Sun, Scrimmage and Reggae

Arkansas head football coach Bret Bielema is an admitted lover of reggae music and brought some of his favorite tunes to the field on Saturday to get his team ready for its open scrimmage.

For likely the first-time ever, the pre-game for an Arkansas scrimmage had a serious Rastafarian feel to it.

That's because the 18 songs played during stretching and early drills were all reggae ones from Razorback head coach Bret Bielema's Ipod.

He explains how he got o that after discussions with video coordinator, who left Iowa after 24 years to come to Arkansas:

"I was beating up our video coordinator Matt Englebert when I first got here because I walked into my head coach's office and it was early, early morning and I like light music and air," Bielema said. "It was a dark office, there was no music set up and there was no vented window. It was like I was in a tomb.

"So I took a cardboard box and I propped open the door and told the video guy to get me some type of music and brought in a lamp for my desk," Bielema added. "He put like 18 to 20 songs on my Ipod and he knew I liked reggae. He had researched that.

"I was beating him up the other day because I was here late last night and I have been listening to those same 18 songs since December," Bielema continued. "I am like the most inept, computer-challenged person. I don't know what ITunes is. I've heard of it, but I don't know what that is. I have never bought an app in my life and I don't know what that means.

"So last night Matt Englebert brought down his IPad and said here is 188 of my favorite tunes," Bielema said. "He said just tell me the ones you don't like. I am on 128 and I haven't found one yet that I do like.

"So they were going to hook it up today and I said just go grab my IPod off my desk because I know there is 18 great jams on there," Bielema continued. "That's how it happened and it happened about five minutes before practice today."

Bielema thought the players and the fans enjoyed the music.

"It was kind of neat up there with the sun and the beat," Bielema said. "I realize kids love music and it kind of gets them poppin' a little bit and that's the only reason you do it. But somebody wants rock, somebody wants rap, somebody wants country, somebody wants gospel so you've got to blend it.

"So today was my mix and we'll figure it out from here," Bielema added. "Seem to put everybody in a good mood. I was in a good mood."

Bielema said he decided Wednesday to open what had previously been announced as a scrimmage closed to the public.

"I meant it when I said it and one thing you guys are going to learn about me is – grandma always said ‘if you always tell the truth, you don't have to remember what you said,'" Bielema said.

"I really just felt at the beginning phases of this development of our program and working with our kids that I just wanted to work with them in an environment that was just us and them," Bielema added. "We could correct off film and we could talk with the media, but I didn't really want to hear a bunch of people's opinions of what was going on until I felt good about the product.

"So I started thinking about it a couple of weeks ago," Bielema added. "I knew I was going to open at least one to give everybody a chance to come in and see what we are talking about plus it energizes kids getting through the hump week here.

"We had to bring them a little bit of energy and the good man upstairs worked out with some weather and our kids were pumped and excited about it and hopefully we gave everybody a good little show," Bielema continued.

"I was going to do it from Wednesday forward, but I didn't want 15,000 people," Bielema related. "I thought if I let it out too early it might get too crazy. I also was worried about the weather because if we had to go inside we couldn't have done it. So that was the major driving force."

Bret Bielema

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