Name Change Needed

Here's an early look at the State of the Hogs column penned by editor Clay Henry that appears in the Nov. 4 edition of the print version. Henry writes that with the passing of Razorback fan Scott Corbin, the Webhogs golf tournament should carry the Corbin name.

This was supposed to be more info on Arkansas' 44-10 victory over Louisiana-Monroe in this space, but I just didn't have the energy for it.

Not after the news Thursday afternoon that Scott Corbin, 40, one of my favorite Arkansas fans, had passed away in his recliner at home near Hot Springs.

Scott Corbin was the man who called me about six years ago as my father battled cancer to inquire if the Henry family would object if the Webhogs Razorback Club named their annual fund-raiser after Orville Henry.

No, my father thought that was grand and promised to attend — and possibly participate — if he had the strength. He did not.

Chemotheraphy reduced his golf to chipping and putting at Hot Springs Country Club, his home club, for the last 18 months of his life.

Scott loved OH. He grew up reading him in the old Arkansas Gazette, like most Razorback fans. He told me on the phone, "The idea that your father would agree to let us name our fund-raiser after him is one of my personal highlights. I'm just thrilled. I promise to make this as good a tournament as is possible. We will do it up right for him."

Of course, Scott did just that. They had that first tournament at a course near Hot Springs while Scott worked patiently to find suitable dates at my dad's favorite course, Hot Springs CC.

My father lived the last 10 years of his life in Malvern, but he loved to drive to HSCC to walk those beautiful hills and carry his bag. Scott knew that and finally persuaded the HSCC bosses to accept the OH Webhogs Golf tournament.

That's where it was played the last four years. The new clubhouse and the rebuilt course, with new greens designed by Ben Crenshaw and his partners, made it the perfect setting.

Of course, Scott did it right. The Webhogs wives manned the carts to make sure players never lacked anything and there were always fun side games scattered along the course, including a game at the 18th with Scott's son, Scottie, holing putts to reduce each team's score — if they pitched a little extra money for the Razorback Foundation into a can.

The evening banquet was always a blast because that's what Scott Corbin did best, throw a party. He was always known as the Webhog Razorback Club's resident disc jockey and he brought in elaborate equipment (along with wireless headset and mike) to emcee the event with lively dance music.

It may surprise some, but that is what my father would have liked best. He loved music. His tape collection in his Malvern home may have rivaled Scott's and he loved to turn up the music in his car so loud that riding companions often pleaded for mercy.

Scott Corbin didn't cut any corners on the OH Webhogs Golf Tournament trophy. He located a glass artist in Florida soon after the first tournament ended and contracted to have a beautiful glass trophy of my father standing with a golf club.

There are no trophies that compare for any other golf tournament played in our state.

It's that trophy that has inspired my brother — along with his two golfing sons — to roll in from South Carolina, El Paso and Dallas to join me in a Henry foursome. There is the slight hope that we could someday earn the right to hold that traveling trophy for one year.

We've finished second twice. Last year, we were 10-under after 11 holes and thought we had it. We choked, finishing at 13-under and lost by one shot. I'm sure OH was watching and laughing as we jabbed at all of those short birdie putts down the stretch.

Scott Corbin always humored us at the evening party, presenting us with the special flags with the neat caricature of OH. We always knew we would at least go home with that fine memento.

Of course, this is my own special memory of what Scott Corbin means to me, but he was that and more to all of the Webhogs, the most dedicated Razorback tailgaters. It didn't matter if the Hogs were going to be playing in the Ozarks, in Little Rock or in Columbia, S.C., it was a safe bet that Corbin and his Webhog buddies were going to be there and set up a day in advance in the best possible place. They would not be hard to find.

Listen for the loudest and best Razorback music, courtesy of Scott, and you were on the right track.

There were a few visual giveaways. There would be Scott's big white trailer, with Hog Wild Radio painted in neat letters on either side. It was a custom-made wagon perfect for hauling his huge speakers.

We are going to miss all of that. That's selfish of me because I know there are others much closer to Scott Corbin who are hurting in a different way. Young Scottie is having a hard time trying to comprehend how his so young father, so vibrant one day, could be gone the next. His beautiful wife, Jeanene, is having to explain that and find ways to cope herself.

True to form, Jeanene came to the Webhogs tailgate Saturday to be with the families many friends and then on to the Hogs' game with ULM. She wanted to stay to the end, but she didn't make it, heading home early in the game.

I've got this message to Jeanene Corbin. We will not forget Scott, not the Henry family. A quick phone poll Friday produced a unanimous vote from my family that the OH Webhogs Golf Tournament needs a name change.

From this point forward, Scott's tournament should be just that, The Scott Corbin Memorial Webhogs Golf Tournament.

I don't know if we can get a statue of Scott Corbin, but that's what ought to happen. I'll use the same words Scott used when he called me six years ago. My family would be "thrilled" if the tournament continues under Scott's name. <

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