Saturday, November 24, 2007

Go Tigers! Choke the Chickens -er, Jayhawks

Today is the "big" football game between Missouri and Kansas and before we get too much into the Christmas spirit, I offer a bit of rivalry. Not since the early 1960s has a MU/KU football game had relevance on the national scene. It should be an interesting game as both schools have tend to gag on it in the spotlight.

Rock Chalk, Chicken Hawk...SCREW KU! Sorry...that was necessary as a Missouri alum.

This rivalry goes all the way back to the Civil War. (Nothing like holding a grudge, eh?) This is also where these schools get their nicknames. The 'Jayhawks' has something to do with their state back when the west was being won...I forgot to be honest. Who cares...its Kansas we are talking about here. The best thing coming out of Kansas is Interstate 70 and euthanasia precedence law - because once you are in Kansas the only thing you want is to get OUT of Kansas as quickly as possible. The 'Missouri Tigers' comes from the Civil War when small towns in Missouri were ready to fight quickly and they "fought like tigers" to the very end. The best thing coming out of Missouri is probably Budweiser which is on the St. Louis side of the state...and Journalism graduates! (pat self on back)

I went to Missouri after my first undergraduate institution and the NCAA started to enforce Title IX - the rule that says athletic programs must have the same opportunities for women and men. A good rule but the implementation of Title IX has hurt the US Olympic Men's Teams without question. Just look at the medal counts for the USA in the Olympic games since 1992. The NCAA, USOC and IOC are huge bureaucracies. I'd love to work at any of these places but truly don't understand the red tape in a lot of cases. Anyway...many schools started to drop "non-revenue sports" and replace them with opportunities for women's sports - helps the US Olympic Women's Teams and should have been there since the beginning. In dropping non-revenue sports all together schools like Nebraska, Oklahoma, Colorado, Illinois, etc...dropped every men's team except football, basketball and baseball - and possibly some of the other sports not seen on ESPN if they thought they had the budget. Enough on that for now, but that's how I wound up at Missouri - for Journalism School - best in the World. The "J-school" runs an NBC affiliate, a few radio stations, a newspaper...etc.

Personally...I respect KU. Especially when we beat them. They are, after all, the second best school in what is now the Big 12 Conference. (When I was there it was the Big 8 - we added the Texas schools; Texas, A & M, Baylor and Texas Tech.) I had friends who I trained with in the summer who went to Kansas. As a matter of fact, my senior year of college my buddy (backstroke swimmer from KU) and I helped each other out in our last conference championship meet. His goggles broke seconds before his 200 yard backstroke final - his last NCAA Div. I swim; I lent him my goggles. When I was getting a pre-race rub down from our trainers, we Tigers ran out of what was known as "motion lotion" - think wintergreen, Ben-Gay and baby oil - heats up the muscles before you jump into a 76.2 F pool to race. My buddy passed me a bottle of the KU lotion literally under the table. In both cases, no words were exchanged but we were long time friends - from Chicago. We both finished All-Conference (top 6). Our coaches, who later learned of our sportsmanship displays, read both of us the riot act at the team hotel.

See anything Kansas is bad in Missouri and vic versa. It went so far as when our team traveled to or through Kansas...we were not allowed to spend money in the state - for anything. Normally on athletic trips team members are given a per diem for food or snacks on the trip. (Very tight dollars; generally $40 for a 2.5 day trip so this money was like gold and when you did arrive home you were usually hungry.)

Basketball season is just waiting to take over prominence on campus. We aren't used to football success.

Let's have a great game that is so close that both teams get BCS Bowl games...for the money - that's what makes the NCAA go around.

Go Tigers...choke the chickens.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you are really enjoying the taste of that Chicago marathon medal :)

    You asked if people in Hawaii ever take breaks... oh yes. BIG TIME! Did you ever notice those poles they take on the obesity rate in the 50 states? We are near the top... BUT we are also ranked number 7 of the 50 states for most active. I think we PLAY hard and REST hard...

    Yea, treadmill in Hawaii- so dorky, but what's a mom to do???

    Best to you on the off season... rest hard and PLAY hard :)