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I'm a great fan of Sports, especially the Arkansas Razorbacks!

Razorbacks at Home!

My first trip out of my home state (other than visiting my grandparents) was in 1963. The Pine Bluff High School band had been invited to play in the prestigous 'Mid-West National Band Clinic' in Chicago, partially to honor our soon-to-be-retired band instructor, Scrubby Watson. It was considerd such a great honor that the school board actually came up with the money to send the entire senior high band whether they could afford it or not. Somehow, even though I was only in junior high, and no one else in the junior high was invited, I was given the opportunity to go. I jumped at it. What do I remember most about the trip?
I remember that Chicago in December is cold and windy. It was so windy I had to lean into the wind to walk forward, and this made it seem even colder. I remember walking down wide sidewalks, peering in amazement into stores with an amazing variety of goods for sale. There was even a store which sold nothing but fudge! Imagine... a whole store selling nothing but fudge! At the very next store down the sidewalk, it happened.
As I looked through the glass front wall of a store, I noticed a lady with her arms so full of packages that she was having trouble making her way. Naturally, I rushed to open the door for her and hold it open so she could get out more easily. When she was outside, she paused and (with great difficulty) fumbled in her purse. Finally, she pulled out some change and held it out to me. "What's this for?", I asked. When she told me it was a tip for my help, my face turned beet red. "I couldn't accept money for a thing like that", I told her. She narrowed her eyes and looked at me as if I were suddenly very strange, and said "Just exactly where are you from?". When I told her I was from Arkansas, she looked at my feet and mumbled to herself and walked on. It was very perplexing.
Later, a friend explained it to me. "When you told her you were from Arkansas", he said, "She wanted to see if you were wearing shoes." Somehow, I had led such a sheltered life that I didn't realize my home state's image as seen by the outside world was one of hillbillies, bare feet, corncob pipes and moonshine. I was suddenly so ashamed of my life I didn't tell anyone else where I was from for years. However, Frank Broyles would change that.
When I went off to college at North Carolina State in 1967, the Razorbacks under coach Broyles were winning the respect of sports fans nationwide. I cringed when I was asked where I was from, expecting more humiliation, but instead I heard "All right! Go, Hogs Go!" I felt so much better at this unexpected acceptance! I discovered that Arkansas' image as a hick state had been replaced by a more positive image, associated with a competitive University instead of moonshine and bare feet. Thank you, Frank Broyles! Sooooie!
I have been a Razorback fan ever since, proud of the positive image they give the state, proud of the image of integrity and sportsmanship that Frank Broyles and all of his athletic programs present, and proud of their success in Football, Basketball, Baseball and Track (especially track!). In addition, I enjoy watching football, in person or on TV. Because football is a fascinating game of strategy, because it is fun to watch, and because I love what those hogs have done for my state, I believe I am a true Razorback football fan. How SOOIEET it is!!!
Several years ago, I attended a Hogs-SMU football game in Little Rock. During that game a thunderstorm came up and everyone was soaked in a cold, blowing heavy rain punctuated by constant flashes of lightning. At the end, since the outcome of the game had been largely decided, only a few hundred fans remained out of 51,000 who sat through the first half. I was one of those few hundred who stayed to root for the hogs. Win, Lose or Draw, I will always be for Arkansas!

John McDonnell!  

Every Arkansas Razorback Fan has to be PROUD that our state and its signature school has an association with John McDonnell, the greatest coach in any sport who ever lived! When I was a boy and I would dream of a career in sports, I would of course dream about having one of the greatest careers of all time. I would imagine records being broken and the crowd going wild. I would let my imagination run wild as I fantasized about success and sports immortality. But even on my most creative day I never dared dream of a career like John McDonnell has had as the Track Coach of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. I do not understand how he did it, but I have to admire his success, and I know it will be generations before anyone threatens to equal it. Coach McDonnell does not seem to have the fan support the football coaches do, but I hope he realizes there are many fans in the state of Arkansas who think every day that he was a wonderful coach running a program to take great pride in!

The following information is taken from Wikipedia:

John McDonnell – Coach of Arkansas Razorbacks track teams
John McDonnell (born July 2, 1938 in County Mayo, Ireland) is the retired head coach for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks track team. He began as the cross country track coach for the University in 1972 and became head track coach in 1978. McDonnell retired after the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Before the University of Arkansas:
McDonnell earned his bachelor’s degree from Southwestern Louisiana (now Louisiana- Lafayette) in 1969, while competing to become a six-time all-American in track and cross country at USL, become the 1966-67 AAU 3,000-meter champion, and won the mile at the 1966 British Selection Games.

He coached at New Providence (N.J.) High School (1969–70) and Lafayette (La.) High School (1971) before coming to the University of Arkansas.

Coaching accomplishments at Arkansas:
McDonnell was hired as the cross country coach in 1972 and added the entire men's track and field program in 1978. Coach McDonnell led the track team to their first national championship at the 1984 NCAA Indoor Championships while the school was a member of the now-defunct Southwest Conference. Since then, the University of Arkansas has won 42 NCAA championships, including 11 cross country, 19 indoor track and 12 outdoor track. Other schools have won only 24 combined NCAA titles in the three sports during the same period.

McDonnell's 42 national championships (which include 19 in indoor track, 12 in outdoor track and 11 in cross country) are more than any coach in any sport in the history of college athletics. The next highest is 31 by Pat Henry, former LSU and current track coach at Texas A&M University.

McDonnell also won five national triple crowns. (in 1984-85, 1991–92, 1992–93, 1994–95 and 1998–99). Texas-El Paso has won three national triple crowns. No other school has ever won one.

In addition, McDonnell team and individual achievements include:
20 conference triple crowns since 1982, including eight straight between 1987 and 1995
25 consecutive conference titles in cross country with indoor track and outdoor track combined from 1987 to 1995
73 conference championships in the last 77 events Arkansas has entered since 1981-1982
84 conference championships overall since 1974 including 38 in the SWC and 46 in the SEC (out of a possible 50, or 90 percent)
12 consecutive NCAA indoor track championships (1984–1995)
coached 185 track All-Americans, earning 652 separate All-America honors:
34 consecutive league cross country championships, including 17 straight in the SEC (1974–2007)
54 individual national champions
23 Olympians coached spanning three decades and six different Olympic Games including gold, silver and bronze medalists
his 1994 indoor track squad won the national championship by the widest margins in the history of the sport as well as scored the most points (94) in the history of the NCAA event
his 1994 squad scored a meet record 223 points at the SEC Outdoor Championships
has been named national, regional or conference coach of the year a total of 140 times
has coached 23 Olympians, including gold, silver and bronze medalists, 105 NCAA individual event champions and 331 individual event conference champions

The Razorback outdoor track facility on the campus of the University of Arkansas is named in his honor.
McDonnell has been inducted as a member of the United States Track Coaches Hall of Fame, the University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor, the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, the University of Southwestern Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and the Mayo Hall of Fame.

Life outside of coaching:
McDonnell was granted United States citizenship in 1969, the same year he graduated from the University of Southwestern Louisiana.

Since retiring, McDonnell enjoys spending time on his 2,500-acre (10 km2) cattle ranch in Pryor, Oklahoma. He reportedly owns over 650 head of cattle.

The coach is also involved with several non-profit organizations, including the American Heart Association and the Central Arkansas Radiation Therapy Institute and he works closely with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences to promote prostate cancer awareness.

McDonnell is married to the former Ellen Elias of Bayonne, New Jersey and has two children, Heather and Sean.

Arkansas will always be proud of the greatest coach in any sport in history!
We LOVE John McDonnell!

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Pine Bluff, Ar.!Hot Springs, Ar.!

BBQ Pork is Sooieet too!!
There is no better food anywhere in the world than properly prepared, juicy, tender and flavorful BBQ Pork!
I have enjoyed great pork ribs, plates and sandwiches in many parts of the world, but I think nobody knows BBQ pork like they know how to make it in Arkansas!
Just one more way to love those hogs!

Contact me if you wish at jamesdburns@hotmail.com
Thanks for visiting my Web site!