A good week in Columbia

It’s during weeks like this that I feel bad for our neighbors and friends who could care less about the University of Missouri and its football team. Because that is all you will hear about – on Facebook, at the bars, in the checkout line and on Twitter – for at least the rest of this week. God help you if Mizzou wins Saturday.

The reason we feel this strongly – and are overcome with the need to discuss the backup linebacker situation, Aldon Smith’s leg, Blaine Gabbert’s psyche – is because for decades our football team sucked, and no little amount. Know that team from Texas the Tigers kicked the snot out of last weekend?  In 1993 that team beat Mizzou by 73 points. 73 to ZERO. I’d hoped the Tigers would exact some measure of revenge on an ex-girlfriend/A&M fan. Instead, I got a 73-0 pasting. Other than shame, the only thing I remember is MU safety DeMonte Cross showboating after making the team’s first tackle of the game (in the fourth quarter). Mizzou was so bad that A&M only jumped TWO SPOTS in the polls after nuking us from orbit (“it’s the only way to be sure“).

So give us this week, will ya?

We had a week like this three years ago. Mizzou was #3 and awful, hated Kansas was #2 going into the showdown at Arrowhead Stadium. While MU dominated throughout, the game wasn’t truly over until approximately 17 defensive lineman wearing black and gold corkscrewed Little Todd Reesing* down to bedrock. The image of Reesing walking off the field with a gopher in his facemask will warm every Mizzou fan’s heart forever. The victory made MU the #1 team in the nation for the first time since 1960 and naturally, it all went to shit the next weekend against Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game (Mrs. SMEs and I doubled down on this one, hopping all over the alumni association’s chartered flight/hotel package down in San Antonio. Aside from the game, it was a great trip to a great city.).

Anyway, every team has their sob story. Everyone feels overlooked or underrated, disrespected. It’s a fact of sports as much as human nature – we’re all victims, right? But once in a while things go your way. All of a sudden a mediocre in-state rival destroys Kansas, former Mizzou players light up the NFL and ESPN College GameDay’s coming to Columbia – all in a single week. It may last only this one week, so try to put up with us around the water cooler, eh? 

Now I just need some help with those signs.

* – Reesing proved a valiant and worthy adversary year after year. He was hard to hate, but I managed…

Author: Scott

I am a married father of two. I graduated from Rock Bridge High School and then Mizzou before spending six years in the Washington, D.C. area. We returned to Columbia, Missouri in 2006.

7 thoughts

  1. College GameDay is ESPN’s flagship college football hype-machine. It features likeable idiots and Desmond Howard and is broadcast live from the campus featuring the biggest game of the week. Thousands of college students with (hopefully) clever signs throng to be seen and heard in the background. At the end one of the hosts picks the winner of the game by putting that team’s mascot’s head on his own. It is, essentially, everything that’s wrong with America – and awesome.

    While we’ve been a part of the show on the road three times in recent years, the show has never been in Columbia. People are kinda sorta pumped.

  2. I couldn’t care less about football, but I wish the people would react with equally strong emotions about MU being ranked around 100 as a college (which is what really matters since it is not a sports club), and demand that the administration do something about it…

  3. If being highly ranked as a learning institution were as much fun as drinking beer, grilling and watching football, I suppose we’d care more. 😉 Besides, I don’t think MU’s a slouch on the academics, either. It’s not a zero-sum game here.

    And finally, I went to Mizzou and got a fine education, but they don’t exactly invite me back to sit in on the Anthro 340 lectures, you know? Football I can still go back and enjoy.

  4. I guess it’s cool. Positive attention on the school & city and whatnot. I guess I just can’t get that pumped over football unless it’s played with a round black & white ball. Speaking of, the KC Wizards play their last game of the season on Saturday at 7. Can’t figure out why no one wants to go… 🙂

  5. Several people have asked me if I’m going to be one of the crazy people in the background holding a sign. My response is that I’ll be the crazy person in the background of the crazy people in the background holding signs. Totally…

  6. Thanks (I think?!) for the clips of that A&M debacle. Hubby and I were living in Texas at the time, and we actually attended that game. Now we can laugh, but at the time, it was just an unbelievably bad show. I must say, we were treated kindly by every Aggie we encountered, despite wearing our Mizzou duds.

    I would like to say that I cannot understand the mindset of the Columbia folks who disdain the Mizzou fans for their celebrations and revelry,yet I confess that for a few years in the 1990s, I was so involved in my work, that I didn’t attend games. I missed a lot; because I thought I had better things to do.

    Glad that I’ve been joining hubby for the last 9 years at the stadium. You meet so many folks, and get new recipes, besides.

    Speaking of which, I’d enjoy a tailgate food themed blog from you and your followers.


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