We had Thanksgiving at my cousin's house. Just as we have for years. Only this year we took the bird at her house just around the corner from my new house in Upper Hillcrest rather than at her country manse in Heber.
Of course, this was news to me and the change of venue wasn't communicated to me until I was halfway down Cedar Street to the I-630. Oh well, I guess cleaning the car up and filling it with gas are good things unto themselves.
I was actually good with this. I love going to Heber but driving back in the darkness from Quitman to Greenbriar is a pain in the ass. Besides, being 5 minutes away from my house means that I could make it in time for the kickoff for the annual hatefest between Ole Miss and Mississippi State known as the Egg Bowl. Other schools have rivalries. But these two have despised each other worse than poison for about a hundred years. There are other family splintering rivalries to be sure: Auburn-Alabama and Ohio State-Michigan being the more prominent ones.
But the latter two may be generally relied upon to keep the action between the lines and before the whistle. This is not the case whenever the two major combatants in the Magnolia State get together on the field of glory. And there are people like me who can't on this every year.
And last Thursday night did not disappoint when a bench clearing low yield riot broke out between the student-athletes in the 3rd quarter. 157 unsportsmanlike conducts were handed out which is a first in my experience. And 3 Bulldogs and I Rebel were ejected for good measure by the thoroughly harried and undoubtedly pissed officiating crew.
Say what you will about such low commerce on the field of glory. At least Ole Miss and Mississippi State is a real rivalry. Unlike the contrived one between Arkansas and Missouri. Which brings me to last Friday's debacle in Columbia wherein a good but not great Tiger club plastered a toothless Razorback team 38-0. Which means they limped across the finish line 2-10 with no wins in the conference. You've got to wonder if Chad Morris wishes he had stayed in Dallas.
I am nothing if not a fair man. When Wally Hall is right he's right. And as he put it "[T]he University of Arkansas football program is broken. The wheels are off. It is bankrupt."
I am pretty much agnostic about the Razorbacks. I want them to be good because I have so little use for everybody else in the SEC West. I have watched them all my life. I've seen them good and not so good. But I've never seen them non-competitive. And that's what they are now. This is how bad they are. The bowl-eligible Tulane Green Wave could beat them. That's a sentence that could never have been written since 1982 or so.
Bit what are they going to do about it? Where's the floor? And will the Razorback brass in the AD's office try to get in the dirty arms race to get them competitive in that division. That's going to be tough. The Aggies have more money than anybody but Texas. And they don't have to fool with them anymore. They fill their stadium every Saturday as does everybody else in that division. Indeed the Aggies taking Kyle Field resembles a scene from a Lini Riefenstahl movie while Arkansas is going into hock to expand Razorback Stadium and they can't fill it now.
So what are they going to do? I don't know. As Wally says, the football program is broken.
Happy Thanksgiving Hog fans! Be thankful for basketball and baseball.