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University of Arkansas fan sent letter about sneaking into 1974 game



Hunter Yurachek was working in his University of Arkansas office Sunday afternoon when he grabbed a stack of mail from his desk.

The athletic director was confused when a check fell from an envelope he opened, but as he read the accompanying message, he erupted in laughter. The handwritten letter was from a fan who still felt guilty about sneaking into an Arkansas football game in 1974. He made amends by confessing to Yurachek and offering money for the tickets 48 years later.

“I can think of a time or two where I snuck into a venue early in my life,” Yurachek, 54, told The Washington Post. “Now I’m thinking, ‘Do I need to pay it forward as well? Is this kind of the example that’s being set?’ It resonated with me, and I think it’s resonated with several people.”

The letter was dated Jan. 30 with the subject line: “Making it right.” The fan, whom Yurachek didn’t want to publicly identify, wrote that he was upset he couldn’t attend the Arkansas season-opener against the University of Southern California on Sept. 14, 1974.


The fan wrote that he was working as a route salesman for a bread company when a colleague told him about someone he knew who faked a hot dog bun delivery to enter Arkansas’s stadium in 1971 to see the team play Texas. Inspired by the story, the letter-writer persuaded his younger brother to wear one of his work uniforms, and the two were able to pass through security into War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock toting empty bread boxes.

It was a sellout crowd, the fan wrote, and he and his brother watched from an aisle in one of the stadium’s top rows. They saw Arkansas upset USC, 22-7, as Razorbacks star linebacker Dennis “Dirt” Winston contained the Trojans’ standout running back, Anthony Davis.

The Arkansas supporter wrote that he’d repeatedly recited the story to friends, who found it hilarious. But about a decade later, he wrote that he was mowing his lawn when he believed he heard Jesus say: “What if I was the guy that swung the gate open for you?” From that moment, he never considered attending another game without a ticket, he wrote.

Last month, when the fan’s friend mentioned the 1974 game, the Razorbacks enthusiast suddenly thought about making it right, the letter says. Yurachek declined to disclose the amount of money the fan sent but said he “easily paid for the tickets with some significant interest.”

When Yurachek posted a picture of the letter on Twitter on Monday, fans reminisced about Arkansas football highlights and their experiences sneaking into games.

“It’s brought back memories of people going to those games and those sellout crowds … and a really special era of Razorback football,” Yurachek said. “Many of the people I’m hearing from, their fathers are deceased, but they went to the games with their fathers.”

Other fans and pranksters have documented their own breaches into sporting events in recent years. In June, a YouTuber who resembles Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson not only got into the NBA team’s arena, but also shot hoops on the court for about 10 minutes. In October 2021, a man went viral on TikTok for sharing a video of himself sneaking onto Texas A&M’s Kyle Field and into the locker room with a lost VIP pass. In February 2015, two men sneaked into the Super Bowl and sat in $25,000 seats.


Yet the Arkansas supporter couldn’t shake his misdeed. Yurachek said his admission, unlike anything he’d witnessed in 29 years working in athletics administration, was uplifting. By adding the fan’s check to the athletic department’s scholarship fund, Yurachek hopes the supporter will feel at ease.

“This is kind of the icing on the cake,” Yurachek said. “Now he can tell the story and say, ‘Oh, by the way, I paid that money back and then some.’”

Source: Washington Post

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