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the occasions lady and

The Fainting Goat
by Audrey Poff, illustration by Brittney Guest

As owners of The Fainting Goat Board Room in Downtown Jonesboro, Rodney and I are often asked about the name for our board game venue. It’s a story that we enjoy telling because there’s a little bit of A-State history in our name.

In September 2014, A-State Head Football Coach Blake Anderson made national news when the Red Wolves attempted to score on a fake punt play known as “The Fainting Goat.” A-State lost 40-21 to Miami despite the dramatic play in which player Trey Mays pretended to faint and fell to the ground in an effort to cause a distraction.

Although the trick play didn’t work for the Red Wolves, it was at least entertaining. In addition, The Fainting Goat play garnered A-State lots of national media attention, albeit short-lived. Was it A-State’s shining moment? No, but it was light-hearted and memorable, and it stuck with me.

In a world of big box stores and chains in which everything is a carbon copy, Rodney and I enjoy visiting places that are locally-owned and unique. We have been honored to have all ages come play games at The Fainting Goat Board Room – from elementary students to 80-year-olds. A-State students and faculty, as well as NYIT medical students, also stop by to play games. Some of them remember the much publicized play, and some of them don’t, but they all enjoy hearing the story of how The Fainting Goat Board Room got its name.

Look for The Fainting Goat in Downtown Jonesboro this fall. If you are walking by, stop and have a selfie with him. He will be wearing his A-State football jersey and supporting Coach Blake Anderson and the Red Wolves from his perch on Main Street.

Could 2019 see the return of this sensational trick play for the Red Wolves? It’s been five years. Surprise us all, coach. Bring back The Fainting Goat!