Evin Demirel: Bitchin’ About Tickets – Razorback Football Tickets a Hot Item


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Filed under “The More Things Change, the More  Things Stay the Same” – It was 50 years ago this week a column was published because of changes in the way Razorback football tickets were being doled out.

Jack Keady, the Arkansas Democrat sports columnist, realizes in 1963 Razorback football have become a hot ticket. The Razorbacks enter the fall ranked No. 8 and over the last five seasons have nearly eclipsed Texas for the best winning percentage in the Southwest Conference.

But he’s worried.

He’s worried some of the fans who have supported the program through the thin before all this thick are now being being left outside in the cold. TheseRazorback football tickets baylor 1963 same fans, he writes, have faithfully ordered their football tickets this past summer – like they do every every summer – but more and more of them are receiving their checks back in the mail with a “no tickets available” notice.

Blame the boys with the deep pockets.

The ones who get first crack at ticket orders because they give to the program, whether that means donating scholarships, buying stadium bonds andor leading Razorback clubs across the state. These boosters – which include companies – get on a priority list which enables them to order “huge blocks of tickets, passing them out to all their customers and to so-called ‘friends’ who are unable to buy for themselves.”

More and more, tickets go to those who have the best connections to boosters, not necessarily those who have shown the most loyalty to the program. Which isn’t fair. “The ticket supply is exhausted by blocks of purchases,” Keady writes. “And the general Razorback Club member, who may have supported the U. of A. through its lean years, is unable to buy even his usual two tickets for himself and his wife.”

What to do?

Keady hopes the boosters at the front of the line will simply start thinking more about those toward the back. Ease up some on the purchasing. No reason to hog all the tickets.

But “if they can not face the problem themselves and settle it, then the time has come for the University athletic department to put a limit on ALL orders – even those of the most loyal and generous Razorback boosters.”

“After all, the Razorback football interest is statewide. The program belongs to every football fan in the state … Not just the ones who have friends on the priority list.” [August 23, 1963: Arkansas Democrat]

Things have gotten considerably more complicated in the last 50 years. In the past, access to ticket purchases were divided between the haves and have-nots. Starting in 2014, it will – to a likely unprecedented extent – be divided between the have (and-give) a-lots, the have-somewhat-lesses, the have-a-lot-but-not-quite-as-muches, the have-a-reasonable-amounts, the have … you get the idea.

What do you think of this new system? It does give some weight to those who have shown the most loyalty in the past, but do you think it’s fair? Any better ways come to mind? Let us know your recommendations in the comments section below.

10 years ago…

These days, super star college quarterback Johnny Manziel wades through hot waters after being hit by allegations that he accepted money for signing memorabilia.

razorback football tickets history post shawn andrews playboy all americanA decade ago, an entire of team of All-Americans tiptoed into tepid-to-fairly-warm waters after accepting illicit goodie bags of promotional knickknacks from a nutritional supplement maker. Arkansas’ Shawn Andrews was among the players finding themselves in the NCAA’s crosshairs for unknowingly accepting a 50 cent water bottle and $10 T-shirt from MetRx, a Boca Raton, Fla.-based company.

The whole not-so-sordid affair went down one weekend in May, 2003, at the Playboy All-American awards show in Phoenix. As is usual in these events, Playboy delivered its own goodie bags to the players.

The magazine’s approved gift bags included a T-shirt, a baseball cap, a bronze medallion engraved with the player’s name, a football autographed by each of the 24 All-Americans and a sports bag, Playboy sports editor Gary Cole said.

Its total value: nearly $100, far less than the $300 allowable by NCAA rules allowed for student-athletes on such awards trips. The snafu occurred when MetRx, an event sponsor, delivered its own goodie bags to the players’ hotel rooms.

The NCAA doesn’t allow sponsors to give gifts to its student-athletes. Doesn’t matter if the gifts in question include a rinky-dink water bottle, a towel, compact disc, two T-shirts and a nutritional candy bottle. And certainly doesn’t matter if the total value of the goodie bag in question is … $38.50.

“I really didn’t want the stuff anyway,” said Andrews, an offensive lineman for the Razorbacks. “I had no idea that it was against the rules.” Andrews added he has returned the water bottle and planned to pay for the T-shirt. Not every player took home merchandise.

It doesn’t appear the All-Americans will be punished.

The SEC informed Arkansas officials how to proceed with paperwork to clear Andrews, UA assistant athletic director Kevin Trainor said. Associate athletic director Derrick Gragg, who handles compliance issues, was out of town but was expected to send paperwork to the NCAA after he returned.

The NCAA was expected to approve a restoration of eligibility appeal, which it had been doing for other players caught up in the goodie bag confusion. School officials expected an OK before the 2003 season opener against Tulsa.

Andrews wasn’t held out of August practice – a sign school officials didn’t expect the infraction to be a threat to Andrews’ eligibility. [August 23, 2003; Arkansas Democrat-Gazette]


Batesville’s Mark Martin got off to a good first half at the Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee but couldn’t keep it up. About 49 laps in, he gambled on a pit strategy that took him to the side for a quick splash of gas. As usual, one of his crew members fueled his car while another attached a gas “catch can” to catch potentially dangerous spilling or overflow. As not usual, that catch can was still attached to Martin’s car when he pulled away.

He had to return to the pit as penalty, which dropped him back in the pack. Then driver Johnny Sauter wrecked Martin, and his night was over.

“Johnny Sauter, he lost it. He was a weapon out there all night,” Martin said. “We had a great car and it just figures. I really think we had a chance to win this, too.”

Martin’s response to Sauter was measured compared to the race runner up’s disdain for the winner, Kurt Busch. “He’s a cocky, arrogant punk,” Kevin Harvick said after the race. “He just has a really, really bad attitude. But he can wheel a race car.”

The combative Busch’s path to Public Enemy No. 1 status last week reached a boiling point when he intentionally tried to flatten rival Jimmy Spencer’s fender during a race in Michigan. Spencer punched Busch in the face as he sat in his car. Spencer was suspended from Bristol while Busch was placed on probation.
The crowd of 160,000 made its allegiances quite clear. Busch was greeted by “Free Jimmy” T-shirts when he arrived at Bristol; after the race he drove his No. 97 Ford to Victory Lane amid thundering boos. [August 24, 2003: Associated Press]

100 years ago…

“Future Ty Cobbs May Be Lurking in Ne Hi League”

What may be Arkansas’ first organized sports league for children is a resounding success.

The Ne-Hi League was organized on June 25 in Little Rock and began play on July 1. Its baseball teams for boys ages 7-10 include the Microbes, Dingers, Cats’ Ankles, Cannibals, Babies, Midgets, Atoms and Wampuses.

Philanthropist V.C. Bolding started the league as a tonic for his sickly son as he strongly believes exercise is beneficial for all youth. And almost all (white) youth are welcomed, regardless of wealth, Bolding said. “They are not required to pay any kind of dues,” he said, adding the only thing the boys have to pay for our their own gloves and bats.

In 2013’s world of high-stakes Little League play, some parents get way too involved in their sons’ games. But, in these days, the players apparently defended themselves pretty well. At a recent game played at Argenta High School between the Cannibals and Microbes, “the Cannibal pitcher didn’t like the idea of a spectator stopping a ball which had passed the catcher and made a few caustic remarks to the spectator, concluding them with an invitation to ‘take it up.'”

Still, the game was generally harmonious. No squabbles, and no talking back to the ump. “There has never been a bitch” in the league,” Balding proudly says.

Yes, it’s quite obvious these kids take their game seriously.

“The boys enter into the game with all the seriousness of a high-salaried artist,” according to an Arkansas Gazette writer. Balding agrees: “While the average size of the players is between knee high to a rabbit to a few inches taller, they are the nonetheless ball players.” [August 24, 1913; Arkansas Gazette]


When Demirel’s not sipping from the proverbial 50 cent water bottle, he’s Tweeting.

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