Bielema taking care to build Arkansas program right

Arkansas Bielema Football
Arkansas Bielema Football

AP Photo/Denny Johnston UA coach Bret Bielema addressed the media before speaking at the Little Rock Touchdown Club Tuesday at the Statehouse Convention Center.

Bret Bielema learned some valuable lessons growing up on a hog farm in rural Illinois. As he looks to build the University of Arkansas football program he is reminded about a building project that went awry on that farm when he was 10.

The coach told a packed house at the Little Rock Touchdown Club Tuesday about how he and his older brother took shortcuts building a large fence for around 200 hogs. Bielema’s father showed the boys how place the posts and attach them. However, after a period of time the brothers realized they could use less posts and the fence looked the same. Bielema said on a Friday night they corralled 200 hogs into the pen. The next morning, though, the hogs had knocked the fence down and were running loose.

Bielema says his father was furious, and he and his brother had to retrieve the hogs and rebuild the fence.

“When you don’t build something right, you have to do a lot more work to do it again the second time to get … Read more >

Little Rock Touchdown Club reveals 2014 lineup

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The Little Rock Touchdown Club revealed its 2014 lineup Tuesday afternoon at a press conference at the Simmons Bank building in downtown Little Rock.

Arkansas coach Bret Bielema kicks the slate off with an appearance Tuesday, Aug. 19. Former Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin caps the year off with the club’s awards banquet in February.

Irvin is one of three former NFL Hall of Famers on the schedule. Former Chicago Bears linebacker Mike Singletary is slated for Tuesday, Sept. 9 and former Cowboys linebacker Lee Roy Jordan comes to Little Rock Oct. 6. Other former NFL players include Cowboys receiver Raghib “Rocket” Ismail Monday, Nov. 3.

Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long makes his annual appearance Monday, Sept. 15 and new Arkansas State coach Blake Anderson makes his first LRTD stop Monday, Oct. 27. First-year Central Arkansas coach Steve Campbell appears Monday, Nov. 17.

The final regular lunch meeting Monday, Nov. 24 features former Arkansas All-American and Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Shawn Andrews. His appearance comes almost exactly a year after he told 10498101_10152710411520695_1761302665868266975_o that former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb mistreated him and started rumors that Andrews was gay. News outlets from around the country picked up the story.… Read more >

Former Hog pitcher creatively responds to heckler

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Former University of Arkansas pitcher Dallas Keuchel handled a heckler in a fun way last week according to a Bleacher Report story.
An Oakland A’s fan harassed Keuchel, a Houston Astros hurler, this week. Instead of an angry response, Keuchel followed a trend among Major League players this season, and tossed the fan a ball with this inscription. “Thanks for helping pay my salary for today.” There was a heart and the #60, Keurchel’s jersey number but no autograph.
A humorous way to jab back to a loudmouth without creating a scene.
Ironically, Keuchel didn’t pitch that night. The Tulsa, Oklahoma native is having the best season of his career with a 9-6 record and 3.29 ERA for the Astros, who are 42-60 and in second-to-last place in the American League West.… Read more >

PA football team featured in Eastbay video, gets visit from Cowboys player

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 12.40.13 PM

DeMarco Murray visited Pulaski Academy football coach Kevin Kelley and his players during a recent workout and shoot for Eastbay.

Pulaski Academy football got a dose of more national exposure this week when online sporting goods company Eastbay highlighted the Bruins’ unique philosophy in a feature called Preparation Nation.
The video, posted on YouTube includes footage of PA players working out using tires, platforms and pushing a pickup truck. There are also soundbites from coach Kevin Kelley describing PA’s philosophy that includes no punting and onside kicks on most every kickoff. Kelley also touches on the upbeat tempo the Bruins employ that includes snapping the ball as soon as the referee whistles the ball in play.
A cool twist comes around the halfway point of the video when Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray walks on to the field after Kelley tells his team “We’ve got a guy that came to us because he is always looking for that extra edge — DeMarco Murray.” Murray participates in some of the drills with the team and encourages the players. He also is interviewed and admits he hasn’t seen anything like PA’s approach to football.
Kelley is a lifelong Cowboys fan, … Read more >

World Cup Block Party Makes for Interesting Experience

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The street is blocked off. The aroma of brats cooking on a charcoal grill hangs in the air. Revelers clad in red, white and blue are swilling beer and chanting. I’ve seen this scene before — Wrigleyville in Chicago, one of my favorite places on earth. Where the party nearly always overshadows the Cubs games and rare high hopes are crushed.
Unfortunately, the same scenario unfolded at Dugan’s Pub Tuesday as more than 1,000 people gathered in the street to watch a big screen as USA took on Belgium in the first round of the knockout stage.
I had mentioned in this space after USA beat Ghana in the opener, that I wasn’t going to feel pressured into catching the fever. I’m with my Sync political columnist Bill Vickery, we are all for the country winning in everything but when the Cup finishes, soccer goes back to the back of the bus.
While I’m not quick to jump on a bandwagon just because everyone else has bought an authentic USA soccer jersey, I do love a spectacle. I also love Don Dugan, a fellow Cubs fan who happens to own a very cool establishment that serves great food.
So, I … Read more >