We've got some time to kill before college football comes back into our lives. Since I am known as a helpful and informative person (probably not true), I am gonna take the next however many weeks and offer you thorough reviews of each SEC stadium. And by thorough review, I mean I'll be using my exceptional bias, Google reviews, and lots of colored lines hand drawn on Google maps.
My qualifications for such an endeavor are that I've been to all the SEC stadiums but Missourah's, usually to witness a skull-dragging of Ole Miss, and I can look up stuff on Google Maps pretty quickly. I suggest that you file these informative reports away for your road trip destinations this season so you won't end up like that pair of Oklahoma State fans I saw walking around a couple of miles away from the old Cotton Bowl, waiting to be murdered.
To keep you from becoming disoriented, you need to know where things are in relation to the stadium. Once you master the lay of the land, you can maximize your time engaging in various pregame activities and, most importantly, avoid asking Arkansas fans because you don't want to listen to a 37-point lecture on the evils of Houston Nutt, a man that last coached at Arkansas five years ago.
This guide should help you move seamlessly around the stadium.
(right-click for seeability)
Of course Houston Nutt has a house within eyesight of the stadium. It's pretty hard to undermine a program when you're not living in close proximity. As for the John L. Smith points of observation, I refer you to this to have the slightest understanding of what I'm talking about.
And one of the nicer parts of a trip to Fayetteville in the late fall, one that doesn't fit on this map, is the foliage of the Ozarks. I'm talking some SERIOUS FOLIAGE HERE PEOPLE. It almost makes you forget about the strip of concrete hell called I-40.
Once you've finished your pregame festivities and make your way into the stadium, it's important to know where to look for things. Again, you want to avoid asking Arkansas fans questions that could lead to further discussions. I really can't stress that enough. With that in mind, here's an in-stadium guide.
(right-click for seeability)
Three things I remember from my trip here. One, the jumbotron here was one of the first REALLY REALLY big ones that are pretty common now, so my face had a lot of slackjaw in it that day. In fact, as I watched another David Cutcliffe team crumble in the face of average talent, I found that watching the defeat on the biggest screen I'd ever seen soothed my rage and created a thirst for giant screens that still lives today.
Two, I got to see this bit of streaking excellence:
On a personal note, the last picture reminded me about Eric Oliver (#26 above). To avoid excessive rage on a Friday afternoon, I will casually mention that I did not enjoy the Eric Oliver era at safety. Not one bit.
/Eric Oliver taunts Gray
/Gray runs by Eric Oliver for a touchdown
And finally, the Goldie McClendon asterisk. Again, to avoid excessive rage, I'll be brief. Arkansas scores, kicks off, Goldie drops the kick-off in the end zone, Goldie takes half a century to go over and kneel on it for a touchback, glory boy Arkansas special teamer dives into Goldie as he gets to the ball, a scrum ensues, Arkansas recovers for a touchdown, and two minutes later Gray is exiting Reynolds Razorback stadium, staring a seven-hour drive back to Oxford in the face. NOT GOOD TIMES.
But enough of my bias. What about the people? The razor-thin segment of the population who are Arkansas fans, can work the Internets without spending all of their time besmirching Houston Nutt or filing a Freedom of Information Act request, and take the time to write a Google review. What do they have to say?
So there you have it. Reynolds Razorback Stadium has raised the bar, someone would prefer an empty stadium, Tony the Tiger might be an Arkansas fan, and THE HAWGS, SON!!!
Get more great analysis over at Belly of the Beast.