LITTLE ROCK -- Waffling about attending the induction of former Razorbacks into the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame, it dawned on me that Lance Alworth, Billy Moore and Loyd Phillips were to blame for the angst.
Because they played from 1959-1966, they were viewed differently than the other honorees from the University of Arkansas. Before I began writing about the Razorbacks, I rooted for Alworth, Moore, Phillips and their teammates. They were among my first Razorback heroes.
• Listening to Bob Cheyne describe one of the best 3-yard runs of the season by Alworth for a measured first down that helped preserve a 17-14 victory over SMU and its All-American quarterback Don Meredith.
• Buying a concessionaire's badge to get into War Memorial Stadium in 1960, watching from the steps on the East side as Moore threw a short touchdown pass to tie the score, and the Rebels winning on Allen Green's winning field goal that is still disputed by thousands who claim to have been in the end zone.
• Taking pride in Phillips winning the Outland Trophy in 1966 as the country's most outstanding interior lineman when individual awards were far less plentiful than they are today.
On Monday at the Little Rock Touchdown Club, each of them, plus Mike Conley, Leotis Harris, Sidney Moncrief, Eddie Sutton, Melody Sye and Clyde Scott were allotted three minutes to say thanks for being part of the first Razorback group to be inducted into the SWC Hall en masse.
Steve Scott stood in for his 90-year-old father and Joe Kleine did the same for Sutton.
Up first was Alworth, speaking via video while recovering from surgery. Wearing his No. 23 jersey, he described the honor as "something pretty special," a theme repeated often, and ended with a "Woo Pig Sooiee."
The most emotional moment came from the most unlikely source -- Moore, the quarterback for teams that were 25-8 in 1960-62. Self-deprecating at first, he caused some consternation for those taking the live feed when he used a word that he referred to as "B.S." on second reference. He began the serious stuff with, "Every young man dreams about ...," then broke down, apologized, squeezed out "thank you" and sat down.
Scott managed to get through his remarks, but mentioned Moore's feelings being contagious.
The production was well done with sportscaster Steve Sullivan providing concise, on-point intros, and presentation of a medallion on a wide red ribbon by SWC Hall of Fame president Carroll Dawson.
Each of the nine has impeccable resumes, crammed with individual honors and team successes. Google their names for specifics -- young Arkansas fans will be impressed; older ones will recall details with fondness.
The induction was the first phase of a three-step process to add about two dozen UA representatives to the SWC Hall, which in effect, had ignored charter member Arkansas until former Razorback quarterback Bill Montgomery got involved.
When the Texas Sports Hall of Fame took over the SWC Hall of Honor, more than half of the 314 in the Texas Hall were grandfathered into the SWC Hall because they had participated in the SWC. The only two from the UA -- Jerry Jones and Jimmy Johnson -- were included because of their roles with the Dallas Cowboys.
The recent, annual induction of one representative from each league school included Frank Broyles, John McDonnell, and Nolan Richardson from Arkansas.
Playing catch-up, induction of two more groups of UA coaches and/or athletes is likely in the next 12 months or so.
There is a long list of deserving folks, including the first representative from baseball. Players from the 1969 football team are bound to be considered, plus there is a case to be made for some of Sutton's other players and some of Richardson's best before the Razorbacks joined the SEC. Also, McDonnell's years as Arkansas' track coach are littered with athletes who were All-Americans many times over.
Harry King is sports columnist for Stephens Media's Arkansas News Bureau. Email: email@example.com.
Sports on 11/12/2014
Print Headline: SWC Hall Embraces Nine