Arkansas fans in attendance at Razorback Stadium Saturday saw the Hogs defeat Mississippi State, 31-28. The win qualified the Hogs for a bowl game with three games remaining in the season.
Another group of fans in attendance relished the moment of a once-in-a-lifetime experience. This group is known as the ‘Burls Kids,’ who occupy the South Lower Level section for every Razorback home game.
The Burls Kids are an extension of the Brandon Burlsworth Foundation, founded by Marty Burlsworth in 1999 to develop programs that would serve children in Arkansas and around the nation.
They have been a fixture at Razorback home games for two decades.
Marty was Brandon's older brother and primary father figure, being 16 years older than the legendary and iconic Brandon Burlsworth, who became iconic with the plain glasses he wore during games.
The kids who attended the game against Mississippi State were from Baxter Regional Medical Center in Mountain Home.
Baxter Regional was looking for an opportunity to provide a ray of hope for all involved within their organization who endured the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Baxter Regional partnered with the foundation and took 25 kids who had never been to a Razorback game to see Arkansas’ thrilling victory over Mississippi State.
Attending the game was the headliner, but the other details included in the Burls Kids experience made it an everlasting memory.
The kids received a package that included: the book “Through The Eyes Of A Champion: The Brandon Burlsworth Story,” the movie “GREATER” (Brandon Burlsworth’s biopic), a Brandon Burlsworth jersey, and a replica set of Burlsworth’s iconic glasses.
The kids traveled to the game in a fully loaded charter bus and were able to watch the Brandon Burlsworth biopic, “GREATER.”
Upon arrival, the kids learned how to call the hogs and were then escorted on a tour of the Hall of Honor, where Brandon’s locker is on display, along with the Burlsworth Trophy.
Finally, to cap off the incredible experience, the in-game announcer introduced the Burls Kids and featured all the kids on the stadium JumboTron.
Hog fans will never forget Brandon Burlsworth, the former walk-on who became an All-American playing for the Razorbacks from 1994-1998.
Burlsworth went on to become a third-round choice of the Indianapolis Colts and impressed coaches in off-season training camps before losing his life in a car accident.
His legacy has lived on and continues to make an impact to this day.
Lives were changed forever on Saturday through the partnership developed between Baxter Regional Medical Center and the Brandon Burlsworth Foundation, and win or lose; it’s heartwarming stories like this that make one proud to be a Razorback.