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Column: Arkansas Razorbacks fans are bored, angry, antsy

Love Taylor Swift or hate Taylor Swift? Think the NFL is too woke or too corporate? Ever seen a State Farm commercial?

You were sure enough in luck on Sunday, then, for the Super Bowl had some appeal to you. It didn’t matter if you were watching because you always do, watching for your favorite team or hate-watching, more than 60% of households across the United States were tuned in to the game, enough for an American viewing-audience record.

Personally, I’m not much of an NFL fan. Don’t misread that. It doesn’t mean that I despise it. The sentence just means I would not qualify myself with the term “fan” when it comes to a nominative. Too many years in this business at too many places that over-emphasized it wore me out. Hardly a cynic. Just exhausted.

Lots of people reading this column know that feeling, exhaustion. Arkansas sports are in a dead spot right now, as dead as I have encountered in my decade-plus covering Razorbacks sports. I’m tempted to say it’s as dead right now as I have encountered in my 22 years of adulthood, most of which has been spent in the shadow of university’s campus.

After football’s – ahem – fumbling of what should have been at least a 7-5 season and now with Arkansas basketball treading water around .500 with less than half of the SEC slate remaining, fan interest is low. Ambivalence abounds. So does apathy. Not a lot exists to get folks excited about the Hogs right now.

Baseball is near and Dave Van Horn’s team should draw some excitement. The Diamond Hogs are ranked in the top four in every legitimate college baseball poll in the game and DVH is all but guaranteed to lead Arkansas back to the NCAA Tournament. He’s done so every season in which he has called Fayetteville home except for one. 

Even then, time will pass before interest turns into excitement. Ask around the media who cover the Razorbacks throughout the year. People just don’t care and even with baseball, several weeks pass before much more than the hardcore interest begins to show. The sad truth is Arkansas’ fan base, as much as it thinks it’s different than all the others across the country, isn’t nearly as hardcore as it thinks. The “ride or die” mentality, the pride in all things Natural State, sorry, it’s a myth or, more likely, an ethos from a generation long gone. The old-timers – not just in age, but in attitude – are fewer in number, and passion, than before.

Now it’s more fun to gripe about or stan some cultural moment, like Taylor Swift or Pat McAfee or liberal California or heaven knows what else.

Yep. Exhausting.

Story originally appeared on Razorbacks Wire