One Razorback Roadshow tour begins Monday

The Razorbacks will be back on the road again Monday thanks to the First Security Bank ONE Razorback Roadshow.

The bus tour will make eight stops across the state Monday through Thursday of next week. Hunter Yurachek, Arkansas athletics director and vice chancellor, as well as various Razorback coaches, the spirit squads, members of the marching and pep bands and Big Red will be on hand.

Jon Williams, Razorback public address announcer for baseball and women’s basketball, and Matt Zimmerman, color analyst for Razorback basketball, former Hog assistant basketball coach, and co-host of the Razorback Daily podcast, will be on hand to act as masters of ceremonies at the various stops.

Each event is free and open to all Razorback fans. Complimentary appetizers and beverages will be served, and photo opportunities with the Big Red and the Razorback spirit squads will be available. A number of giveaways as well as opportunities to win special prizes, including game tickets, sideline passes, and autographed items will be available.

The roadshow is a more democratic outreach program by the Razorbacks than the Razorback Club meetings that I assume are still being held across the state as well as in the Dallas, Tulsa, and Memphis areas. Those are ticketed events. Usually costing more than a single meal out to eat. The One Razorback Road Show is a free event for fans.

As a kid in the 1970s and ‘80s, I doted on going to those Razorback Club events with my dad and mom. The first one I attended featured Broyles after he had become athletics director as well as head football coach, probably in the spring of 1974. It was hard to miss the strapping Broyles, whose red hair was beginning to grey.

In the spring of 1977, Lou Holtz had bolted from the NFL’s New York Jets after a single season as their head coach to become the head Hog. When he walked into Southland Greyhound Park by himself during the happy hour that preceded the event, it took a little while for folks to notice who he was.

2024 ONE Razorback Roadshow Stops

May 13 — Heber Springs at Red Apple Inn at noon, and Jonesboro at the Lounge at Huntington Square at 6 p.m.
May 14 — Forrest City at The Legacy at noon, and Little Rock at The Hall at 6 p.m.
May 15 — Pine Bluff at Leon’s Catfish and Steakhouse at noon, and El Dorado at Madhouse 101 at 6 p.m.
May 16 — Texarkana at Pop’s Place at noon and Fort Smith at Uncork’d at 6 p.m.

Holtz looked more like Woody Allen or a college professor at the time than a head football coach, but my dad, who will celebrate his 95th birthday this August as a dyed-in-the-wool Hog fan, was one of the first to do so. He chatted with Holtz for a few minutes before anyone else figured it out. I lucked into an autograph that has long since been lost. Knowing me, I probably traded it to a buddy for a comic book or something.

The following year after the Hogs shocked the college football world with their 31-6 Orange Bowl upset of Barry Switzer’s mighty Oklahoma Sooners to finish No. 3 in the nation and 11-1, everyone knew who Holtz was the second he walked into the door.

The opportunity to attend those Razorback Club meetings are foundational memories for me as Razorback observer and fan. I’m so appreciative of how hard my dad worked to give our family such bonding opportunities that so often featured the Razorbacks.

Gatherings and games with my family and friends featuring the Hogs are some of my most treasured memories, and it’s all because my dad and mom had the forethought to involve me.

Or maybe they didn’t have enough money for the event and a babysitter? Either way, I’m thankful.

It’s great the Razorbacks have such free events like the One Razorback Roadshow that allows young families and fans to feel an up-close connection to the Razorback program.

Events like this one will help foster fandom for the Razorbacks that will last for a lifetime.