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Fan Apathy An Issue At Arkansas?

When fans start leaving a game in the second quarter, it’s not a real good sign.  And that’s just what happened during Alabama’s thrashing of free-falling Arkansas.  What’s it mean?  According to Doc Harper of, it means AD Jeff Long needs to start worrying about the psyche of the Razorback fanbase:


“In a matter of eight days, events have resulted in fans blaming Athletic Director Jeff Long, former coach Bobby Petrino, the current coaches, and some have even blamed players. One has to wonder how much more the Arkansas fan base can absorb. After spending several seasons passionately pining for the removal of Houston Nutt, fans seemed to have the answer to all of their questions in Petrino. After a brief taste of the high life in college football, the program feels like it’s back at square one.”


So it only takes some Arkansas fans eight days and two losses to jump from their beloved cardinal-and-white (and now black and silver, too) ship?  Yes.  Is that an indictment of a fanbase made up frontrunners?  Not really.  It says more about today’s culture than it does about Arkansas fans.

With the prices fans have to pay to go to games, the smallest reason to stay home often leads many to do just that.  In an instant gratification society, the gratification needs to be both instant and constant.  Or else.

Don’t believe me?  Let Nick Saban lose back-to-back games and there would be a few Alabama fans who’d start barking about complacency.  Guaranteed.

As Harper astutely points out, the current situation in Fayetteville could impact who Long brings in as the school’s next coach:  “Now, if the new coach fails to generate instant enthusiasm, will fans have the patience to wait for success?”

The key word in his closing sentence?  Instant.

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