In our introductory posting, we stated that we wanted to follow the Hogs “in a spirit of good humor, balance and perspective.” Few people do that better than Gene Lyons. You may know him as a weekly political columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A National Magazine Award winner and former general editor of Newsweek, he’s also published articles in Harper’s and The New York Times Magazine, and has penned several books, most recently “The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton,” which he co-authored with Joe Conason. (Click here for his full bio.)

But, he’s also an avid sports fan, and he brings the same shrewd eye and acerbic wit to following his favorite teams that he does to his day job. We recently e-mailed him a list of Razorback-related questions, and he was kind enough to respond. We can’t thank him enough. Without further ado, here’s part one of our Q&A with Gene Lyons.

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What is your reaction to the whole Mustain/Malzahn/Nutt soap opera? Is it more annoyance or amusement?

I followed it only in the sense that I also read “Dilbert” every day. Back in August 1966 when I first drove to Arkansas from Virginia to meet my wife’s parents and bring her back to school, I remember being astonished at all the Razorback football coverage in the old Gazette.

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First of all, the season was a month away. There were still two months left in the baseball season. The big news the day I arrived was that two brothers, both linemen, had a fistfight at practice. Orville Henry portrayed it as a sign the Razorbacks had a lot of spunk.

Now me, I’d lived with football jocks for 3 years at Rutgers. (Smaller, maybe not quite as quick as the Hogs in those days, but football players are football players.) So I saw it as a sign the Razorbacks were pretty much like football jocks everywhere: animals in need of obedience training.

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