It’s more than just a football game on Saturday.
When the Arkansas Razorbacks host Arkansas-Pine Bluff, history will be written. Monumental history.
When players from both teams take to the field, 61 – 40 Razorbacks and 21 Golden Lions – will feel the historical significance and their role.
The approximately 42,000 people in the stands will be an important part of a giant leap forward for athletics in Arkansas. Over the years, as the saga is told and told, the number of those who claim to be there will increase.
Or you can experience it firsthand: Tickets are on sale at War Memorial Stadium and at the UA Box Office.
For 75 years, the University of Arkansas policy was not to pay internal teams, and they haven’t since 1944.
It was not Frank Broyles’ rule, but the one he honored in memory of John Barnhill.
The AU has never played UAPB in football, and this change is due to the foresight and leadership of UA Sports Director Hunter Yurachek and some members of the AU Board of Directors who were determined to enter the 21st century.
Discussions began after a meeting at the Little Rock Touchdown Club when attorney Ron Davis asked then-athletic director Jeff Long to consider not playing with other Southwestern Athletic Conference teams.
Davis politely pointed out to Long that UAPB was part of SWAC and that the money paid to these teams gave them an advantage against UAPB, where Davis played football.
Long become sharp. Some might call it arrogant arrogance. He was fired four months later.
An AU board member pointed out that the AU and UAPB are brothers under the AU system.
Now, on Saturday, it is as if the mountain is approaching Muhammad.
Obviously, over 40,000 are getting it. They bought tickets and a lot of those who don’t care that UAPB is 1-5 and Arkansas is 4-3.
Hatchbacks and parties are planned before and after the 11am kick-off.
Most likely, the Razorbacks will win. The Golden Lions will not enter the game with any other intention than to give their all.
The halftime show will be worth the entrance fee.
After the performance of the group UA, the Marching Musical Machine of the Mid-South, the group of the UAPB, will make the stadium vibrate.
This is another strong indicator of Yurachek’s foresight. The last time Texas A&M came to Fayetteville, Long didn’t allow the famous band Aggie to perform, so they stayed home.
The band is far from the only thing UAPB is proud of. Founded in 1873, two years after the AU, UAPB is the second oldest public education system in the state.
The school has many successful graduates, and athletically it has sent several dozen football players to the NFL.
There was a time when this game would not have been allowed because of race. Then it was a policy.
Finally, it is a reality.
It’s more than a game, or a group performance, or even a major social event.
They are two proud and deserving programs honoring their sport, their brotherhood and now a friendship.
With the Arkansas State Fair in full swing, now is the perfect time to spend a weekend at The Rock.
What the fans will get is more than a football game.
He will experience a real story, and not just athleticism, being made.
A 75 year old policy was eliminated and for the first time all administrators, coaches and athletes embraced the change.
In the years to come, this day will be remembered many times because such important days occur once in a lifetime and there is an open invitation to embrace and live the moment.