LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) — While millions of people heard President Donald Trump deliver his first State of the Union address, a large number of Arkansans chose to see if the Arkansas Razorbacks could deliver a victory.
Politics and the Razorbacks are probably the two topics people in central Arkansas are most passionate about these days, which led to a dilemma Tuesday night. Coverage of the State of the Union began at the same time as the tip-off of Arkansas’s game at Texas A&M.
Most restaurants and bars around the area that have televisions planned to air the basketball game. Managers at a few said they would put the State of the Union on if customers asked for it. One said basketball would be on all its televisions because politics is too divisive and they do not want to upset any customers.
Some people who chose to watch the game said it was a matter of routine.
“Arkansas looked good the other night when they were playing,” said Thomas Starnes, who heads to a local sports bar to watch the Hogs roughly once a week. “They’ve been hitting some threes tonight, and so, if we can hold off A&M tonight, I think they’ve got a good shot at getting into the tournament.”
Tommy Foltz watched the game with a group of friends at The Prospect, a Little Rock bar. He said they also watch the games together regularly, but his political leanings made it easier for him to stick with the Razorbacks.
“My expectations for the Hogs were pretty low, because we’re on the road,” he admitted, “but they’re much lower for the State of the Union, so we’re gonna watch the Hogs.”
But Foltz added that he would watch and read lots of analysis of President Trump’s speech afterward.