Most people in life couldn’t care less about whether Bill Self’s basketball Jayhawks best Mizzou in basketball or vice versa. It’s a game people and games are meant to be played then forgotten.
There are far bigger fish to fry in the game of life than hinging one’s hopes and aspirations on how a handful of out-of-towner athletes perform against other groups of out-of-towner athletes from competing colleges.
Here’s what really does matter when it comes to competing cities, and that’s economic performance. For example, how Lawrence is doing in comparison to…wait for it...Columbia, Missouri.
That ladies and gentlemen is where the rubber meets the road, and that’s where Missouri’s Tigers are cleaning the Jayhawks’ clocks.
As evidenced by the 2012 Milken Institute Best-Performing Cities Index ranking “the 179 smallest metros” by economic growth and how well they create and sustain jobs.
The bad news: Lawrence ranked 178th, one shy of dead last.
The good news: There is no more bad news.
Not until next year’s survey anyway, but hey, at least the Jayhawks don’t have far to fall.
Which brings us to Mizzou…
Columbia, Missouri clocked in at No. 10, up from 25th place in the 2011 study. And while it’s probably way too early to count any of those SEC Blessings in that equation, clearly somebody’s doing something right out there in the Middle of Nowhereville, USA.
So while Self may get a couple more blue chip recruits than the Tigers, it’s Columbia that’s counting its economic blessings.
And while Lawrence Chamber of Commerce prez Greg Williams was tap dancing in today’s Journal World, Columbia’s Regional Economic Development commission (REDI) was touting the city’s ranking on its web page under the headline, “Columbia, Missouri #10 Best-Performing Cities 2012 – Milken Institute.”
Which brings us to Williams curious defense of lowly Lawrence:
“It is a good reminder that we can’t just rest on our laurels,” he said.
Uh, what laurels?