Hogs Triumphant!

In a remarkably exciting upset, The Arkansas Razorbacks crushed the #2 Florida Gators last night in basketball at the Bud Walton Arena (“The Basketball Palace of Mid-America,” as the announcer likes to say).  My experience last night re-affirmed my confidence in the theory that school sporting events increase social capital, as I argued in yesterday’s post.  When the Spirit Squad forms their pyramid with the backdrop of a giant Arkansas flag, as pictured above, I have to admit that I get a little misty-eyed.  Sports make me feel more connected to Arkansas and my university, as I’m sure they do for others.

We were even graced with an appearance last night by Bubba Hog, whose dance enhances social capital with a good belly laugh in addition to the flag- pyramid’s tear to the eye.

Lastly, everyone should keep their eye on Michael Qualls, a freshman who jumped so high last night that I believe his head bumped the hanging scoreboard.  Here’s a highlight reel for Qualls from earlier games:

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2 Responses to Hogs Triumphant!

  1. Greg Forster says:

    OK, but this is a different causal model than the one you were proposing in your earlier post. Increasing your misty-eyedness level (your MEL) is building social capital because it increases your willingness to contribute to the common good of the university. This presumably increases the quality of education at U.Ark. because the higher your MEL goes, the more easily the school can exploit you and squeeze additional value out of your labor without paying you more . . . whoops, sorry, I meant to say the higher your MEL goes, the more high-quality a teacher you’ll be because you’re intrinsically motivated to deliver quality education, help out the university by doing things like sitting on committees, etc. But the game still doesn’t build relationships and facilitate communication.

  2. The truth is that our analysis doesn’t really tell us much about how sports might contribute to academics, so we are really just speculating… er, I mean theorizing. The MEL might contribute to high school academic success by getting the community to be more supportive of the school. Perhaps they are more likely to approve tax increases, perhaps they are more likely to take the school’s side if their kids get in trouble, perhaps it really is that they are identifying dud teachers and pressuring schools to counsel those folks out of the profession. Who knows? But we do know that schools with more successful and larger sports programs do better academically.

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