NWA editorial: Hog, line and sinker

Gazzola driven by passion for Razorbacks

Diners at his restaurant can't get enough of those hush puppies. Pat Gazzola seemed as though he could never get enough of those Razorbacks.

Gazzola, owner of the renowned Catfish Hole in Fayetteville and Alma, is a native of Fort Smith whose love of all things Razorback became a vital part of the Hogs' program, from feeding recruits to hosting live call-in radio shows with coaches. His friendly face welcomed all to his restaurant, but he had a soft spot for the players and coaches who lay it on the line in athletic competition for his alma mater, the University Arkansas.

The sad news of his passing sent ripples through the Razorbacks' program and across the state. His name was known far and wide because his restaurant was the site of so many radio episodes in which fans got to ask questions of coaches and players. And because so many Arkansans have enjoyed great meals and memories there.

The respect for Gazzola's character and devotion convinced Coach Bret Bielema to shuffle the team's schedule so he and others could attend Gazzola's memorial service.

Gazzola was 68, too young to go. But he made his mark by sharing his passions with others. His presence will be missed.

Commentary on 08/11/2017

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