Arkansas legislature trying to create Razorbacks-Red Wolves game
Posted by: Chris Vannini on March 18, 2013
Arkansas State football has been on the rise in recent years, and some people want to see them battle the top team in the state: the Razorbacks.
A bill has been proposed in the Arkansas House of Representatives that would require the Hogs and the Red Wolves from playing a one-time game at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.
HB 2274 was authored by Reps. Andy Mayberry (R-Hensley) and Harold Copenhaver (D-Jonesboro). Who says Republicans and Democrats can't come together anymore?
Mayberry joined SportsTalk With Bo Mattingly to talk about the bill, including what it means to the state and if it's too "trivial."
"There a lot of different answers to that question, and a lot of it depends on who you ask," he said. "Why it's important for one person is not what it's important for someone else. Some people may say this is a trivial thing. I will tell you, from the amount of response, both pro and con and so forth, I don't think you can say it's trivial. In the state of Arkansas, football, and Hog football especially, are not trivial events."
A website has been set up, ArkansasASUBenefit.com to get public feedback. Fans could vote until last Saturday night if they wanted to see the game or not. Mayberry said if most people didn't want it, he would pull the bill. More than 25,000 votes were cast, with 51.8 percent of people wanting it, so it's certainly not an overwhelming majority.
The game's proceeds would go to charity, and fans could vote on which one. More than 70 percent of the votes went to the Arkansas Children's Hospital.
There's no date set for when this game would happen. The bill started in the House Education committee, but was moved to the House Rules committee.
A state legislature getting involved in an in-state rivalry is nothing new. In January, a similar bill was proposed in the Texas House of Representatives to try to get Texas and Texas A&M playing each other again.
In the 1940s, the Alabama congress passed a resolution to encourage Alabama and Auburn to pick up their football rivalry again, which ended up happening. In the 1950s, the Florida legislature proposed a bill requiring that Florida and Florida State face each other in many sports. It didn't pass, but the state governor stepped in and was able to get the rivalry started.
The people are Arkansas seem to be split, but you can bet Bryan Harsin and Arkansas State would love to see this game, with everything to gain.
You can listen to Mayberry's interview by clicking here.
Chris Vannini is the lead writer for CoachingSearch.com and has covered Michigan State sports for The State News, The Oakland Press and MLive.com. He writes a weekly column for the Detroit Free Press on behalf of SB Nation. Vannini lives in Big Ten country, so his foot speed is far from SEC caliber, but his pulse on coaches is hard to match. Be sure to follow @CoachingBuzz on twitter and send your feedback to email@example.com