The Universal Language of the Razorback October 31, 2011Posted by Matt in Razorbacks.
Tags: Arkansas Razorbacks, drive-by truckers, faith in humanity, interconnectedness, Memphis, Mississippi
Saturday night I had the opportunity to see one of my all-time favorite bands, the Drive-By Truckers, in concert again. It was an incredible show and I’ll have a separate post about that later (today?), but there was another phenomenon that took place prior to the band gracing the stage that captured my attention, something that again renewed my belief in humanity and interconnectedness of the universe.
I’m an Arkansan by birth, hailing from a small town in central Arkansas, so naturally I carry a strong affinity for the gridiron heroes of my home state, the Razorbacks. I have a deep and abiding affection for my fellow Arkansans, those who don plastic hog hats and pig snouts and give a great Woo Pig Sooie at any and all occasions, from weddings to funerals to just the general celebration of life. For nearly 8 years, though, I’ve been somewhat removed from my people, a stranger in a strange land, like the Israelites of old toiling away ‘neath the harsh rule of an Egyptian pharaoh. But, my predicament may be even worse, for these isn’t merely a totalitarian government seeking to enslave my people and kill our children, no, it is even worse.
I live in Mississippi, surrounded by Ole Miss fans.
Yet there is no prophet rising up to lead the people out of exile, to part the rushing waters of the Mississippi river and lead us back to the promised land, and away from the accursed calls of “Hotty Toddy.” The despair can sometimes be great, even unbearable, but occasionally my faith is rekindled.
Saturday, as you may recall, my beloved Razorbacks eked out a victory against the mighty Vanderbilt Commodores, in a game that may rank as one of the most entertaining thus far in 2011. So, as I chose concert-going clothes from my wardrobe (Is this clean? Not sure. Does it smell bad? No, so it’s probably ok.), I made sure to grab one article to proclaim my allegiance: a baseball cap with a Razorback featured prominently, glowing in its maroon majesty.
The friends with whom I planned on attending the show were all unable to go, but that did little to deter my enthusiasm. I mean, it’s the Drive-By Truckers, how could I ever miss that? So, I parked a short distance from the New Daisy Theater, and walked over to the building alone, but not feeling any real sense of aloneness. We’re all Trucker fans here and soon any subconscious unease was alleviated.
I walked into the theater, grabbed a PBR and strode down the runway, just one of a multitude fans beginning to fill the building. As I walked, I heard an unfamiliar voice call out from one side, “Hey, man! Woo Pig Sooie!”
I turned and saw a small contingent of young men smiling and waving. I waved back, “Barely, but we did it again.”
“Hell yeah we did!”
I nodded, gave a little fist pump, and walked on, eventually coming to a halt in the second section, the first elevated one from the stage. I had little desire to be in what would no doubt be a sweaty mass of humanity directly in front of the stage, so I settled into a spot where I would be able to easily see the band and have room to move around if I so chose. I stood in my place, sipping my PBR and enjoying the good sport of people watching (always interesting at a DBT show) when I heard another voice, this time a female one, call out, “Hey, you from Arkansas?”
Turning back, I saw a middle aged woman standing next to a couple gesturing to me. I walked the few yards over to them and answered, “Yeah, I’m originally from Beebe, but now I live here.”
After that there were numerous others, some serenading me with a “Woo Pig” and others with a simple “Go Hogs,” our common language and homeland binding us together with an invisible force, reminding me that I’m not in this alone.
Though separated by miles and invisible borders, we’re all Razorbacks and we wear it with pride.
Woo Pig Sooie!