State Of The Hogs

I got up this morning and wondered who I have offended, who I have lied about or who I have spoken badly to in my little world.

I'm sure I have disappointed someone somewhere with the way I have conducted business at hawgsillustrated.com or on the radio or in our print magazine. I haven't done anything with KATV in a few weeks, so at least I haven't frustrated anyone in that medium.

Finally, I shrugged my shoulders and decided to have some fun. I went outside and talked to my dog, Charlie Brown, a 2-year-old, 75-pound chocolate lab with more energy and love than anything else. He wanted me to rub his neck, ears and under his collar. He wanted to chase the ball. Ultimately, he really tried to do anything he could to make me happy. In his simple little way, he hit a home run.

Charlie Brown distracted me from the circus for a few minutes this morning. But only for a few. Eventually, I began to talk to him about all of the goofy, strange stuff that has happened in Razorback sports. He didn't understand and I was jealous.

Charlie Brown is doing great. He doesn't know Houston Nutt, Gus Malzahn, Mitch Mustain, Damian Williams, Stan Heath, Nolan Richardson, Frank Broyles, John White, Stanley Reed or anyone else at the University of Arkansas, past or present.

Outside of immediate family, the only person he knows is the gas meter reader man. He barks at him and even growls. But he has kept his distance because he doesn't trust anyone who comes in the side gate, only those who enter his domain through the door between the patio and our den.

I talked to Charlie Brown about the happenings with the UA sports scene, that there may be a new boss of the athletic department for the first time in about 50 years. He brought me his ball and sat in front of me. He didn't seem to care.

I talked to Charle Brown about the prospects of basketball and that the Hogs are unlikely to play in the NCAA tournament this season. I told Charlie Brown that may be bad news for Stan Heath. Charlie Brown cocked his head and dropped the ball that I had forgotten to throw and brought me a rope to invite a game of tug-of-war.

I talked to Charlie Brown about Houston Nutt, about the prospects of a yet-to-be confirmed buyout of his contract. I explained that I don't know if there is anything to it and that probably it's just another rumor that couldn't be confirmed even if it was true. Charlie Brown dropped the rope and brought me a stuffed duck that makes a squeaky noise that aggravates the dogs next door. He squeaked it a couple of times to get my attention.

I talked to Charlie Brown about John White, the man who is supposed to run the UA. I told Charlie Brown that things may change now that he is truly running the school. I told him that some think that is bad and just as many think it is good. Charlie Brown brought me a stick and put it in my lap.

I told Charlie Brown that I really didn't know what to believe anymore. I explained that most will tell you a snippet of truth and then something else that is something they really want you to believe is the absolute most important fact in the world. I told Charlie Brown not to believe any of it. Charlie Brown then put two muddy paws on my knees and licked me right in the face, and right into one of my ears. I call them Charlie Brown's wet willies. I quickly threw the stick.

I told Charlie Brown all I want to do is treat others right each and every minute of every day. I told Charlie Brown that the best thing is to believe only what you really see with your own eyes. The best thing is to be as careful as you can as to who you trust. I explained that a wise old man once told me that the people you love and respect are the ones you really listen to, no one else.

Charlie then cocked his head to one side. I think he wanted to tell me something about the gas meter reader man that perhaps I don't know. I looked around to see if all of Charlie Brown's toys were still in the yard. Hmmm, the tennis ball on a rope was gone. Perhaps I know why the gas meter reader man gets the rough treatment.

But it's only a guess since Charlie Brown can't discuss it with me. I bet he is glad he couldn't understand the stuff I was telling him about the UA sports scene. It is much too complex, too deep and too dark right now. I told Charlie Brown that it was time for me to go to work. He seemed sad — not about the UA sports scene, only that I was going back through that door to the den.

Man, I ache for Charlie Brown's world. If I see the gas meter reader man, I'm going to ask him about the tennis ball attached to the rope. Come to think of it, anyone else who comes through the side gate is subject to question, too. I'm going to view things just like Charlie Brown.



CLAY HENRY IS THE PUBLISHER OF HAWGS ILLUSTRATED, A STEPHENS MEDIA GROUP PUBLICATION. HIS COLUMN APPEARS EACH FRIDAY. E-MAIL: CLAY@NWAONLINE.NET

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