September 08, 2011
Congratulations, Arkansas: You've managed to come up with the first new fashion statement of the season that stands virtually zero chance of leaving the traditionalists — or the police — gasping for breath. Well, unless some of them start getting a little choked up.
For Saturday's visit from New Mexico, the Razorbacks are hosting an unwieldily-titled "Red, White and Blue-Out" to commemorate the tenth anniversary of 9/11 (though technically the anniversary is on Sunday), complete with a red, white and blue Razorback at midfield of War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock and a color-coded seating chart to turn the crowd into a giant, human American flag — fans are asked to wear red if they're sitting in an even-numbered section and white if they're sitting in an odd-numbered section; students will provide the blue. Officially licensed t-shirts with the red, white and blue Razorback are for sale, of course, with proceeds going to the Wounded Warrior Project, a non-profit organization that honors and supports U.S. Armed Forces personnel who have been seriously injured in combat. Spending money on clothes is your patriotic duty as an American, Arkansans.
They won't all be so elaborate, but the weekend is likely to be filled with 9/11 tributes, almost exactly ten years after play of all sorts was suspended entirely for a weekend in the wake of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Most of the current crop of players taking the field were in grade school then, and probably don't remember and/or can't really conceive of that brief, strange period of time when people all over the country were actually a little scared to gather in large crowds. Thank god for that, and let's hope that they and the generation that comes behind them and the generation after that and so on never do.