To understand my hatred of the Arkansas Razorbacks, you must first understand my previous love of the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Half of my family is from the state of Arkansas...my mother was born and raised in Arkansas, as were her parents, and their parents, and their parents, ad infinitum. My grandfather, "Papa" to all of us, owned his own hardware and appliance store for many years. In 1977 he had a heart attack. As a result, he and my grandmother decided it was time for him to retire, and rather than live so far away from their only child and grandchildren, they moved to Oxford. Now, Papa was a huge Razorbacks fan, but since his daughter and son-in-law had gone to Ole Miss, and his granddaughters were being raised as Rebel fans, he cheered for the Rebels, too. I remember Saturday afternoons as a child, sitting on Papa's lap or playing in the middle of the living room as he listened to an Arkansas football game on the radio while watching the game on TV. Sometimes he'd have the Hogs on the radio and the Rebs on TV, or vice versa depending on the schedule. I remember cheering for the Hogs because Papa did; a simple act of a granddaughter loving what her grandfather loved. Yes, I even had my own plastic Hog Hat, and knew "Woo Pig, Sooie!" as early as I knew "Hotty Toddy!" This was all well and good...after all, Arkansas was in the old Southwest Conference, and Ole Miss was in the SEC. Sure they met, but it wasn't like a conference championship was on the line or anything. We usually supported Ole Miss in the head-to-head anyway (Papa was wrapped around us girls' fingers). So I was perfectly happy supporting both teams.
Papa died in 1990, just four days before Christmas. It was a miserable day; the hill where he was buried at Oxford Memorial Cemetery was frozen solid, covered with ice as freezing rain fell. Relatives that would have otherwise come for the service didn't dare risk the drive. Christmas was very sad that year. To make things worse, it was my senior year of high school. He would never get to see me graduate, or take pictures of me in my prom dress, or go to my last spring musical. I had the chance to say I love you the day before he died and I didn't take it because it was the last day of Fall semester and I was a teenager in a hurry...my greatest regret to this day is not taking those few seconds to run up and hug him (it's why I never say goodbye, end a phone call or send a text without an "I love you" to this day).
The next year, Arkansas joined the Southeastern Conference, and the conference split into divisions, with Arkansas joining the West. Now, Ole Miss would be playing the Hogs every year, geographically we would be the Hogs' closest rivals, and it would count so much more. I wondered what Papa would have done. Mom swears up and down that he would never root against his daughter's or granddaughters' alma mater. So I did what I always did; supported Arkansas and Ole Miss in every game except the head-to-head, when I would be all-in for the Rebels. And if Ole Miss couldn't go to Atlanta, the Hogs would be my second pick (yes, when I got a degree from Alabama this created further conflict...then I got a job at State...seriously, could I NOT get a degree/job in the SEC East?).
Then we hired Houston Nutt, and the Arkansas fans went APE. FUCKING. SHIT. To be fair, they were ape shit before the hire, too, but still. I have never seen such absolute, insane hatred in a fandom in my life. Seriously, these fans were bitter. Keep in mind I live near Starkville, where they invented the inferiority complex. I went to school in Tuscaloosa and have seen the hate for Tennessee and Auburn. I was an AMERICAN IDOL fan for God's sake and those fans? Bat. Shit. Crazy. But all of those fandoms have nothing on Arkansas fans. GonzoHog was just representative of many. So-called "friends" of mine from Arkansas? Hope every week for an Ole Miss loss to justify their firing of Nutt. The worst ones are the ones who used to cheer for Ole Miss, who actually got degrees from here, but will NOT cheer for them again until Nutt is gone. And they can't wait to tell you every second how stupid we were to hire him and someday we'll see the "truth" and regret ever supporting him.
And the worst part? The absolute worst? Is that they were right. And we are going to have to deal with all of those smug-ass Arkansas fans who know, who just know we'll be done with him by the end of the season. Who know we have "buyer's remorse." Who know we are practically hoping we lose every last game this year so we can get rid of him. And you know what they are secretly thinking? What they are really saying behind every "Woo Pig," every "some tailgate you got here," every "good luck," every "have another beer?"
"We told you so."
*rolls eyes, huffs, screams into pillow*
So, thank you, bat shit crazy obsessive Arkansas fans. Thank you for being such awful, terrible people. For sullying my childhood memories, my memories of sitting on Papa's lap wearing my hog hat and yelling "woo pig sooie" in my childish little lisp, feeling safe and loved in his arms. Thanks for ruining that. Thanks for making my hate so strong that I'm fucking crying* now, dammit.
*Which is totally cool since I'm a girl.