In the world of college sports, it’s important to have a rallying cry that is wholly unique. While not a requirement, the right phrase can go a long way toward inspiring the masses to believe that victory is within reach. For fans of the Arkansas Razorbacks, the incantation that energizes them is “Woo Pig Sooie.” As a part of the traditional “Calling the Hogs,” those three simple words (along with some detailed arm gestures) stir supporters into a frenzy and motivate student-athletes to put it all on the line for U of A.
Arkansas is a member of the Southeastern Conference, so it should come as no surprise that they first made their mark as a football school. The university put together its first gridiron program in 1894, but it didn’t generate any real attention until Hugo Bezdek assumed the head coaching reins in 1908. In his second year, Bezdek led Arkansas to a 7-0-0 record and also gave birth to the school’s feisty moniker. After a particularly spirited contest against Louisiana State, Bezdek remarked that his team played like “a wild band of razorback hogs.” Since then, the nickname has come to represent everything related to Arkansas, from the “Calling the Hogs” cheer to the weekly pre-game “Hog Walk.”
The school reached gridiron immortality in 1964 when the squad went a sterling 11-0 during the regular season and was awarded the national championship by the Football Writers Association of America. While the Razorbacks would go on to win six more conference titles, as well as four SEC West divisional banners, the ‘64 campaign will always stand out as a high point for Arkansas football.
Established in 1923, the men’s basketball program may have gotten a late start, but they made up it for by dominating opponents right away. From ‘26 to ‘30, the Razorbacks posted a record of 75-6, winning the league crown each year during that span. Under the watch of coaches Glen Rose and Eugene Lambert, Arkansas advanced to the Final Four in both ‘41 and ‘45, but it was Eddie Sutton’s arrival in ‘74 that made the Hogs a staple of postseason play. Between ‘77 and ‘85, the school’s hoops crew booked nine consecutive NCAA tournament appearances.
If supporters were impressed with Sutton’s work, then they went absolutely hog-wild for his replacement, Nolan Richardson. The eventual Hall of Famer led Arkansas to the Final Four on three separate occasions, and in ‘94, oversaw a run that culminated in capturing the NCAA title.
There may be no bigger fan of Arkansas athletics than former President Bill Clinton, but that isn’t to suggest that the rest of Hogs Nation lacks in school spirit. Bud Walton Arena, also referred to as the “Basketball Palace of Mid-America,” is one of the most intimidating settings for college hoops, and diehards know it, too. The coliseum first opened in ‘93, and since then, attendance there has ranked in the country’s top 15 virtually every year. As supporters of the only school to claim the Razorback as a mascot, these fans are really in a class of their very own.