The 3 Best Beatings of the Texas Longhorns; What Are Yours?


By Simon Lee

This is my list. I’m certain every Razorback fan from about 40 years old and older has a list that’s nothing like mine, and I would love for you to share your list, but these are the three best wins the Arkansas Razorbacks had over the Texas Longhorns – to me.

First, before we get into this, let me make clear, I don’t really despise the state of Texas (the Republic of Texas?). There are places and people there I like and enjoy. However, because I am of a certain age, I can’t drive by or get passed by someone with Texas tags without audibly sneering with disgust dripping from my tongue, “Texas. Humph.”

Before a business trip years ago, when my boys were still young enough to proudly mimic Daddy, I was asked by my oldest son where I had to go. I said, “I’m going to Houston, Texas.”

His response was the same sneer with disgust – “Texas. Humph.” Then added, “I bet you hate to go to there.”

I was in Austin once – a great, fun city – but I refused to be impressed by anything I saw, heard or ate. OK, I had some Texas barbecue from some joint I don’t recall the name of that was fantastic.

Now on to the list, in order, of the top three beatings of the Texas Longhorns.

No. 1) Arkansas destroys the No. 1 ranked team in the nation on national television in Fayetteville in 1981. I mean, demolished the top-ranked Texas Longhorns. Final score 42-11, the largest margin of victory over the Longhorns the Hogs have ever had.

Here are the two reasons this game tops my list: The Texas punter was deep in his own end zone waiting on the snap to punt it away, and my dad, loudly and in a rhythmic chant, like a man possessed, said, “Over his head. Over his head. Over his head. Over his head.” Until the ball was snapped and sailed over the punter’s head for an Arkansas safety.

For the record, every football game I’ve watched with my dad since that day in 1981, if the punter for the opposing team is standing in his own end zone, the “Over his head. Over his head.” chant begins.

The second reason this game is at the top of my list is because I remember when it was over, going outside to whoop and holler and before the screen door slammed shut behind me, just about every man on our end of the block was outside calling the Hogs and smiling. Some of them even put down the beer can and tossed away the cigarette to get all the way into the Hog call, arms up and hands shaking.

Here is a video of highlights from this game in 1981.

No. 2)  The Arkansas Razorbacks are facing the Texas Longhorns in Little Rock at War Memorial Stadium. I’m a student at the UA at this time and as far as I know, this will be the last time Arkansas EVER plays Texas in a football game again. 

I had to be at this game. I said it before kickoff: “I don’t care if we win another game as long as we beat Texas today.” And I meant it.

Remember, the students ended every game that season singing “All my exes live in Texas… That’s why we’re moving to the SEC.” Losing to Texas, I’d not be able to sing that song.

My wish came true, barely. Arkansas beat the Longhorns 14-13. Oh, and the Razorbacks lost to Baylor, Texas Tech and Texas A&M, only beating Rice to end the regular season. Guess you can blame me for those losses, but I get credit for beating Texas the last time we played them as conference foes. Winning the last game in what was the death of an annual conference rivalry.

No. 3) New Year’s Eve 1999, and my wife and I have left our not-quite one-year-old first born with my parents – the first time we both spent the night away from him at the same time. But I’ve got a Razorback red Chevy Blazer and Hog flags flying and we’re on our way to Dallas. We’re going to see what I thought I would never see in my life again when I was younger and dumber – the Arkansas Razorbacks play the Texas Longhorns in FOOTBALL. At the Cotton Bowl. The real Cotton Bowl, the one at the fair grounds.

We were loaded up and I was in my UA sweatshirt, my wife in something red. We figured if Y2K was going to bring down the world we might as well have fun in Dallas.

The drive down was an adventure. First gas stop somewhere in the middle of nowhere East Texas right off of I-30, the old woman behind the counter takes my money for the fill up, and the only words she spoke to me throughout the entire transaction came as I walked out, “We’re gonna beat y’all bad tomorrow. Enjoy wearing that shirt and waving those flags today.”

I responded with a smile and a woo pig and our trip to Dallas was back on the freeway.

There was only one more stop for us from that gas station to our hotel in downtown Dallas. It was by a Texas Ranger or whatever they call themselves. He fired his lights up, and I pulled over and before he got out of his patrol car I said this is bullshit. Total bullshit. My level-headed wife reached over and put her hand on my leg and said, “Be nice and go with the flow on this one, so we can get back on our way, quickly.” I said no worries. I was cool.

“Sir, I need to see your license and registration.”

I hand him the requested documents

“Where are you headed?”

“Dallas, for the Cotton Bowl,” I said with a friendly smile.

Then the Ranger or Patrolman or whatever they call them down there, said, “Do you have any idea how fast you were going, sir?”

Here we go. No more smiling. No more being cool. No more going with the flow. There was starting to be something to worry about. I knew this because of what I was about to say and my wife knew this because I could feel her starting to squeeze my leg, harder and harder, with every word that came out of my mouth.

Those words? “Yes sir, I do have an idea. I was going a little slower than the three cars with Texas tags directly in front of me and slightly faster than the four cars behind me. Probably all with Texas tags, too, SIR.”

He said he’d be back with my speeding ticket in a minute, and my wife shook her head and said, “That wasn’t (air quotes) being cool (end air quotes).” I opened my mouth and before I could say a word, she rolled her eyes, so I shut it up. I mean, there was hotel sex on the line here. You don’t ruin a chance at hotel sex.

The officer comes back with the ticket and to my attitude adjustment, and we’re on our way.

The game itself was awesome, and we all escaped the Y2K disaster somehow. Cedric Cobbs was brilliant. Houston Nutt was still a good coach to the fans back then. Arkansas kicked the Longhorn’s tails 27-6.

But what puts this game in the top three beatings of the Texas Longhorns for me is when I got back home to Little Rock, I pulled out my Razorback checks, wrote out the speeding fine amount and signed it. In the memo line I wrote “Woo Pig Sooie!” In the envelop back to the judge along with the ticket and the check was every story written about that Cotton Bowl game from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Perhaps with tomorrow’s game the Hogs will give me a reason to add to the list.

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Simon Lee is the publisher of Sporting Life Arkansas and enjoys monkeying around on Twitter from time to time as @sportinglifeark.


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