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Arkansas Fans Protest Nutt, Vast Team Improvement

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SMQ knows a little about covering protest rallies, and knew immediately when he saw the headline for this AP story on ESPN that "50 Arkansas fans" was a generous assessment of the group that gathered to protest Houston Nutt and Frank Broyles Wednesday for the inexcusable direction of Arkansas football following the program's third division championship and first ten-win season under the pair.

The Wizard of Odds, via his super secret Arkansas sources, confirms photographically this morning the first rule of protest coverage - the closer the number of the aggrieved on hand is to the number of the media on hand, the more likely the former is to be vastly exaggerated:


That's the protestors in the distance, in front of the building, unless it's just the cameramen waiting for these other two guys to do something.
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The AP version includes 24-year-old Fayetteville activist Randy Slaton's demand Houston Nutt "accept responsibility" for a "soap opera-like atmosphere," which thankfully had some sanity restored due to Slaton's courageous grassroots efforts, which resulted in departed offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn being described as "a great offensive mind" who "will open the offense up" and "turn our program into something exciting if given the chance" and whose brilliance intimidated Nutt to the extent the boss intentionally held the offense in the conservative throws of its first-ever Heisman Trophy finalist because "he was afraid of getting showed up," according to Whole Hog Sports:

"It's third down and 7, we don't have Malzahn, what's the play going to be?" said Matt Gaines, a 31-year-old truck driver recruiter from Rogers, through his bullhorn. "A draw play."

Less astute observers might ask what would be wrong with that, when Arkansas' top two running backs, sophomores, averaged close to seven yards per carry, largely on draw-type plays, or why, exactly, Malzahn is given credit for guiding the team's turnaround by people who bash the offense because it obviously didn't give the coordinator his due influence. But those onlookers are probably also foolish enough to think the wildly effective "Wildcat" formation counted as "opening up the offense." Please. Leave it to a naive freshman, not yet sure of his way in the world or comprehending of its complex political, social and economic mechanisms, to play misguided spoilsport:

UA freshman Harry McCarney of Little Rock said the protesters' vitriol for Nutt and Broyles was misdirected. Watching the demonstration from the periphery after learning about it from an Internet message board, McCarney thought the rally was much ado about nothing.
[...]
"The main reason I came to school here is because of Razorback football, but there's too much emphasis on football here. Humphries Hall doesn't even have air conditioning and no one is protesting that...
(Emphasis SMQ's)

Too much emphasis on football? What are you, McCarney, some kinda Democrat? You'll understand what really matters when you get out of your cocoon and into the real world, where your taxes have to actually pay for that air conditioning. Get your priorities straight, son!