By: Dallas Bowlin
Senior Staff Writer
The All Vol Call in Show
Senior staff writer Dallas Bowlin went undercover earlier this week to get an idea of why the Arkansas fan base despises Tennessee so much.
One of the most recent emerging rivalries in college sports is between two storied SEC programs; the Tennessee Volunteers, and the Arkansas Razorbacks. From the Tennessee side of things, It’s not clear when the rivalry exactly began, or really even why.
Arkansas is easily the more successful program when it comes to baseball and basketball, the only thing Tennessee really has over Arkansas is football, and the Razorbacks have even had the edge there, winning the last three games in the series. In baseball, Tennessee has only made it to the finals of the World Series once – all the way back in 1951, and they lost. When it comes to basketball, Arkansas won the National Championship in 1994, and were the runners-up in 1995. Tennessee has never even made it to the Final Four; a feat Arkansas had done six times.
So, is it the recent basketball win in Thompson-Boling Arena? Is it the whole ‘Jaylin Williams flopping’ incident? Is it Tony Vitello being a former Arkansas assistant? Do they feel Tennessee is trying to take their spot? I asked myself all of the above, and couldn’t get a final answer. So, I ventured into enemy territory, and joined Hogville.net, an Arkansas message board, to hear it straight from the horse's mouth. Here’s what I received back from the Razorback faithful:
One poster who wished to stay anonymous had this to say: “Y'all look too much like Texas and wear that ugly orange,” he said. “Also, it still goes back to the Stoernover in 1998 I believe. I don't know. I don't like any SEC team really, other than UGA or SC. They are bearable. The rest can kick rocks. Hope they lose every game.”
“Andrew Hogfan” had a simple answer: 1998.
“Boardon Hamsay” (great name by the way) went a little more in detail, saying: “I think the most recent round of hate comes from UT baseball doing very well this year, and having a former Hog assistant as the head coach. A lot of Hog fans quickly turned on Tony after he and Dave Van Horn had their heated discussion during the SEC Tournament last year. UT’s success in baseball this year has only fueled more Hog fans to hate UT as of late, and some of this is very near-term envy based, especially given the Hogs are inconsistent with the bats this year.”
“Rufus” let his opinion be known without holding back any punches: “Have you watched how the baseball team behaves? I’ve seen more maturity and less drama at a Quinceanera.”
Finally, “DoctorSusscrofa “refuses to acknowledge Tennessee at all, asking who I was even talking about.
All in all, it was a very pleasant trip over to Hogville. There were some exceptions, as with all fan bases, but they seemed to be pretty cordial for the most part. Now, when on the court, on the field, or on the diamond, that is a whole other story.
It’s safe to say that this rivalry will likely continue, and potentially blossom.