“Get Your Piss Hot”
By Matthew Osborne
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John L. Smith is using a rather unique motto to get his players fired up for the 2012 season.
“Get your piss hot.”
That was the simple, yet fiery, phrase John L. Smith uttered to his Arkansas players while delivering a speech following the Bobby Petrino saga in Fayetteville.
Considered to be one of the favorites in the SEC six months ago, many experts now question how an undeniably talented Razorback group will respond to the bevy of off-the-field issues which have taken up the vast majority of Arkansas’ press in recent months.
Senior running back Knile Davis, who is now fully recovered from last season’s ankle injury, says that the doubters only serve as additional motivation for him and his teammates.
“I think the adversity the team has went through this year, it definitely made us more hungry. Seeing all of the articles of people doubting us definitely gives us motivation to do our best.”
While you might think that keeping a low profile and maintaining an even keel would be the appropriate way of handling the string of actions which have given his football program a black eye, Smith has never been one to follow popular convention.
Rather than telling his players to ignore all of the negative media attention being thrust upon the program, Smith has encouraged his team to bottle up their emotions and use it as motivation for the upcoming season.
Thus far, it appears that his players are buying in to their new coach and his motto.
“You have to get your blood flowing and get rowdy and ready to go,” linebacker Tenarius Wright said of his coach’s new motto. “His style is different. He’s enthusiastic, but at the same time, he’ll throw in a joke every now and then to make you feel comfortable and throw off the pressure.”
Although Smith was surprised to see that members of the media were familiar with his new saying, he had no problem on giving members in attendance his definition of what the phrase means to the team.
“Well, what it means is start revving it up, baby,” a chuckling Smith commented. “Start getting ready. Start getting the emotion. Start getting hot.”
Playing with emotion and passion will certainly benefit the Razorbacks, but it doesn’t necessarily ensure that the team will experience the success for which they are hoping. As is the case with any year, Arkansas is sure to experience a multitude of high and lows throughout the course of the season.
For the star running back, the biggest key to the 2012 season is making sure that the team remains united through all of the inevitable trials and tribulations.
“The main thing for us this year is to stay together.”
Despite the off-the-field issues, expectations will still be very high in Fayetteville this season, and with good reason. The Razorbacks return 13 starters from a team which lost to only two teams last season: Alabama and LSU.
“We’re a good football team, and we have an opportunity to be a great football team,” Smith remarked.
Talent means a great deal in the game of football, but it certainly does not mean everything.
For the Arkansas Razorbacks, talent should be the least of their concerns this year. If the program can look past all of the off-the-field issues and focus their attention towards the gauntlet which they are about to run through the SEC, this could be a magical season for Hog Nation.
As Smith so poignantly put up, it’s time to get their piss hot.