If there's one thing northwest Arkansas does not tolerate, it's a loser. Or at least their version of a loser. Look no further than the campaign that mostly originated from NWA that was launched against University of Arkansas football coach Houston Nutt, whose final two seasons of 8-4 and 10-4 just could not live up to the lofty standards in Springdale. Even national-championship winning coaches are sent packing if their winning percentage begins to slip. Just ask Nolan Richardson. And it's not just that they will fire you, they'll launch web sites, fly banners, and get your phone records. Whatever it takes.
So Brian Poldberg, get ready, because a 6-14 record with a .300 winning percentage that is at the bottom of the Texas League ain't going to cut it with the upright citizens brigade living in Benton and Washington counties. If this kind of play keeps up with the Naturals, you are going to see a plane flying over the stadium with your name trailing behind it. Just warning you, NWA fans are our version of the kinds of fans you find in Philly (and they're not all that loud when things are going well). I hope you have not been texting any weather girls.
Already it appears the fans in NWA are slow to warm up to Minor League Baseball, if they even understand it. Out of nine home dates so far, the attendance has hit the mid to low 3,000s three times already, and you have to assume the attendance was probably closer to the 2,000s based on the way these organizations report all tickets sold regardless of who shows up.
Media watch: If you were disappointed with the 32-word Travs-Naturals series preview in the Central Arkansas edition of the Democrat-Gazette, the northwest edition has a larger story on the second series between the teams, and you have to wonder why it didn't run down here. Of all the times to run a Naturals story, this might have been the one. So much for playing up the rivalry. (Also, I wonder why the Cardinals game gets the featured MLB capsule up there while we get the former Razorback Cliff Lee/Royals game as the feature down here.) At least the Democrat-Gazette beat the Morning News of Insert Name of Northwest Arkansas City Here, which had no series preview that I could find.
Best excerpt from the story:
“You have to walk right by the beer stands after every game, and after getting swept over four games [the fans ] were letting us have it a little bit,” Naturals Manager Brian Poldberg said. “They were definitely letting us know that they were the Arkansas team.”