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My Final Thoughts on the Kansas-Missouri Rivalry


Thanksgiving is approaching; I got stuff to do and a new puppy at home. The thing is trying to eat everything in sight, has to be let out constantly, fed, played with and trained. I don't have time to do a post on Rock Chalk Talk, even during hate week. Sorry.

Yeah right. You think I'd let Missouri leave without offering some thoughts, nostalgia and cheap shots? Please.

I really didn't have much against MU until I got to Kansas. I thought I was going to Wisconsin up until spring time of my senior year in high school and had only lived in the KC area for a few years. I knew of the rivalry and rooted for KU after they became a college option, but it wasn't anything extreme. Even my freshman year, nothing major. Beating the Tigers in football and keeping them out of a bowl was pretty sweet. Teams split in basketball. Oh well.

It wasn't until I went to a KU baseball game in the spring of my freshman year, of all things, that I started to appreciate Missouri, looked at them as a fierce rival. It all started with a group of over-the-top, hick-as-hell, white trash, toothless, didn't-even-go-to-the-college redneck yahoos who came to Lawrence for the KU-MU game. It was then that I saw the light. Missouri was evil. Missouri was the enemy.

This group just heckled the living daylights out of the KU players, our fans, even the video crew. I mean just terrible stuff. Shouting gay and racial slurs, never ceasing to stop yelling and chanting things that were just incredibly over the top. At a freaking college baseball game, with children in the stands and Kansas leading by at least 5 runs the whole game. I was blown away. An elderly man leaned over to me during the game and simply muttered "they hate us more than they love themselves."

They hate us more than they love themselves...

So I went home and blew off some much-needed studying for finals and looked into the past. I learned about the antlers. The people who made fun of Nick Collison's grandpa who was a WWII veteran. A group of morons who have nothing better to do with their lives than just hate a school. I mean these people were devoting hours of their time to learn facts about KU, find player and coaches' phone numbers, call and text, etc. Kansas absolutely OWNS Missouri in basketball lately. Don't all the wins in Lawrence and Columbia shut them up?

They hate us more than they love themselves...

The more Missouri fans I met, the more I couldn't stand the school. I couldn't even strike up some faux respect for the school's athletic accomplishments. I mean, these people just hated on KU when their own team was terrible. Missouri fans gobbled up Bucknell shirts to celebrate ANOTHER TEAM LOSING. Their own team wasn't even in the tournament. How absolutely pathetic is that? You ever met a Nebraska fan? They are unreal. Guess what, they actually have some national titles. Missouri has an arena named after a girl who paid someone to take all her classes for her in college and some large pillars on its campus. Kudos.

After developing my sweet hatred for our rival, it made experiencing college even more fun. KU went on an athletic tear. Getting into the Orange Bowl over Missouri was priceless. Even more priceless was getting to rub it in their fans' faces. After that... no biggie. Just another sweep of MU and a national title in basketball. A championship... mmmmm. Next season, Kansas pulled off a miracle and beat Missouri in the border war in football. Winning is awesome, beating MU is something else. Waxing Iowa State or Texas Tech in basketball is fun, no doubt, but beating Missouri would cause a day of celebratory drinking and bad decisions. It meant more. I despised that school, and watching my team beat theirs, watching their fans suffer... just amazing.

With Missouri leaving to the SEC, I'm losing that passion. I've tried to save face, play it cool, act like it isn't a big deal. Hell, we're getting West Virginia and TCU! So long Missouri! I was lying. I'm going to miss the rivalry. I'm going to miss the feeling of beating Missouri. I'm going to miss the pain of Missouri beating us. In the end, a rival is what brings out the best and worst of you as a fan. No one played the role of the villain in my life quite like Missouri did, and no one ever will again. They truly were the bad guys, and they made ordinary games seem bigger and more important.

I'll miss you Missouri, and this Saturday, I'm pouring one out for the death of a fantastic rivalry.