Bobby Petrino has probably never had so many happy people gathered about him for an up coming season. Wherever he goes, Razorback fans flock to see him to express their heartfelt appreciation for what he has done for Arkansas. In the truest sense of the word, this season has come to represent the pride of the entire state. The only banners flying now are those of a united fan base hungry for even more success, united in a unique affirmation of loyalty, connectedness and faithful attachment.
The highest form of joy on earth is to make other people happy. Who has had this joy in fuller measure than Bobby Petrino himself. The unhappiest people on whom the sun ever shined have now become the happiest in this world. Not one fan of Arkansas would choose to trade places with any other fan in the nation. That which all Arkansas fans have longed and hoped for has now become reality under the blessed hand of Bobby Petrino---A great program, that is a strong national contender.
However justified it is for Arkansas fans to rejoice in this new found national good fortune, to be always aware of it, we may also not forget that it did not just fall into our laps like a ripe fruit, but rather that we had to earn it through difficult battle and sometimes bitter sacrifices.
The success that we so happily enjoy is the result of great challenges, endless work, and deep responsibility. Bobby Petrino was the one who over the last three and one half years had to bear the challenges, work and responsibility. I want people to instinctively remember this whatever the outcome of this season might be.
In recent months, because of all the successes of our program under Bobby Petrino in the short time he has been here, the broad masses have spontaneously started calling for a western division title and a National championship. While I do not believe this to be utterly impossible, hearing this causes me great distress and anguish, especially when it comes from the lips of the media. I should much prefer to have heard only declarations which are absolute---this team is replacing several key components---there are several questions that need to be answered---we are just going to have to wait and see how it all comes together...
It is one thing for fans to get caught up in the excitement of the last two seasons, and to look anxiously to this season as if it will hold even greater excitement, this is natural and altogether fitting. But when the media of this state start taking part in it, egging it on and helping it grow, in light of what they know because of their close interaction with the team, I for one will have nothing to do with it. No, Sir! No, Sir! I will not say what they are saying about this team. Their lips and mine were never destined to speak the same things.
The media of this state are notorious for being wrong. Fact is, they've never been right, about anything! I can promise you it wasn't without convulsions that the media of this state waived bye to Houston Nutt three years ago. If they're on board now with Bobby Petrino then it has to be a ploy. There is no way these guys have forgotten they were dead wrong three years ago. It could also be the reason none of them are willing to adjust their rhetoric concerning where this team really is. Like for instance, the running game and what it meant losing Knile Davis. One person in the media even went as far as to imply that Knile isn't a great back, that he just did what any other back would have if getting all the carries like Knile after the Texas A&M game last year.
I think what they really want is for this team not to live up to expectations. This will give them the leverage they need to take shots at this fan base with their comparisons of the Nutt and Petrino tenures; to put Nutt's in a better light, as well as themselves for having supported him. You can't prop a coach up like they did Houston Nutt and just let it go when it's over. Regardless of how wrong they were, they will never stop, even if it takes a lifetime.
Contrary to what the media will insinuate at the end of the year, winning only eight or nine games will not be a step backwards this year, not if we win our bowl game. I hope I'm wrong and this team goes on to have the year every fan wants them to have, but at this moment I just don't see it happening, not after losing Knile Davis. In this league you must have balance, and unless this team developes a running attack, Tyler Wilson is going to end up looking very average when this team plays an opponent with some pop.