Daly Event to be Fun Time

Hawgs Illustrated publisher Clay Henry remembers last year's Daly Days and reminds fans that this year's event is a can't-miss happening.

Pardon me for jumping ahead one whole week. No, I'm not looking past Vanderbilt, but I didn't want to wait until next Friday to write about one of my favorite events in the calendar year.

If I did that, I was afraid some would have already filled their social docket for the Alabama weekend and couldn't squeeze in one of the year's fun events.

I like it because it's Razorback-related, golf-related and music-related. It's about as close to perfect as I know. If they figure out a way to incorporate fly fishing, that would be perfection. But knowing John Daly, that's probably not going to happen. I figure he's a bass fisherman type and wouldn't wear anything with Orvis on it.

John Daly Days looms on the horizon and I'm pumped. There's a VIP private party on Thursday night at the Gypsy. There's golf Thursday when former players join with Daly to play the current team in a Ryder Cup-style event. There is golf all day Friday with UA alumni in a pro-am styled event. Then there's a concert Friday night with Hootie and the Blowfish on Friday night at the Tyson Track Center.

Daly will roll into town Wednesday in his big bus and all of his musical buddies will arrive on Thursday. There's Hootie and the Blowfish, one of my personal favorites. (Yes, I can sing along with Darius Rucker and have all of their music in my truck CD player.) And, there's also country singers Steve Azar (related by marriage to the local Nabholz clan), Doug Stone and Johnny Lee.

Of course, there will likely be numbers that include Daly. Last year, seeing Frank Broyles dance along while Hootie and the Blowfish played their hits was worth the price of admission. Well, dance might not be the right way to describe what Frank was doing front and center.

Azar has just released a new music video now playing on the CMT channel featuring Daly. We all remember Daly singing the national anthem at last year's Vandy game with Johnny Lee, the man who sang Urban Cowboy in the movie by the same name.

Doug Stone will be the one that country music fans recognize the most. He has around a dozen hits, most of them a few years back. I'm more of a George Strait guy, but Stone has a lot of fans, too.

I went to the event last year at the AMP with a wait-and-see attitude. I didn't know what kind of production would be presented that night, but I was in the mood to participate with my wallet since the charities involved were the Arkansas golf team and the Boys and Girls Club of Fayetteville.

Stunned is the description for what I felt when I left. Along with my wife and daughters, I'm a big Hootie fan and was just delighted with the quality of the show. They played long and hard and delivered a fantastic show full of their old classics and some of their new hits that led me to go out the next day and buy their new album. I listened to it again as I came to work today.

The venue is changed this year to accomodate many more fans. The Tyson Track Center will unveil a new configuration that protects the VIP seating in front of the stage, but also makes room for the general admission fans to come down front to dance.

As event chair Shannon Shelton said, "We know Darius is going to get people to the front in a true concert atmosphere, so we made the VIP seating in pie shape so that the narrow part of the pie comes to the front. That's the way Darius wants it."

I'm not a concert person. I've been to about four or five my entire life. But this one was a blast last year.

It's the perfect tuneup for Saturday afternoon's Arkansas-Alabama football game. It isn't expensive and the seating promises to be loose and comfortable. I'm guessing there will be 2,500 to 3,000 in an facility that will comfortably seat 4,000. And, they've set it up so that there will be something for everyone as far as perks.

There's a $200 ticket that will get you into a VIP area where you can meet the singers. There's a $100 VIP ticket that will get you into the pie shape area down front with table seating. Both of those get food from Hooters, Daly's friends, and some coupons for adult beverages. Then, there is general admission tickets at the $50 and $20 level and both will be plenty close to the action, including elevated bleacher seats.

"We are cutting down the size of the arena with curtains and moving everyone close," Shannon said. "It's going to be plenty of room, but still cozy. And, we are bringing in top sound equipment to make sure the concert sounds great."

There are two ways to get tickets. For VIP tickets, or to buy a team in the golf outing, you can call Shannon personally on her cell (Pretty lady, do you really want me to put your cell in the paper? Yes, she does.) at 479-466-7710. For general admission tickets, you can go on line at ticketsage.com where you can buy and print your ticket coupon at your computer. Tickets will also be sold at the door.

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