Expecting a Kansas fan to understand a point you’re trying to make is like expecting a mute to be able to sing. Don’t let this historic rivalry end just because you’re jealous Missouri is moving on to bigger and better things.
It’s not like Missouri is packing their bags and leaving Columbia, Mo. There is still very much going to be a border war, even if the schools discontinue playing.
Although Missouri is moving to the Southeastern Conference (SEC), Jayhawk fans and Tiger fans will still be neighbors, classmates and coworkers. The hatred between the two will not just disappear. Missouri isn’t backing down from anything. St. Joseph is far far closer to Lawrence than Columbia, and the town is still split. That says a lot about the pride Kansas fans have in their school, like how for one season, all of a sudden Kansas fans were football fans. That is, until Todd Reesing went back home with a clump of Arrowhead Stadium sticking out of his facemask. Then everything was back to normal.
At the thought of Missouri leaving the Big 12 for the SEC, Kansas head coach Bill Self made comments mentioning how he would hate to see the historic rivalry end. At the time he made these comments, Missouri was only two games into the basketball season.
Once the 6-0 Tigers passed the 3-2 Jayhawks in the national rankings, Self had swapped beliefs a little bit, at one point saying, “Kansas fans don’t give a flip about playing Missouri.” Well Mr. Self, didn’t you say once that you received tons of mail, in your first few years as head coach at Kansas, saying that you better not lose to Missouri? Sounds to me like Kansas fans do care. Any Kansas fans who are willing to say they don’t care about playing Missouri are ignorant and selfish.
What happened to coaches being the true supporters of the rivalry? Missouri’s former head coach Norm Stewart being a great example, by filling up at gas stations in Kansas City on the Missouri side when traveling to Lawrence, just so he wouldn’t have to put Missouri’s money into the Kansas economy. Don Fambrough, a former Kansas coach, also showed support of the rivalry by once saying “It’s a g**d*** war, and they started it!”
Kansas fans like saying that they win the rivalry, since Missouri is choosing to “forfeit” by leaving the Big 12. Kansas fans know as well as anybody that they would get their asses out of the Big 12 too, if anybody wanted them. The fact of the matter is that no conference wants a school that only has a basketball program. Football is what ultimately brings in the money. I mean big time winner Turner Gill was contracted for an annual $2 million while Bill Self is making $3 million.
If Kansas had a football program with more talent than an average high school, somebody might be interested in them. Since nobody is, Kansas is going to remain bowing down to the Texas throne in the Big 12.
That is still no reason to put 120 years of rivalry games behind us. It’s not like Kansas called up Missouri back in 1891 and said, ‘we challenge you to a game of football, best out of 121.’ I hope Kansas realizes that if it chooses to not schedule Missouri anymore, it will have to live with Missouri owning the tie breaker.
One thing Kansas fans have right is that it’s not all about football. Kansas lives and dies by the basketball team. The Jayhawks are quick to claim that they own the overall basketball record, just like Missouri does with baseball. But of course they do, how could they not? They only had Dr. James Naismith, the creator of basketball, to jump start their program ahead of everybody else.
Thanks to the now former Missouri coach Mike Anderson for giving the Missouri basketball program a new heartbeat, they are finally competing again. Since the Kansas Jayhawk logo has been the international sign of choking the last couple years in the tournament, Bill Self is actually sounding worried about playing Missouri. Especially after Kansas barely beat Long Beach State in Allan Fieldhouse. I’d be worried about Missouri if I was him too.
If it was up to Kansas fans, they would probably only continue the rivalry ter if every annual game was played in Lawrence. Grow up and realize that a conference change doesn’t solve hate. The power to end this rivalry is in the hands of Kansas right now. Don’t end it just because you are jealous of Missouri for being able to cross the street without having to be on the Texas Longhorns’ leash anymore.