Hearne: Grave Dancing on the MU Tigers Sports Teams

32630By some measure it was the oldest college sports rivalry west of the Mississippi…

Missouri versus Kansas in football, basketball, you-name-it was a lifetime avocation for many sports-minded locals. And while MU dropped out of the formal proceedings this past year by leaving the so-called Big 12 for the SEC, the hatred continues to drip.

Remember the story about the owners of the Black & Gold Tavern wanting to bus Tiger fans to Lawrence this summer to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Quantrill’s Raid?

So it is that the Tigers’ poor performances in football and basketball its first year away from the Big 12 did not go unnoticed.

“MU who?” reads the headline in a Lawrence Journal World editorial this past week.

“Last week’s Big 12 Conference post-season basketball tournament in Kansas City was a smashing success in most every category, particularly for the Kansas Jayhawks, who dribbled away with a 70-54 win over Kansas State and the tournament championship. KU is now 9-1 in the Big 12 tournament finals,” it begins.

“This year’s gathering was unusual in one respect: the absence of the University of Missouri, a longtime member of the Big 12 — and the previous Big 8, Big 7 and Big 6 conferences — which elected to opt out of the conference and saddle up with the Southeastern Conference.”

17-telephone-trophy-missouri-tigers-vs.-iowa-state-cyclonesNow the good part.

“Some Kansas City business people, city officials and loyal MU boosters lamented the loss of the Tigers, predicting major negative economic impacts on the city. Others talked about how the conference tournament would lose much of its excitement without the emotional rivalry between Missouri and foes like the Jayhawks.

“What happened?

“There was record attendance this year at the four-day tournament, and nearby businesses reported record sales. Some may have missed the Tigers, but not many, and there certainly wasn’t much interest or concern for how the Tiger basketball team was performing in the SEC tournament, which was running concurrently with the Kansas City show.”

Know what? As a neutral observer, to my thinking that’s pretty much true. There just didn’t seem to be that much coverage or concern over Missouri’s poor showing and early ouster from the NCAA tourney.

Nor was there much, if any whining about how much better the Big 12 tourney would have been or how much more money local businesses would have raked in if only Missouri had been there to breath life into the event.

The odds of the KU-MU college sports rivalry coming back? Slim if the Journal World editorial is any indication.

“There are those in Kansas City trying to build a case that the KU-MU rivalry should be renewed in Kansas City, with an annual football game in Arrowhead Stadium and a basketball game in the Sprint Center. Those pushing this idea are primarily interested in how a game or games would enhance retail sales and tax revenues for the state of Missouri and the city,” the editorial opines.

“Missouri walked away from the Big 12 Conference and its long association with KU and other conference schools. For whatever reason, MU leaders thought the Southeastern Conference was a better, more rewarding, fit so they turned their backs on the Big 12.

“Hopefully, KU officials will not be swayed by the sure-to-come appeals from Kansas City business and political leaders to schedule a KU-MU athletic event in Kansas City.”

The Journal World did leave open one possible option for renewing the rivalry.

“If such a game is ever revived, it should be in Allen Fieldhouse or KU’s remodeled and expanded Memorial Stadium. Better yet, why is there any need to schedule the Tigers any time or any place?”

Why indeed.

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14 Responses to Hearne: Grave Dancing on the MU Tigers Sports Teams

  1. Letter from MU fans says:

    Hey we feel the same and don’t miss the Big 12 at all. The money is much better in the SEC.
    If you don’t miss Mizzou at all why do you keep writing articles about the fact that you don’t miss us at all? Huh?

    • admin says:

      I miss ya!

      I went to Arizona, although I live in Kansas. I think at some point when the brass at KU get over crying about Missouri leaving the Big 12, they’ll come to their senses and start playing again in football and basketball, alternating home and away games between Columbia and Lawrence. Not Kansas City.

  2. Jimmy says:

    “The money is much better in the SEC.” = “No we don’t win games, but have you seen our facilities? Top notch, top notch!”

    Yeah, that’s what most average MU fans are looking for – their school to get a bunch of money. They don’t care about, you know, winning games, conference titles, tradition and all that tomfoolery.

    Nice take MU fan.

    • the dude says:

      Isn’t that what all this shamatuer bullcrap is about? Money?
      Of course it is you silly rabbit.
      To say otherwise is either extremely naive or very disingenuous.

  3. harleyiscool says:

    AGAIN…for the jayhawk people lets go over this again.
    MU fell asleep at the wheel. With the millions of dollars coming into the
    university..with the eseential motherload of cash streaming in…with a
    quarter billion dollars to be invested in the stadiums and atheletic
    facilities alone…with over 200 million coming down the pike the reason
    mu left was for financial reasons. KU and Kstate will struggle financially
    which is due to their governeer brownback and his antiquated tax
    system that’s killing higher education.
    MU just received 5 million bucks from some dogs for the vet school.
    MUgot so enraptured with their move to the sec that they forgot they had
    to play football and basketball. They lost focus. Now the party is over and
    as I have said in previous posts mu must get rid of haith now and take 3-4 million
    dollars and hire a top top notch coach and give pinkel another year or take
    4 million and bring in someone with a big name in college football…we’d
    even take knucklehead petrino.
    MU is expanding and that’s the reason they left.
    The big 12 tournament was successful because you had 2 local teams
    1 and 2 in the deal…and the weather was nice and you had ku perched
    at #1 seed. This town is dying for a sports team…and ku /kstate provides
    it big time. But that money did not come from out of town as much as
    it has in recent years. Mostly local money…not the big huge spill of
    out of town money coming in…which meant only the money moved…
    it didn’t travel in.
    But the big 12 had a great tournament…and again its basektball which
    is nice but doesn’t pay the bills (according to bill self).
    MU better wake up and soon. they’re not inthe big 12 anymore…they need
    to step up their coaching/recruiting and get with the rest of the sec
    fast!!!!!!! They’ve got millions sitting in the banki…they better spend it
    and spend it wisely butthis ad hasn’t made too many right choices in
    coaching for a long time….haith ain’
    t the guy….had talent…no coaching skills!!!!!!!
    So congrats ku…i predict a final four appearance this year…and congrats
    to the big 12. KC needs some energy put into it…and KU is about the
    only team that can do it.
    From the top MU alumni on tonys/kcc…i say ‘GO HAWKS!”

    • the dude says:

      Petrino at Mizzou would be interesting, I wouldn’t mind if he nudged Pinkel out to get some SEC wins.

  4. Hawkfan says:

    Actually, Mizzou hasn’t generated much money at all since the move. Yes, I know they’ve gotten a couple nice donations but the short term move to the SEC has been a train wreck. The Star published last years financials and rather than being $10 mil behind KU, Mizzou was $20 mil behind. Not only that but the SEC has a worse Tv deal than the Big 12. That very well may change but it lags in the short run. KU is also getting plenty of new donations, which is to be expected when you’re conducting a $1.2 billion capital campaign.

    The part that really has to hurt is KU playing 8 games in KC this year. Not only did Mizzou screw their KC base with the move, they didn’t have a single sporting event here in 12-13. KC used to be the epicenter for Mizzou. Not any more. The glory days of MU competing in KC are done. Someday perhaps the rivalry will resume but at some point, Mizzou will start having a harder time recruiting the metro if they continue to ignore it while KU plays here all the time.

    • harleyiscool says:

      sorry dude…those numbers are not relective oftheamounts.
      MU is got so much cash coming in thru multiple revenue streams
      that its filling up the town.
      the enrollment has about 2000 waiting list…
      you’re notincluding 250 milliontoathletics…or thekcfund
      thats sittingto be used…
      mu is a cash giant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      missouri just completed a 1 billion dollar progam…settingoff
      on a second..ku had to beg to pay off their 2 football coaches…
      while ku has to cut back athletics programs…
      not even close….no big deal just money talks in college athletics
      and mu made the wise choice to move….

  5. RICO SUAVE says:

    Mizzou yokels ‘celebrating” the gutless, cowardly mid-nite sneak attack on Lawrence, is like the japs still celebrating Pearl Harbor.

  6. Ginger Bonita says:

    I love the peasant mentality of MU fans who love to play the “we make more money in the SEC” trump card when trying to be dismissive of the Big 12. And that money benefits the fans how? Does the administration see all this money roll in and decide, “Shit, we don’t need to charge our fans as much for games now with all this cash, let’s give them a break on season tickets.” No, in fact, tickets are going up.

    Then they figure, “all this money gives us better facilities and then in turn better players.” Except Vandy is building better facilities at the same rate. It’s an arms race with them and every other school in the SEC, and Missouri is something like the North Korea in that conference. They can build a nuke but can’t send it anywhere except their own backyard.

    All this money really does is make rich people like Mike Alden richer.

    • the dude says:

      While poor little KU and Kstate are left to fight after what little crumbs are left after Texas and OK eat their meals. It’s OK bonita, keep telling yourself it’s OK as your conference crumbles around you as Texas blows up yet another conference due to their inbred greed. Good luck scrambling for WAC membership when that happens.

  7. Jimbo OPKS says:

    At least a Missouri grad would know how to spell, “Fuck Kansas;” and be classy enough not to wear it on a shirt.

  8. Bob Sacamano says:

    I’m confused about the record attendance claim? This is the first year that single game tickets were available and I know they didn’t sell out the first day of the event and in the past the tournament was a sellout for all sessions because the only way they sold tickets were an all session ticket. Did the Sprint Center add more seats, because I don’t see how you can set an attendance record when this year you didn’t sell out all of the sessions.

    • brent says:

      Attendance and ticket sales are not the same thing. They announced that crowd for the KU v K-State game was the biggest ever in the Sprint center.

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