The Battle of the Ravine | Bonehead Picks

The Battle of the Ravine

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I sure landed a cool job working here in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. I work with the ROTC program taking care of all the human resources and supply needs the cadets at both Ouachita [Wash-i-ta] Baptist University (OBU) and Henderson State University (HSU) need to be successful as cadets and future officers in the United States Army.

Oh yeah and they play football here too. I’m in Hog heaven, especially since I am a big Arkansas Razorback fan and a football fan.

I did some research and it turns out OBU vs. HSU (the Battle of the Ravine) is one of the oldest rivalries in football, according to Wikipedia (I know I am not supposed to use Wikipedia as a source, at least not for papers), the first meeting between OBU and HSU took place in 1895 in a non-sanctioned meeting, probably non-sanctioned because they had to hire dinosaurs to be referees. OBU won the first ever game with HSU 8-0, did they have two-point conversions back then? maybe two field goals and a safety, that makes more sense.

According to Wikipedia they didn’t play again until 1907 when they renewed their rivalry and they have been playing ever since then, however, I don’t see a game in 1913, 1917, 1936-1937, 1942-1944, 1952-1962, 1993-1995, 2004-2005. The series is 43-42-6 in HSU’s favor, but OBU has bragging rights winning the 91st Battle of the Ravine 49-42 in 2017. Again, according to Wikipedia, the rivalry is tied for the oldest rivalry in NCAA Division II. That sounds like something special to be a part of. I’m excited to be here and to witness history in the making. What’s convenient about this rivalry is that the only thing that separates these two schools is you guessed it a ravine in between them. They are literally right across the road from each other, U.S. Highway 67 separates the two schools. The away team only has to walk across the road for their football game, how convenient, no busses and no hotels.

It does get a little crazy the week leading up to the game though. I’ve heard stores about OBU turning the water fountain purple at HSU. The OBU homecoming queen was said to be kidnapped and for three days no one knew her whereabouts. However, she returned just in time for the big game. I don’t condone this type of behavior, but it is funny.

The HSU reddies painted countless marshmallows red and used a crop duster to drop them all over OBUs football field. That sounds like it could turn into a sticky situation.

OBU classes take turns guarding their prized tigers statue to keep HSU from stealing the tiger tail and burying it which seems to be a yearly occurrence.

And finally, in 1973, Mike Huckabee, a former OBU student, and latter governor of Arkansas snuck onto HSUs campus and lit their bonfire a little early, ruining HSUs festivities.

There certainly is a lot of tradition here in Arkadelphia between the two schools and I am looking forward to being a part of it. I know where I will be on Saturday, November 10. I’ll be supporting both OBU and HSU in one of the oldest rivalries in football.


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