Arkansas fans coming back from Houston after Arkansas beats Texas on Monday night have a shot at some cheap thrills. Stop in Marshall, Texas on the way back Tuesday to see Fuzzy Harmon celebrate with a Texas fan.
Harmon is poised to pick up another winning bet, just as his father did for so many years riding in a wheelbarrow around the Harrison County courthouse in downtown Marshall.
Actually, it's not clear if Fuzzy can reap the benefits of the full bet with Judge Jim Ammerman, Jr. The retiring judge has a bad heart and can't push the wheelbarrow.
“I guess I'm going to push it either way,” Fuzzy said. “But we'll dress him up in Razorback gear after the Hogs win the game. I want to welcome all Razorback fans on the way back from Houston to stop by. It's at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday. We'll probably have some local TV folks there to film and we want a lot of Razorback fans there.”
It's a regular bet with the two whenever Arkansas plays Texas, just as Fuzzy's father had with Jim Ammerman, Sr., for many years. It was something the two sons were glad to continue.
There's not a bigger Razorback fan in Harrison County than Fuzzy Harmon. He proudly holds his father's ticket from the 1969 Great Shootout, still in mint condition.
“I don't know why, but my dad walked in with the band that day,” Fuzzy said. “So his ticket stub wasn't torn. I have it in perfect shape, but he definitely was in the stands for that game even though his ticket wasn't torn.”
There's nothing like what a Razorback fan goes through living in Texas. It may not exactly be the same as in the days of the Southwest Conference when the Hogs were the road team to everyone in the league. But nothing compares to the treatment they receive from Longhorn fans. They can be disrespectful.
There's plenty of truth that Longhorn fans don't respect anyone and it makes them the easiest football team to hate. They think they are the biggest, baddest thing in their big, bad state. I asked former Arkansas coach Frank Broyles to explain it a few years ago. He did it as well as anyone.
"Everybody hates Texas," he said. "People don't always say it, but they are the team everyone hates.
"They know everyone hates them and they take pride in that. Let me say, they have the fan base, the talent and they can handle it."
Why does everyone hate Texas?
"They are arrogant," he said. "You talk to their fans, they don't think anyone is of their equal as far as academics or in athletics. Arrogant.
"Their arrogance is because of their success. They've earned their arrogance. They have all of the advantages."
It's just that which will make Fuzzy's bet fun to collect. He's enjoyed that ride from Jim Ammerman with the local media filming.
“Tell folks to stop by,” he said. “It's always fun. I've pushed two times, he's pushed two times. We picked this up from our daddies and our time has been since we left the SWC.”
Fuzzy has never liked Longhorn fans. He recalls the time a local bunch put a pig's head in his father's bed after the 1966 Cotton Bowl.
“It was after LSU ended the 22-game winning streak,” Fuzzy said. “I was 9-years-old. My father was so upset that after we got home from the game, he went straight to bed, distraught as anyone would be.
“Three Longhorn fans knocked on the door. My mom recognized them as friend's of my father and let them in, why I still don't know. They had that pig's head -- I think it was frozen -- wrapped in butcher paper. They put it in my dad's bed. He woke up and found it. That was before the Godfather movie came out with the horse's head in the bed. So I don't know why they did that.”
It's a horrible memory.
“I've never forgotten and I always want to beat those Longhorns as bad as we can,” Fuzzy said. “I still don't know why my mom let them in. When I get to Heaven and can talk to her, that's one of the first things I'm going to ask her.”
Until then, only one thing matters. Beat Texas!
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