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As young boy and a teen in the south end-zone stands of Razorback Stadium in the 1970s, Chuck Barrett made a promise to himself that’s he’s kept in spades.
“Sitting in those old wooden stands in the end zone, where you couldn’t see the scoreboard, I told myself that I was going to get a good job so I could afford to get sideline seats,” Barrett said. “Those were big time to me.”
Barrett’s game-day seating arrangements in Reynolds Razorback Stadium today are about as “big time” as one can get. The 52-year-old Clarksville native is entering his ninth football season as the radio play-by-play broadcaster for Razorbacks Sports Properties.
Caught in the middle of studying for the Razorbacks season opener at 2:30 p.m. Saturday against the Texas-El Paso Miners, Barrett said there is a ton of preparation for his job on a weekly basis but added that the all the work is worth it.
“It’s a really cool job,” said Barrett, who lives part of the year in Northwest Arkansas and the rest in Florida. “There is no getting around that. I love being at the home games when the crowd is at a fever pitch and the team rushes through the ‘A,’ and I enjoy traveling with the team around the SEC. I’m very lucky and fortunate to be able to do this job.”
One aspect of the job that Barrett enjoys now is working with third-year head football coach Brett Bielema. Barrett also hosts Bielema’s radio and television shows.
“The head coach really does set the tone for the program,” Barrett said. “From the word go, Brett Bielema has been as conscientious and considerate to the people working around him as anyone could be. And that’s to everyone. What you see is what you get with Brett. He is the same with the door open or shut. He’s the kind of person I think anyone would like to work for or with. I think Jeff Long [Arkansas athletics director] said this, but it’s fun to be around the football program again. That couldn’t always be said. I’m excited to show up to work with him.”
Barrett understands how important his work is to Razorbacks fans around the state and nation. He realizes that he is the eyes and ears for Hog fans who can’t be at the game or near a television, and he is honored to have the privilege and responsibility of being the latest “Voice of the Razorbacks.”
“Hey I understand,” Barrett said. “I grew up in an age when all the games weren’t televised like they are today. I know how important this role is to the fans that can’t be at the game. I was one of them many times.”
Barrett was born and bred a Razorback, and like many Arkansas fans, some of the best times of his life were centered around Razorbacks activities.
“We were a Razorback family,” Barrett said. “Even for the short time we lived in Memphis, the Razorbacks were our team. Like so many, we lived and died with the Razorbacks.”
However, when his parents divorced, season tickets to the games were out of the question on his mother’s single-parent income.
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