Ronald Martinez - Getty Images
Things have looked pretty bleak for the Hogs so far this year. So just how can a Razorback fan have fun watching Saturday's game against Texas A&M?
What do you think was going through Bobby Petrino's mind?
"Can I really get away with it?"
What was he thinking? What ticked through his mind as he paced up and down the Arkansas sideline on Saturday, October 1, 2011?
We'll never really know, but I imagine that the thoughts in his brain looked like this: "Yeah, let's run that deep post to Jarius again. They'll never see it coming. Sherman is such a dumbass."
Last year in Dallas, Tyler Wilson and Jarius Wright led a furious second-half charge to overcome the Aggies in Jerryworld, mostly due to the fact that Wright accounted for 281 of Wilson's school-record 510 passing yards. Man, that was fun. Even Broderick Green scored not one, but two touchdowns!
Texas A&M made second-half collapses into an art form last year, but in 2012, every week already looks like it could be another tough one for the Hogs. Despite the fact that Arkansas has taken three games in a row from Texas A&M, this year's young Aggie team seems built to take advantage of Arkansas' biggest weaknesses - its offense and its defense.
Painful sarcasm aside, A&M freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel is having little trouble adjusting to the college game - he's thriving in Kevin Sumlin's pass-happy offense. The freshman is completing 67.4 percent of his passes and has already rushed for 262 yards and five touchdowns as well. In addition, the Aggies' best defensive player is defensive Damontre Moore, who has already piled up six sacks and eight tackles for loss. Yikes.
Because the Razorbacks have stumbled (and stumbled and stumbled) on hard times already this year, it's going to be important to remember to have a little fun this weekend and every weekend for the rest of the season. Football is fun, right? That's why we bring you The Smile! Train - a few tips and tricks to help you thoroughly enjoy Saturday's matchup, no matter the outcome.
Tip 1 - Watch a replay of last year's game: Really, the 2011 matchup is hysterically funny when you already know the outcome. Not only is it enjoyable to see the Arkansas offense wreak havoc, but there's also so much quality schadenfreude to delight in. Mike Sherman looking confused. Mike Sherman making terrible play calls. Mike Sherman and Ryan Tannehill looking confused together. It's a wonderful buffet of images.
Tip 2 - Try and keep your eyeballs in your head when the announcers gush about Ryan Swope: Ryan Swope is a broadcaster's dream player. So versatile. So tough. So gritty. So WHITE. Even last year, when the Aggies' running attack was unstoppable (381 yards on the ground), the broadcast team continually suggested in the second half that the Aggies really needed to get the ball to Swope if they wanted to stop the offense's total implosion. You could almost see their eyes getting misty every time they mentioned his name. I won't suggest that you drink every time the broadcasters hone in on Swope, because I trust you will be heavily self-medicated already and it might get dangerous if you do that.
Tip 3 - Laugh at Christine Michael: The senior running back who crushed the Razorback defense last year to the tune of 230 yards rushing and three touchdowns will be riding lots of pine on Saturday. The former five-star recruit has had a tough year so far. He was suspended for the SMU game, didn't play in the first half of the South Carolina State game, and had to delete his Twitter account after he complained to the internet that his coaches weren't running the ball enough. Admit it - you know you like to snicker at the kid in time out in the corner.
Tip 4 - Creep yourself out: Kevin Sumlin and Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin look so much alike that it's almost uncomfortable to watch. If Sumlin wore a puffy jacket and aviators, I don't know if you'd be able to tell them apart.
Tip 5 - Read True Grit beforehand: This is always good advice, because the book is an absolute classic, but also because the author, native Arkansan Charles Portis, has a healthy, eloquent contempt for Texans that will put you in a good mood before the game. For example:
"I returned to the Monarch to get the breakfast I had paid for. LaBoeuf the Texan was at the table, shaved and clean. I supposed he could do nothing with the ‘cowlick.' It is likely that he cultivated it. He was a vain and cocky devil."
Enjoy the game, everyone. Even you, Aggies.