Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arkansas hosted its 41st annual Toast & Roast at the Embassy Suites. This year’s event honored David Bazzel; proceeds benefited the organization’s mission of providing children facing adversity with strong and enduring mentors.
Get tickets for Football 101 -- a football how-to for women presented by former Razorback team captain David Bazzel, along with Tommy Smith and Roger Smith, hosts of the "The Show with No Name" at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday (Aug. 8) at War Memorial Stadium. Admission is $25.
As much as John L. Smith went on Monday about how much he liked Arkansas running back Dennis Johnson, in a pre-luncheon press conference and during his address to the Little Rock Touchdown Club, we find ourselves feeling that way about the Razorback head coach these days. It’s easy to like him as a person. Feel free to scratch your head about the way he coaches or what comes out of his mouth.
For this old-timer it doesn't seem that long ago, in Arkansas' early years in the Southeastern Conference, that the football Hogs would be regularly trounced by the big boys while the fan base would be anxiously looking forward to basketball season and the upcoming hoops signing day. Those days may be back. In the middle of Arkansas being routed 52-0 by Alabama on Saturday, the one glimmer of hope came from Mike Anderson's basketball program when Moses Kingsley announced his commitment to the hoop Hogs.
Matt Jones may be the most enigmatic Arkansas Razorback football player of modern times and he made some of the biggest plays in Hog history. And he obviously still captures the fans' imagination. The Embassy Suites ballroom wasn't ready to handle all of the overflow crowd on hand to catch Jones' visit with the Little Rock Touchdown Club on Monday. No doubt, though, many of the club's membership also wanted to hear what Jones and club president David Bazzel had to say about previously No. 8-ranked Arkansas' stunning loss Saturday to Sun Belt Conference member Louisiana-Monroe 34-31 in overtime.
ESPN college football analyst Mark May covered more subjects in 30 minutes for the Little Rock Touchdown Club on Monday than most football banquet speakers would manage in a week. With his rapid-fire delivery and his ability to change directions in midthought, May touched on everything the Arkansas football fan would have wanted to know as the Touchdown Club opened its eighth season with a one-off at the Peabody Hotel. May, a former NFL star offensive tackle with the Washington Redskins and a College Football Hall of Fame inductee, described himself Monday as "blunt, truthful and honest." Nothing about college football, however, seemed to hit home with May more than the Penn State scandal.
A pattern becomes evident with just a quick glance at the brief but illustrious history of the Little Rock Touchdown Club's annual awards. Something's in the water in Greenwood. Daniel Stegall, a former Bulldog quarterback who went on to try professional baseball, was honored as his classification's (4A) player of the year in 2005. Tyler Wilson, who just completed his junior season in leading Arkansas to an 11-2 season, was this year's Southeastern Conference offensive player of the year as chosen by the club. And Drew Morgan, a junior who led Greenwood to yet another Class 5A state crown, was the 5A player of the year.
Former Penn State linebackers coach Jerry Sandusky has been removed from the list of Broyles Award lifetime achievement winners. Sandusky, who was charged last week with molesting eight boys over a 15-year period, was never a finalist for the Broyles Award award, but had been a nominee and was honored in 2000 for his career. A lifetime achievement award was given from 1999-2002.
Bobby Petrino walked into the huge Embassy Suites ballroom and the crowd estimated at 700 people acknowledged his entrance with a standing ovation. There was no "Welcome Bobby Petrino" from Little Rock Touchdown Club president David Bazzel, or any other indication the Arkansas Razorback coach was making his way to the head table. Fans spotted his red hair and ruddish face and immediately began standing and clapping loudly.
Before he got away to return to his new home in Key West, former Texas Tech Coach Mike Leach outlined his ongoing battle with his former employer for the Little Rock Touchdown Club on Monday. Leach has sued the school for wrongful termination, and he told a packed house at the Embassy Suites in west Little Rock that depositions taken and memos uncovered by his legal representatives favor his side.
If Little Rock Touchdown Club founder David Bazzel ever placed a want-ad for his Monday speakers in football season, one requirement for at least a third of them might be: Must be controversial. So, bring in former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach to kick off the luncheon schedule on Aug. 30.
David Bazzel on Cajun's Wharf, a seafood and steak restaurant on the Arkansas River that boasts a sizzling nighttime scene, a one-of-a-kind party deck on the river and a signature drink, the Play De Doh. Part of Soirée Recommends, our video dining guide.