While the Arkansas Razorbacks made their historic run in the College World Series, fans flooded Omaha, including many from the river valley. Almost daily, people were connecting over meals or downtime before enjoying the games. Micah Fredrick said she and some of her girlfriends took off to go, “and must have seen at least 20 people I knew there.” It was a lot bigger than baseball, as the city turned into what was essentially a Razorback fan fest.
Cade Johnson said he loved the atmosphere, and that there must have been at least three times the number of Hog fans as any other team. He was even able to snap a picture with Razorback pitcher Barrett Loeske.
With the season seemingly being extended day by day, people were juggling reservations and ticket availability. Marsha Elsken was one of the few that were able to make the entire series. Others hit some early games then came back for the final series. Erich Fletcher came up with a carload for the final two games. Though it was his first time to the College World Series, he said the layout of the event and local venues made it easy to attend. Being in a sea of Razorback fans certainly didn’t hurt. Fletcher said it ranks at the top with any event he has attended.
In the parking lots, there were traditional tailgating, with families sitting around a cooler enjoying a meal before the big game. If it wasn’t Paris people you ran into, you would see others wearing Booneville or Magazine gear in the lot. A table full of Mansfield guys talked about the 1990 Paris football team while still relishing the wins over Texas and Texas Tech. For a few days in June, small-town folks gathered in Omaha to watch their team play on the biggest stage, all returning home with memories they will share for years to come.