Add sports politics to the circus going on in Washington, D.C….
When Missouri told the world late last year it was leaving the Big 12 for the SEC there was no shortage of pissed off Kansans. Starting with comments by KU basketball coach Bill Self and continuing on to the school’s official Facebook page with: "Missouri forfeits a century-old rivalry. We win."
So as the final Big 12 KU-MU basketball games draw near, do the KU faithful still harbor ill feelings towards the departing Tigers?
"You’re funny," laughs Lawrence promoter Brett Mosiman. "No. None at all."
Because Kansas would have done the same thing as Missouri if it were in the same boat?
"The same boat as having short man’s disease or whatever?" Mosiman quips. "They clearly had issues with their self worth."
Shots aside, what about KU setting aside hurt feelings and agreeing to keep the basketaball and football rivalries intact as a non-conference games? Something Missouri has publicly stated it wants to do.
That would be stupid, Mosiman says.
"It’d be like playing Little Sisters of the Poor in basketball because they’ve been so consistantly below us," Mosiman says. "We don’t need them to sell out Sprint Center, KU sells out Sprint with anybody they play and there are so many other good teams out there KU can play. So why should we split half the revenue with MU when we can get Dartmouth to come in for a couple grand?
"It doesn’t advance KU basketball in any way. And it doesn’t matter if we beat them or if we don’t."
How about the football game at Arrowhead that Kansas City and Mo. politicians are so bummed about losing?
Doesn’t make good business sense from a Kansas viewpoint, Mosiman says.
"You don’t see a lot of Oklahoma versus Ohio State non conference games in football," Mosiman says. "And KU is not going to go out and play an SEC team for kicks unless they become a perenial bowl team – and when has KU ever been a perenial bowl team?"
In other words, KU’s rejection of Missouri pleas to continue the series has nothing to do with being jilted.
"Missouri thinks it’s all about them, but it’s not at all," Mosiman explains. "We’re not going to play Missouri anymore than we’re going to play Tennessee or Georgia."
Mosiman thinks MU’s pleas to continue playing KU ring hollow at best.
"MU wanted to come out of leaving the Big 12 smelling like they weren’t the bad guy when they left," Mosiman says. "Which they were. They just wanted to try and save their face with the fans and politicians. They wanted to make like they still wanted to play the game even though they knew it didn’t make any sense and they knew full well that it was never a possibility. So that was a lame extension of the hand, it wasn’t real."
Don’t buy it? Read on.
"Missouri had an intense rivalry with Nebraska the past several years and did you see them trying to keep Nebraska on their schedule?" Mosiman asks. Of course not."
The bottom line for KC on MU’s bailing in Mosiman’s humble opinion:
"MU did great damage to the Kansas City economy and it should be held responsible for it."