State of the Hogs: Destructive Performance

It could be a description of the Arkansas basketball team, but this tandem is fast, quick and explosive on a different hardwood floor.

They attacked with speed, quickness and strength. Their long limbs were everywhere. They destroyed the opposition, like nothing I've seen of late on this hardwood floor.

They played like a first-place team.

The destruction left in their wake was nothing short of impressive.

Amazingly, that could have been a description of the way the Arkansas basketball team performed Wednesday night at Bud Walton Arena. The Hogs toyed with LSU en route to an 87-52 victory that kept them in first place in the SEC West.

No, that was what happened in my house during the game. Our two chocolate lab puppies trashed several rooms, most notably my study and my fly fishing gear.

Rocky and Rosie, not quite nine months old and weighing in at around 70 pounds, were organized and thorough in their rampage, much like the Hogs.

The pups systematically went through a box with fly tying material, scattering olive feathers throughout the house. They spread fur from different packages into several rooms. They opened a box with my waders just returned from the Simms factory where they had been refurbished and with pin holes patched. Anyone want to test wade them?

A vintage Granger bamboo fly rod escaped damage, a miracle. The pups chewed one end of the rod tube completely off. The rod tip had to be only an inch away.

I was editing pictures from the basketball game in the media room in Bud Walton Arena when I got a text from my daughter: Can't blame me this time, pups trashed the house.

That references an earlier free-for-all. Sarah had been in charge of feeding the pups when we were on a weekend trip. She hadn't locked the door from the deck and they tripped the door handle. They didn't do too much damage. Basically, they pulled the toilet paper from all of the bathrooms. It was over couches.

That time it was fun. They were too little then to wreak much havoc. This time, it was different. They got in MY stuff. Back to blame, all on me. I had fed them just before we left for the basketball game. I locked the back door, but it must not have caught. I did not, apparently, set the dead bolt. It didn't take much to push the door open.

Interestingly, they did their work in the dark. Much time was spent on the couch in my study. A wicker trash basket was destroyed there and many other pieces of items from other rooms were there, too. Everything looks near normal already. My study is put back together. The Granger rod is safely tucked into a closet. I'm not sure about the waders, but there is no low water to fish so I'll just have to wait a few weeks.

That's what I decided must be done with this Arkansas basketball team, too. Things look normal now, Arkansas back atop the SEC West. But these Hogs are a lot like that old Granger fly rod, very fragile -- and a little bit lucky.

Things fell just right for the Hogs several times during this five-game winning streak. Alabama lost one of its best players at a key point in the second half when he took a cheap shot at Rotnei Clarke. LSU lost one of its best players in the first half to an ankle sprain.

Indeed, the Hogs have also been fortunate in some of those close calls in the final minutes. Courtney Fortson has been to the line a bunch in those victories. Hopefully, SEC referees will continue to call those falls when he goes into the lanes with those tough drives.

Don't get too carried away with this 6-3 start to SEC play. The back door could be left unlocked at any moment. Chaos might return.

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