Take that Jim Plunkett and Randy Vatahahahaha!

It has taken almost 52 years, but we have finally extracted some manner of revenge for that night in Little Rock.

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Oh my…I’ll never forget the P.A. dude repeating, “Jim PLUN-kittt, passing com-PLEET to Randy Va-TA-HA,” a kazillion times that night.

If not for that loss we would have been undefeated, playing Texas in the final regular season game again. Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay close to the Tea-sippers in that one.

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Tough bookends to a nine game winning streak. And somehow, no bowl game. The WMS PA’s voice, from that era, is forever embedded in my mind.

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I was there too. It is still a great memory even if we lost.

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I was at that game. One of the most heartbreaking losses in my memory.

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Worst interview question, to Jim Plunkett—“Is your father deaf and your mother blind, or is it the other way around?”.

I was at the Stanford game. Heartbreaking. Btw, it was Jon Richardson’s debut.

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Who asked him that? I hope it wasn’t someone in the Arkansas sports press.

We turned down the bowl game after Texass kicked our butts.

That brilliant question for Plunkett was at Super Bowl media day when you get loads of people who don’t have a clue.

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I wasn’t at the game, but I still remember that sick feeling in my stomach as a 9 year old boy. Such a heartbreaker.

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Yes it was Southpaw. I was 12 at the time and wasn’t all that worried about Stanford going into that game. Probably because I didn’t know Stanford from Samford at that time. They were both teams we should dominate in my mind. I remember being angry that we had fallen behind this inferior opponent. I was certain we would win it at the end. Then they stopped the play we thought couldn’t be stopped. Heartbreak! Not quite December 6, 1969 heartbreak, but heartbreak nonetheless.
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That Stanford team was pretty good. They were #10 in the country preseason, won the Pac-8 by two games, won the Rose Bowl over tOSU, Plunkett won the Heisman.

Weird trivia: Back in the days when college football players actually had summer jobs, Vataha was one of the Seven Dwarfs at Disneyland one summer.

Hahaha. Vataha the dwarf! He was not a physically imposing player, but he could certainly get open and catch the fooseball. My memory of the Stanford passing game that night, was that it was more horizontal than verticle. A lot of stuff out in the flats. Was Bill Walsh coaching them then?

Nope. John Ralston was their coach. Walsh was an assistant to Paul Brown with the Bengals at that time.

Vataha was listed at 5-10, 175. His teammates called him Rabbit for his moves on the field.

Oh yeah, I forgot about John Ralston. Then two years later John McKay and his men of Troy came to town, with what was in my mind, one of the best college football teams of all time.

Stanford was really good. Plunkett and Vataha wore us out. The heat was brutal. It was a day game.

It was so hot. And me and a buddy had driven up from Monroe, LA and we had had several adult beverages before the game.

I yelled so much and it was so hot that I started to get heat stroke or something. I was in a cold sweat, sick at my stomach, and had binocular vision. Just miserable. And then losing the game. It wasn’t my favorite Razorback experience.

I have a friend who played on that Stanford team. He said by the second half the heat was just killing them. I don’t doubt that. They humped to a big lead early and we scored the last 4 TD’s to lose by 6 points. That stop by Stanford inside the 5 yard line was awful. I thought we were about to complete the comeback until that play ended it.

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Which means he was probably in neighborhood of 5.8, 155…closer to dwarf size.

That was the first time that the pressure of being a Hog fan got to be too much for me…I was 17 years old.

I remember we called a time out before that 4th down play and I walked out of the room and outside…came back in a couple of minutes later to have my Dad tell me they had stopped us, and watched the replay of their All-America Linebacker (I believe his name was Simone, but I could be getting the spelling wrong) literally hog-tie Montgomery short of the line to gain.

That was kind of the beginning of this decades long journey of having my heart ripped out at key moments. Well- the “end of the beginning”.

The Big Shootout really started it. But then, we had another heart-braking loss in the Sugar Bowl against Ole Miss…a game in which we were clearly still in shock from the Texas debacle for the first half of the game, then came back with a furious rally and nearly pulled it out. Very similar to what happened against Stanford.

Up until that time, in MY life, Arkansas was “the team that couldn’t be beat”. Well, not always, of course…but we were what Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State and OU have been the last decade. So, for us to lose THREE games in a row?? Shocking.

And not just to Hog fans…it was national news.

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Ferguson would have been soph with JR. Did he redshirt that year?