Sunday, October 10, 2010

Woooo Pig Sooooie!!

Yes, I'm still calling the Hogs after their victory over Texas A & M yesterday. The old Arkansas/Texas A & M rivalry was revived yesterday at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and we were there to witness it! The trip was a belated birthday present for Brad, and we had a great time. Bethany brought her good friend Stacey along, and she added to the fun. We left bright and early, and stopped at Chili's Restaurant #1,000 (there was a big plaque out front commemorating this remarkable status) somewhere between Dallas and Arlington and had lunch.

Cowboys Stadium is a pretty incredible place. We had the opportunity to tour it over the summer, and it was fun to go back and see it full of people yesterday. The giant screens are just as impressive in person as you hear about on TV (probably even more so). The picure below gives you some idea what the screens are like, but really doesn't do them justice. When you're there, you don't know whether to watch the action on the field, or just watch the big screen. For me, it was easy to forget there was an actual game going on down below, I got so caught up in watching the screen sometimes!

It took us a few minutes to locate our seats, and we were a little surprised to find that we were the only Razorback fans in our section. As we looked around a little more, we discovered that we pretty much the only Hog fans in that entire half of the stadium. There we were, all decked out in our Razorback gear, sitting in the middle of Aggie territory. Across the way, we could see all the Arkansans calling the Hogs.

Here are Bethany and Stacey at halftime. Who cares if we're sitting on the wrong side...We're having fun anyway!

You know, as a non-native Arkansan, I've never been able to call the Hogs without some degree of embarrassed self-consciousness. "Wooooooo Pig Sooooooie," just doesn't roll off my lips effortlessly, and I've never felt the need to wear one of those rubber pig noses. As someone who views sports as entertainment and not as life and death, I've always thought some Arkansas fans were just a little over the top in their enthusiasm for their team. But the Razorback fans have nothing on Texas A & M fans. The hog call is mild compared to all the crazy chants and songs that these people had. They had these cheerleader guys dressed in white who led the crowd in a huge variety of cheers, which contained a mixture of cuss words and what appeared to me to be obscene gestures. And the entire crowd participated. It was actually pretty amazing to look around us and see them going through these elaborate series of motions, chants, and cheers. They did have a very cute mascot (much cuter than Tusk!) who didn't seem to share the crowd's enthusiasm.

My favorite part of a football game is halftime, because I really enjoy watching the bands march. And I was not disappointed. The announcer informed us that this is the largest Razorback band ever, with 375 members, and they pretty much covered the entire field. They were excellent, but since we were on the Aggie side, they marched with their backs to us.

The Aggie band was also outstanding. They wear military-style uniforms and marched with true military precision. I don't think they ever stopped marching during their entire performance. Here they are as they were leaving the field.

The Aggie fans didn't really appreciate us Razorback fans, especially as we kept standing up and cheering whenever our team did anything good. Bethany and Stacey even got hollered at to sit down one time after the Hogs scored a touchdown, which I thought was a little ridiculous since the people behind us weren't going to miss anything with that giant screen hanging down. But we did try to be considerate, and I thought Brad in particular did a pretty good job of containing himself as the Hogs ended up winning the game 24-17. One Aggie fan behind us even offered to take our picture, which I thought was nice.

You know, it's kind of funny that the biggest Razorback fan in our house (besides Brad, I suppose) was Hannah. Bless her heart, she inherited her athletic ability from me, which means she got none! Oh, she enthusiastically played soccer, basketball, and softball when she was younger, just never very well. As she got older, she realized that academics were her forte, but she remained an avid sports fan. She loved watching Darren McFadden and Felix Jones when they were playing for Arkansas, and of course, she was Bethany's biggest fan as she was playing basketball. She would have loved being at that game yesterday.

But just like we found ourselves sitting rather awkwardly in the middle of all those Aggie fans yesterday, as Christians, we find ourselves out of place every day here on this earth. We couldn't really get too comfortable where we were yesterday, and I don't think God wants any of us to get too comfortable with where we are in our lives either. Hannah wasn't at the game with us yesterday, and we definitely missed her....but she is where she was created to be. She'll never have another awkward, out-of-place type experience. What an incredible thought! And until I'm reunited with her in Heaven someday, I know that I'll never be completely comfortable here again. And for that, I'm actually thankful.


Angie said...

What a great reminder, Jill. God continually reminds me of that living overseas. I get homesick for the familiar, yet even when we return to the U.S. we are out of place because we've been gone so long. You are so right - we were not created to feel at home here.

It looks like you had a great time at the game. That stadium looks amazing!

Kecia said...

Angie sent me here--great truth in the midst of football. :) I'm thankful my "mixed marriage" survived the game! My Aggie husband would want me to let you know that they don't have cheerleaders, they have yell leaders, and he would be ashamed of the ones who told you to sit down because "true Ags" stand throughout the entire game anyway.
I've learned a lot married to that man. :)