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There is a reward to a glass-half-full philosophy.

For one, there is less stress. It also seems like more people want to hang out with optimistic souls than those woe-is-me sorts.

I do not always look for the riskiest move, although I've taken some highly questionable journeys.

Some of my favorite advisors warned that starting Hawgs Illustrated 28 years ago was highly risky. As I pondered the move, Tulsa World sports editor Bill Connors invited me to lunch and handed me a written letter -- just for proof for my wife -- that I'd be the sports editor in less than a year.

Then, the man who was like a father during 14 years in Tulsa, said, "I expect you to go to Arkansas. It's home and I believe you can make it work."

There was another father-like figure in Tulsa with an invitation to lunch. Highly successful clothier Ed Beshara promised a job "selling suits" if things went wrong. He later told me, "Hoss, I really didn't think you could sell suits and I'm really glad I didn't have to make good on my offer."

Beshara knew I was still iffy on the decision to become executive editor for the men who owned Sooners Illustrated and Huskers Illustrated as they expanded with magazines at Arkansas, Texas, Texas A&M and Iowa.

Then, Beshara said the magic words: "You are never going to own the Tulsa World. You might own Hawgs Illustrated if you do well."

I concentrated on the Arkansas magazine and owned it -- with the help of George Billingsley -- inside of 24 months.

Asking my father about leaving the Tulsa paper did not provide comfort. He stayed clear of anything that resembled encouragement. There was no optimism from him, just realism.

"It would appear to be dicey," he said. "How can you depend on the postal service to deliver a product on time?"

Well, you couldn't then and it's no better today. And, then there were some haunting words that produced one week of sleepless nights as I plotted my course.

"A project like that would be much easier with a big winner in football," he said. "Can that happen at Arkansas in the SEC?"

That's probably what led the owners of Sports Magazines of America to sell Hawgs Illustrated. They didn't see anything positive happening with the Razorbacks in the SEC and took my low-ball offer.

But a funny thing happened just before I struck a deal: Nolan Richardson took the Hogs to two straight national title basketball games, winning one.

I'll never forget standing under the goal near the Arkansas bench as the net cutting began. There was a grand Hog Call and my father cupped his hand to his ear and said, "Do you hear that?"

Yes, it's a beautiful sound. And, he said, "Yes, it's the sound of the cash registers opening over and over for Hawgs Illustrated. Cha-ching. I'm no longer worried about your family!"

I guess winning in the SEC does cause worries. It's never more appropriate to discuss than one day after the leaders of the league adjusted their football schedules to make it 10 games, all against SEC teams.

That is probably the ultimate in ambition. There are teams in the SEC that could go 0-10. Arkansas is front and center among them. The good news is that there are three other teams on the schedule, like Arkansas, playing with first-year head coaches.

Do you see this schedule as a chance to go 0-10, or do you see opportunity?

I'm the optimist. Firmly, I believe there are two more chances to end that SEC losing streak.

Take Georgia and South Carolina, teams from the SEC East that might make it onto the Razorbacks' schedule this year. The Gamecocks knocked off the Bulldogs last year to illustrate my point that upsets are always possible. That was such a massive victory that the Gamecocks celebrated by taking home chunks of the famed hedge at Sanford Stadium in Athens.

Absolutely, I believe that upsets are possible. If there are more games, your chances improve. The best team doesn't always win.

Waiting until Sept. 26 also sends good vibes for Arkansas. New coach Sam Pittman has more time to understand his personnel. It might also give some extra days to instill a toughness in the trenches that has been missing in the Ozarks over the last four or five seasons.

It was there briefly under Bret Bielema, perhaps late in Year 2 or Year 3 under his watch. No doubt, toughness was absent in his first season and last two seasons.

Pittman has the better part of 10 weeks to prepare for the opener. That's enough time to figure out if any of the talented freshman class -- most notably the offensive line candidates -- can provide a boost in ability.

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