Sample from "Hit that Line!"
(excerpt from "Forward")
As a child growing up in the ‘50s and ‘60s, I can still remember fall days that were sunny and clear with a cool briskness just right for a light jacket, the smell of burning leaves, and a cloudless sky with an extra hint of blue. This was what became known as “football weather” in Arkansas.
On any Saturday afternoon during this period, you would find my dad relaxing on his bed, intently listening to Bob Cheyne, and later “Bud” Campbell, on a small radio as they would announce play-by-play for the three hours encompassing each contest. They would describe in enthusiastic detail all of the efforts made by the Hog football team as it would line up against the opposition to compete for a win on some distant gridiron. As in our home, this was a scene that you would find multiplied in the majority of homes across the entire state. For the Razorbacks were, in fact, Arkansas’ team.
If, by chance, the team lost, there would be a cloud of gloom over the whole state that would take several days to vanish. If they won, then there would be a celebration that would last for the next week. For that week, each notable play would be recalled over and over again in newspapers, and local barber shops throughout the entire state.
And best of all, was Texas Week when all testing would be suspended at the University for the week before the game. During this week, most conversations would center around the upcoming game against the Longhorns from Austin. Although Texas may have won the majority of the games that we played against them, to win was an even more special treat. We were the true underdog rising up to “slay the dragon.” What a great rivalry! There was none bigger for the Razorback fans.
As the season would come to an end and winter would settle in, the fans would reminisce over the past few months with anticipation of spring practice. Summer would last forever, but eventually it would end and all thoughts would turn toward the next season and the promise that it held. This was the cycle of football in Arkansas.
I was fortunate enough to be at the University during the late 1960s when the rivalry was at its peak. We had our heroes (many of whom you will find mentioned later in this book) who would play with everything they had for the full sixty minutes, leaving it all on the field. Names like Lance Alworth, “Lighthorse” Harry Jones, and a small quarterback named Freddie Marshall were among our heroes. What a great time to celebrate Razorback football! ...
(excerpt from "The Miracle on Markham")
On the ensuing kickoff, Arkansas returned the ball to the Razorback 19-yard line. Once again, it would take a touchdown to win, a field goal doesn’t help. It would take a miracle. Fans have their hands clasped as if in prayer, and the miracle begins. Arkansas was 81 yards away from a win, no timeouts, and 35 seconds left on the game clock.
Once again, the Hogs called on Matt Jones’ cool demeanor to lead them to the “promised land.” Jones steps to the line and begins, his all too familiar cadence of calling the signals. The ball is snapped. The final drive begins with a 50-yard pass completion to Richard Smith who had caught the LSU prevent defense out of position. The crowd of 55,000 comes to its feet and goes into a frenzy “calling the Hogs.” Pity the fans that left early to try and beat the crowd for they would miss the last 35 seconds of what was to be the most exciting of the game and of the season. The Hogs were on the move.
The next play is an incomplete pass to Carlos Ousley which stopped the game clock. This is not a bad thing, for it allows the Hogs time to regroup without burning any time off the clock. The Hogs are now on the LSU 31-yard line. Jones, who was known more for his long stride, and elusive running than for his passing ability, comes to the line to take the snap. He takes it, drops back and lets the ball fly into the Little Rock nighttime sky.
(You know how it ends, but to read more - please place your order NOW and immediately begin enjoying your own copy of "Hit That Line!")