Home Opinion Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: ‘Stick’ presented

Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: ‘Stick’ presented


“WERE YOU AFRAID for your life?” A friend asked, and the question was in reference to me presenting the Saline River Walking Stick to the De Queen Leopards after their 49-42 upset win over the Scrappers, Friday nite.

Well, I was a little nervous. I have only experienced the presentation of the Stick to the Scrappers when they’ve had the usual football win over the Leopards. This was all unfamiliar territory.

I was among the many fans at the stadium Friday night, who were slightly stunned at the way De Queen just ran right through the Scrappers. It is worrisome that in the previous week, De Queen lost to Mena by 41-7.

Mighty worrisome.

But back to the presentation of The Stick.

One thing I can tell you is that the noise coming out of those hometown stands was incredible. In the 17 years The Stick has been presented, the Leopards have won it a grand total of one time. Those Leopard fans were really enjoying tweaking the nose of their old adversary. I understand that.

I walked out to the middle of the field and waited until the teams’ sportsmanship handshakes were done, and the Leopards gathered around their coach. He looked at me and I raised the stick as high as I could so as to get their attention.

“On behalf of the hometown newspapers of the De Queen Leopards and the Nashville Scrappers, I congratulate you and present the Saline River Walking Stick to the De Queen Leopards.”

That was it. Me and Abe Lincoln — masters of the short speech.

De Queen kids took The Stick. I started waddling off the field.

I occupied a Scrapper uniform back in the day before the Scrapper-Leopard rivalry became so one-sided. So, I really didn’t want to hang around to enjoy their celebration. And it was a wild celebration. Happy Leopard fans had stormed the field.

Then something memorable happened.

Twice as I walked off the home side of the field, Leopard fans thanked me for the Scrapper cheerleader ‘run thru’ which featured childhood cancer detection and a De Queen student’s medical fight. “We appreciate that,” the people separately told me.

It was a good gesture, and it reminds us of what’s important.

Nevertheless, I felt compelled to text the final score to our John Balch. John was following the Outlaws that night, I believe. He is a De Queen grad and has been known to sometimes let slip his pro-Leopard feelings.

“Stop by the Walmart and get me a Leopard T-shirt,” he texted. I think he was joking, but with John you never know.

My answer was that I was already in Lockesburg and wasn’t going back just so he could strut around the ‘News-Leader’ office in a black and gold T-shirt Monday morning and the rest of the week.

Before I presented The Stick, I looked around for De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy. I wanted him to be a part of the presentation of the traveling trophy because he is its co-inventor. But, he was nowhere to be seen and the Leopard players and coaches were impatient to take possession. The sun came up Saturday morning.

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THE SUN DIDN’T come up Sunday morning for Razorback fans, apparently.

On many of the social media sites where people can post their feelings, the Hog fans are ready to send Coach Burt Bulimia on his way. Me too. I’m a fair weather fan.

Well, I predicted TCU to defeat Arkansas, so it’s not that I am surprised at the loss. Disappointed, yes; surprised, no.

I AM disappointed in how inept we looked. Bulimia’s strong suit is supposed to be the offensive line. The Razorbacks couldn’t have blocked Bodcaw, Saturday, and Bodcaw High School doesn’t even have a team. In fact, Bodcaw High School doesn’t exist anymore, so that tells you something.

The poor showing, enhanced with memories of last year’s Missouri and Virginia Tech collapses still fresh on our minds, the fans’ impatience has been briskly fanned.

Face it, Arkansas ain’t never going to be national champs again. Even with decent coaching we might beat Alabama only once every 15 years or so. I am not asking for the Hogs to beat Alabama.

I am asking: Please do not look so inept.

Besides that, as Eddie Cobb says of changing coaches: Who ya gonna get?

Arkansas is now an underdog to Open Date this weekend!

• • • • • • • • • •

WORD GAMES. The twins, Divide and Conquer. Generally they are troublemakers just waiting on their chance.

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ENDORSED: In the Blevins School Board election next week, let me recommend to those school patrons that they vote for Jeanie Gorham, former Mineral Springs elementary principal and member of the Howard County Quorum Court. You could not wish for a better person on the school board.

Since retiring she has already made herself indispensable to the McCaskill community, and will do a fine job for the school.

• • • • • • • • • •

SHE SAID: “When you read about the lives of other people, people of different circumstances or similar circumstances, you are part of their lives for that moment. You inhabit their lives, and you feel what they’re feeling, and that is compassion. If we see that reading does allow us that, we see how absolutely essential reading is.” Amy Tan, author

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