About that Battle Line Rivalry: Why not a Bootheel trophy? | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, November 29, 2014

About that Battle Line Rivalry: Why not a Bootheel trophy?

Posted By on Sat, Nov 29, 2014 at 7:19 AM


I'll let the experts dissect the Razorbacks' tough 21-14 loss to Missouri yesterday and the raging question about quarterback Brandon Allen's injuries.

Instead, the questions I kept hearing on Twittter and e-mail:

What is the Battle Line Rivalry?

What does it mean? Who dreamed it up?

Logical thinkers say you don't declare a rivalry. It develops over time. A season-ending game between states that share a border might come to constitute such a game over time. But to declare it so — primarily to get a marketing tool to sell to an insurance company — seems a touch premature.

But what about that Battle Line? Here's the UA news release announcing the new "rivalry." It provides this explanation.

The rivalry clashes against both geographic and historical boundaries - from disputed demarcations of the border separating the two states to notable alumni and former personnel with ties to both storied athletic programs. The historic rivalry between the two states will take on even more meaning now, as every Thanksgiving weekend the Battle Line will be drawn on the gridiron. The Razorbacks or Tigers will ultimately stake claim to the “Line” - until the next meeting..

I've asked the UA Athletic Department for any internal documents that outline the development of this marketing angle. 

The Encyclopedia of Arkansas identifies the primary border dispute between Missouri and Arkansas as the confusion over the "bootheel," that nubbin of Missouri that extends along the Mississippi River down below the otherwise straight east-west line that divides the two states. Nobody ever battled over it. Arkansas probably should be grateful for the loss, given the Bootheel's reputation for lawlessness over the years.

Maybe we should have a Bootheel trophy to go with The Boot, which was invented for the LSU-Arkansas game (a rivalry with historic football roots, unlike the Missouri game.) An appropriate trophy would be a stolen car. Time was, federal court cases turned now and then to stolen vehicles taken across the line to Bootheel chop shops.

A friend suggests something derived from the shared Ozarks. Battle of the Ozarks? No, he didn't suggest the trophy should be a cedar outhouse replica. But a genuine Ozark Mountain Do-Nothing would be perfect.

Missouri's biggest problem, seems to me, is its long identification as more of a Midwestern than Southern state. But its politics are rapidly catching up with those of the SEC.

Tags: , , , , ,

Sign up for the Daily Update email

Comments (16)

Showing 1-16 of 16

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-16 of 16

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Where's the outrage?

    Am I the only person, apart from federal prosecutors, outraged about the criminal enterprise that inveigled itself into a privileged position as an Arkansas taxpayer-financed human services provider to the tune, today, of $43 million a year?
    • Jun 21, 2018
  • Where's the outrage?

    • Jun 21, 2018
  • Rutledge opponent hits her socializing with corporate interests

    Mike Lee, the Democratic candidate for attorney general, has criticized Attorney General Leslie Rutledge over recent reports of her participation at private meetings where corporate interests make big contributions to a political group she heads for access to state legal officers.
    • Jun 21, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Viewed

  • Proposed child holding site in Arkansas 5 miles from WWII Japanese-American internment camp

    One big difference between Rohwer and today: The parents kept at Rohwer in World War II weren't separated from their children.
  • Baby gorilla born at zoo

    The Little Rock Zoo has a happy announcement: The birth of a healthy baby gorilla. The baby, whose sex has not been determined, was born to Sekani, who came to the zoo in 2004 from Toronto; her baby is her third. The father of the baby is a silverback, Kivu, and he is being "very attentive" to his first child, the zoo reports. Kivu came to the zoo in 2016 from Santa Barbara.
  • All in the family: Ten relatives of top executives were on payroll at PFH, the nonprofit troubled by corruption scandals

    Preferred Family Healthcare, the Medicaid-enriched nonprofit with a vast network of service providers in Arkansas that gobbles up tens of millions of dollars in state funding annually, has been in the news frequently this year because of its connection to multiple federal corruption cases. According to the most recently available tax filings, in 2015 ten family members of top executive were on the payroll, drawing salaries from PFH — including relatives of all four of the executives who were put on leave in the wake of the scandals. Three of these family members were making more than $100,000.

Most Recent Comments



© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation