Thursday, February 15, 2007

Today On "As The Pig Squeals..."

The latest casualty in Arkansas' ongoing soap opera: Athletic Director For Life (or so we'd all thought) Frank Broyles, who's apparently set to announce his resignation/retirement any day now.

On the one hand, if I were a Hog fan, I'd be inclined to think Broyles stuck around about ten years too long, and at the very least things ought to be less tumultuous with someone else in charge. On the other, there's about to be a power struggle of epic proportions over yonder in the Ozarks, and somebody--likely many somebodies--are not going to be satisfied with the eventual outcome.

Either way, I'm making some popcorn. It oughta be fun to watch.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Messy Divorce In Fayetteville

Over the last nine seasons, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette assistant managing sports editor Wally Hall has been as big of a cheerleader for Arkansas coach Houston Nutt as Nutt himself has been for his own team--and given Nutt's over-the-top sideline proclivities, that's really saying something. Come hell, high water, losing seasons, sniffing around other jobs and general restlessness on the part of the Arkie fan base, you could always count on Wally to come to Nutt's defense, usually including creative (to say nothing of outright fictional) cheap shots at other SEC teams and coaches along the way.

That long and happy marriage between head coach and local homer appears to be way, way over. Wally's column today is one of the more brutal lambastings of a coach and football program you're ever likely to read. A quick sample:
So, it was not Houston Nutt’s fault that his latest recruiting class ranked No. 9 in the SEC.

According to him, it was the media’s fault.

Well, no one in the media was continuously rude to Gus Malzahn.

No one in the media promised Malzahn and every Razorbacks fan that there would be a passing game.

No one in the media overruled Malzahn’s play calling.

No one in the media tried to hire David Lee as co-offensive coordinator behind Malzahn’s back (after a 10-victory season ).

No one in the media had anything to do with Malzahn’s decision to quietly leave the UA, take a cut in pay and go to a smaller school.

... and on and on and on, for some length. Check out the rest, if you're interested. Suffice to say, Wally has placed himself firmly on the side of Gus Malzahn and the Springdale Brat Pack in Arkansas' current civil war.

Nutt wasn't about to take all of that lying down, and called in to a local Arkansas radio show this morning to refute Hall's column--while Wally himself was apparently in the studio with the hosts. As far as I can tell, Wally didn't say a word of substance while Nutt was on the air. Once Nutt hung up, Wally muttered, "I stand by what I wrote," but didn't try to debate a single point while Nutt was on the line.

Not much fun for Arkansas fans, I'm sure... but for the rest of us, this is as entertaining as a Three Stooges marathon with no Shemps.