it is refreshing to younger readers who have never known such a time - just to know that it is possible here.
If I remember correctly, Jones was a first round draft pick by the Eagles and started a few games but basically did not do real good and stayed in the NFL about three years. But that was one good time for Hog fans.
Exactly Jhawg . . . that’s the era I grew up in. And that’s why I posted the article. It’s one thing for younger folks to hear “good 'ol days” blathering from older fans about how good we were “back then”; it’s another to see that Sports Illustrated - who approximated the importance that ESPN has today (except it was legitimate JOURNALISM) - was saying the same thing. And that article - for those few that may not know - was written by the great Dan Jenkins, quite possibly the best that ever lived at his craft.
Yep - we were big time. For a long time.
I hope I live to see us get at least partially back to that status one day.
As a younger Hog fan of 39yrs of age, I do cherish my father’s copies of his Sports Illustrated’s copies circa November 8th, 1965 featuring “Hurryin Harry Jones”. My favorite cover, granted it’s just slightly before my time, is the Calgagni/Cowins/Holtz #1 Arkansas football cover just due to the fact of the cover’s colors…that and the football Hogs were #1 in the Nation at that time! I’m also partial to the cover of Sidney rising up to dunk over Texas on the Feb. 13th, 1978 cover…mainly because i was raised to hate everything related to the University of Texas…HORNS DOWN!!!
I will always be partial to the “Hog Wild” Corliss Williamson cover after the National Championship. It’s currently on my coffee table to this day, as a resident of Indiana. My copy of the March 21, 1994 copy showing President Clinton on the cover with a caption of “Whoooo, Pig, Sooey!” still gives me goose bumps. I still display this copy proudly as well. To truly show my age though, my all time favorite copy of Sports Illustrated was from the 1993-1994 season as the commemorative edition, " A Heavenly Season."
All of these fine Sports Illustrated copies have a cherished place in my home, and are on display for all friends and family to see. The way I look at it, you are NEVER TOO YOUNG OR OLD TO ROOT FOR THE HOGS!!! Woooo, Pig, Sooie!!!
Thanks. That cover and story never gets old. I remember all of those things so well. It is also good for the younger fans to know that we did not always suck in football nor was the team an embarrassment to the University and state (thanks Dr. White).
I was at that '65 game (Bobby Crockett slept here), and hugged my Channel Master Transistor Radio (younger fans are saying what the heck is that) to my ear in October of '64. What a victory that was (thanks Kenny and that great defense - yes young ones, Arkansas use to play real defense).
My Sr. yr. at UofA was 69-70. Yes, that '69 when the whole nation watched. Have not and will not ever get over that one!
Thanks Wiz, it’s always a pleasure to rehash those times albeit the Harry Jones years were a few years before I can remember anything about the Hogs. My memories beginning in the late 60’s but do remember my Dad (RIP) and his co-workers talking about Harry, Jon, Lance and many others discussed here.
That 69 shoot out will forever stay etched in my memory because Dad had bought our first color TV just for that game and then the aftermath that ensued even though I was only 9 years old at the time.
For the HI veterans that can clearly recall the 60s and early 70s…
Just asking to better understand the history, why was UA so late in recruiting black student athletes? Most especially football players? If I understand correctly, the full recruitment of black football players by OU, Bama, USC, etc…and the UA being late in the game, is what stopped “The New Dynasty” from sustaining itself against the Big Dogs.
Was it JFB, the Arkansas Governor, Stephens, or other powerful donors who prohibited the full recruitment of black football players? JFB was always at the forefront of change…except he was late in full recruitment of black football players. Why?
I do know or thank I know from what I have been told, it was not Frank. He wanted them. As soon as USC came to LR with theirs, the door was open and he took Jon Richardson right away. I remember OH writing about it. Clay may have first hand knowledge.
SMU was the first in the SWC. There were no others for a few years after that.
I don’t think that was the problem. By 75, we had a great team with black and white players. See the Cotton Bowl Champs and what Lou did a couple of years later. Lou failed to continue to recruit. Those teams probably had the best Oline ever at AR. Lesson that some have yet learned. YOU MUST HAVE THAT.
USC had integrated teams dating to the 1920s and Oklahoma in the 1950s, but Alabama still had an all-white varsity team as of 1970, the same year Arkansas’ varsity team desegregated with Jon Richardson and the same year USC’s Sam Cunningham had the memorable game in Birmingham. Darrell Brown had been the first black player for the Razorbacks, a non-varsity member at Arkansas in the mid-1960s.
It seems Arkansas had a similar timeline desegregating its “varsity” team as most other major programs in the South. The Southwest Conference desegregated in 1966 (Baylor/SMU) and the SEC the following year (Kentucky). Tennessee followed in 1968; Texas and Arkansas in 1970; Alabama, South Carolina and Georgia in 1971; Ole Miss and LSU in 1972.
Matt has it right. Simply put, there is/was no good reason for the segregation in sports that took place prior to the late 60’s/early 70’s. It was just a reflection of the overall mood of the nation - the south, in particular - during that era.
I don’t want to stray too far from football into politics, but I will say this much: Clearly, issues related to race relations are still with us today; perhaps they always will be. But unless you were around and old enough to remember (in other words, a fossil like me!), it’s hard to put into words just how different things were thing with regard to this matter 50+ years ago. It was a time when racial slurs were used openly and without apology (by many - not all). And putting aside the issues some on the team may have had with accepting teammates of a different racial background, there were the practical issues of not being able to travel as a team to many places because hotels would not let them stay there and restaurants would not let them eat with their white teammates.
Things like that don’t change overnight, unfortunately, even when they - clearly - should.
The first Hog game I attended was as an 8yo in Dallas in January 1965 with my family. I also attended the Big Shootout in 1969, my sister was on the cheerleading squad. So early on my expectations were set pretty high. I live in Dallas now and still attend most all the Fayetteville games. Its in the blood!