Mizzou-Kansas Firsthand

I’ve never been a big basketball fan; just couldn’t get into the sport.  Tonight, I became a little bit more of a fan.

As most of you know, my Missouri Tigers came back to down their hated rivals, the Kansas Jayhawks, 62-60 on a buzzer beater by Zaire Taylor.

I was sitting at the top of the student section for every agonizing second.While you may not be aware, the Missouri-Kansas rivalry is one of the biggest in sports.  Missourians actually burned down Lawrence. Your move, Chapel Hill.

Anyway, these two schools just hate one another.  I’m really not even sure how to describe it to you, it’s just something you must see for yourself.  It’s known as the Border War to anyone who lives around here, though they must call it a Showdown on TV now.  The atmosphere surrounding their contests is just amazing.

I saw one game at the old Hearnes Center when I was 15 and I remember the place shaking when the crowd got into it.  In my four and a half years at Mizzou, I saw that atmosphere at the new Mizzou Arena once and that was the famous Christian Moody game in 2006.  It was certainly there tonight plus a little.

At some point during the course of the night, Mizzou AD Mike Alden and KU AD Lew Perkins got into a shouting match, that was mostly one sided.  See the comment below.  This was posted on a message board, so I can’t say it was confirmed by a major media outlet.  Still, there was some energy in the arena.

I saw an 80 year-old KU fan heckling college kids and I saw some Mizzou fans heckling a 6 year-old who had on Jayhawk attire.

As for the game, the students were packed into their section like sardines.  I kept stepping on the purse of the young lady next to me, but she was too nice to say anything, which I appreciate.

The game started slow and didn’t pick up for the Tigers in the first half and they amassed a total of 16 points.  16!  I was pretty sure we were doomed.  We were down by almost as many, 14, as we’d scored, 16.

Then there was a technical foul and a little momentum switch.  We were down by 11, cut the deficit to three and suddenly we were down 11 again.  That was all in about a two minute span.  I was not feeling good.

Luckily, Mizzou ended the game on an 11-2 run, culminating in Zaire Taylor’s jumper to take the lead with 1.3 seconds left.  I lost my voice as soon as the game ended, I think everyone around me did too.  The players wanted the fans on the court, and they obliged.  I hung back and tried to take pictures, plus I wasn’t in the rush-the-court mood; that’s reserved for big upsets.

I saw the postgame interview with Zaire Taylor where Holly Rowe was trying to ask him questions, and his response was something like, “I can’t hear anything you’re saying right now.”  Brilliant.

Columbia is buzzing after the win.  It’s 1:35 AM and someone is shooting off fireworks outside.  I guess I’ll go join them.

By the way, here’s another reason to dislike Kansas.



8 Responses

  1. I was a first-hand witness to the post-game situation with Perkins and Alden, and whomever described it online got it very wrong. In fact there was a shouting, but it wasn’t a “match” it was one-sided, and nobody needed to be restrained.
    Lew Perkins blew his stack and was screaming and pointing with great anger in the face of Mike Alden, who calmly convinced him to move around a corner to more calmly discuss whatever had happened, and he did. Given that they were standing, immediately after the game, in the hallway between the court and the press room and about 50 reporters would be coming through that area in the next 3 minutes, it was a smart move.
    Perkins blew his stack and was absolutely screaming at Alden. Mike never lost control, and nobody had to be restrained, certainly not Mike Alden.

    One more reason for any of us to take what you read on message boards with a grain of salt.

    You also might have mentioned the disgusting, vulgar chants that thousands…no, that is NOT an overstatement…took part in on several occassions in the MU Student section. Way to represent your university on national TV, children.

  2. Quite a comeback. Always sweet to the side that wins.

  3. Radio-
    Thanks for the comment. Good to hear a first hand account of what happened between Perkins and Alden. Looks like it was an over zealous message board poster who needed to cool down after a big win. I’ll edit that out when I get home.

    As far as the vulgar chants, yes they happened and they will continue to happen. That comes with the territory of college sports rivalry. Does that make it right? No, but it still happens. To suggest that it doesn’t happen at every university across the country would be asinine. Nothing I say or do here will stop it, so I chose not to bring unnecessary attention to the situation.

  4. I couldn’t possibly disagree more. I’ve been to an awful lot of college sports events, and it absolutely does NOT happen everywhere, or frankly ANYWHERE. A few people shouting stuff they shouldn’t? Yeah. An entire student section shouting the F-Word over and over again? No, that doesn’t happen everywhere, nor is bringing attention to it unneccessary at all. It’s badly needed. And while it wasn’t as bad, a vulgar chant was happening at KU Football games, and the school had the integrity to recognize the problem rather than ignoring it, and to fix the problem. MU should do the same, but has chosen to ignore the inexcusable behavior of “The Antlers” for so long that expecting them to do something about fan behavior which embarrasses the school and insults the game is a waste of time. Sadly, it will probably take something that makes national news before MU does something about it’s out of control fan behavior.
    And if you don’t think it’s a problem, here’s a challenge for you…come to an MU football game, especially a key conference game, dressed in the colors of the opponent some time.
    No, it doesn’t “happen everywhere.” MU is, by far, the worst in the Big 12 for fan behavior, unfortunately. There are a few knuckleheads wherever you go. But for worst behavior by most people, MU wins, hands down.
    And Tiger fans have always been near the top in the Big 12 not only for vulgar fans (Tech’s baseball fans would give them a run for their money in this catagory) but also for whining about officiating (although the small group of KU fans seemed to match them boo for boo last night…get over it, guys!) That may qualify as “part of the game,” obnoxious and silly though it may be.
    Hundreds, certainly over a thousand, chanting the F-Word over and over again isn’t something anyone should view as acceptable, and the school needs to do something to correct the situation. Soon. It’s an embarrassment.

  5. Who knows, maybe I’m just not offended by this as much as I “should” be based on the standards for these things that society has set. I always look at situations like this and think “it’s just a word.”

    I mean, it’s only a “bad word” because we have made it so. A lot of the words that fall under this “cuss word” category aren’t even offensive based on the original definition and intent for how the word was to be used. Even if the way our language and vocabularies have evolved has caused these words to be deemed inappropriate and they are used in a way that is intended to be offensive and you let it upset you, then you are just setting yourself up to let people get under your skin and get you all fired up, and over what? A word. That’s just not worth it to me, to let somebody dictate and influence my mood and emotions. I prefer not to give others that kind of control, by simply making the choice to not let it bother me.

    I think about it just like they teach you to as a little kid, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.”

    Also, I don’t think legally they can make the students stop chanting whatever the students want to chant:

  6. Radio-
    Thanks for coming back, this may turn into quite an interesting discussion here.

    We disagree that it happens everywhere. I think it’s amped up against rivals. Mizzou doesn’t say things like that at every game. Only kansas and maybe Nebraska due to their budding rivalry in football. Again, this does not make it right, but we shouldn’t be vilified any more than other schools.

    I found these on youtube with minimal searching:
    Michigan student section at a hockey game

    Virginia Tech student section vs. Duke

    Maryland student section vs. Duke (again)

    The Texas Tech basketball fans:

    None of them say the f-word, but the “Teabag Paulus” chants are just as bad, if not worse. Plus, I don’t think there’s a way to stop it if they chose. Kansas tried to put an end to the “rip his f-cking head off!” chants at football games and it didn’t work.

    The second part of your comment relates more toward fan behavior, rather than the crowd chanting. I’m not going to argue that Mizzou fans aren’t rude, because I will most likely not convince you otherwise. I do think that rudeness of fans depends on where you’re from. Naturally, I think kansas fans are the worst and they think we’re the worst. Talk to an OU fan and he’ll call Texas the worst. That’s how it goes.

    I can’t talk for everyone at Mizzou, but our large tailgate down at Reactor Field always welcomed opposing fans. We shared our beer and had a good time with them. Two years ago we had 3 guys from Nebraska stay at our house when they couldn’t find a place to stay. I doubt they’d call us the worst fans.

    I’m sorry that you’ve had some bad experiences at Mizzou. There will always be the knuckleheads who try to ruin it for everyone.

  7. Here’s an interesting read on the subject, but it’s pretty long:


  8. I took you to that game when you were 15! Yahoo… go me :-)

    As for worst fans… I don’t think Mizzou’s are the worst. Of course they are obnoxious, but that’s part of the fun of a rivalry. Words are just words.

    Obnoxious fandom begins to bother me when it takes a physical turn. People who throw beer or throw punches. It’s all ridiculous. You aren’t going to stop the M-I-Z-(screw)-k-U chant any more than you’re going to get kU to stop printing their MUCK FIZZOU shirts. Both sides expect heckling from the other… that’s what makes us rivals.

    Good note about the game though Bryan. Thanks for the pictures :-)

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