Hello cyber friends. Long time reader sometimes (not very often in reality) commenter. Unemployment finds me with a lot of time on my hands. TigerBartender suggested I try writing to keep my mind busy. Aa a large portion of every day, even when I am employed, is filled with keeping up on news and developments of my favorite sports teams it was a natural connection for me to make that the focus of my writing. As a result you might be stuck with my random musings about Tiger athletics for the foreseeable future. That is unless anyone out there wants to hire a Mizzou grad. All I require is $55-60K, vision, dental, and a corner office with a view. Not too much to ask I don't think. Any who, on to today's topic. The birth of a rivalry.
On July 1 of last year I found myself ecstatic as our journey into the best football conference had officially began. The whole package drew me in. Along side the institutional benefits of conference stability and money, the social aspect of the SEC probably enticed me more. The tailgates, passionate fan bases, year round football, and a high volume of pretty girls in sundresses. I drank the Kool-Aid hard. I was all in on the SEC from day one. I felt no remorse about leaving our former mates in the Big XII behind and even had myself convinced that not playing those damn beakers meant I wouldn't have to give them so much as a second thought. I loved that I felt a sense of community within conference and was fine not having a rival that made my blood boil. Sure there would be teams I got more fired up about than others, but I had accepted the fact that kU levels of hate may never be reached again. Even suffering through what was a less than spectacular football season I was still basking in my SEC glow. And then a shot was fired across the bow by a kU fan after the aTm loss. I responded and soon found myself tangled in a lengthy Facebook thread argument about which school was at fault for the Border War coming to an end. I was immediately reminded what I had been missing from the conference move. It's fun to have a rival that you hate to your core. Where every conversation that involves the two schools turns into a heated quarrel. I had found my first negative about switching conferences. The lack of a bitter rival. Sure the big wigs in Birmingham told us that Arkansas was supposed to fill that void, but they aren't going to schedule the two in football until 2014 at the earliest and after the first basketball I found my self seething hatred in the direction of the officiating crew, not our "rival" school.
Enter Suitcase Mike. I certainly held ill feelings about the way he exited his tenure as the Tigers head man and had heard he had a reputation as a jerk from the media even when he was here. I somehow still couldn't turn that into hate fuel. Not to worry, Mike was determined to make this a rivalry all by himself. He took credit for last years success and even went so far as to claim he likely would have made a final four run with that team. He conveniently forgot that he had faltered down the stretch with a similarly disappointing first round exit with much the same team the year before. He cracked wise about no questions regarding the officials in his post game press conference. A clear shot at Haith's comments following the first meeting. He was just generally way too smug for my tastes. His comments and attitude were the straw that broke the camels back. He'd goaded me one too many times. My blood was now boiling. I finally had the rival I had been longing for. I loved looking at twitter all day leading up to tip off. I loved seeing the atmosphere at Mizzou Arena. I loved seeing Frank get so fired up he almost took a swing at Anderson. I was all in baby. Pushed my chips to the middle. That the game turned into a savage beating was just icing on the cake. I feel much better now knowing that from now on twice each hoops season and at some point eventually during football season I can let the hate flow forth freely and dedicate energies toward ill will to those bumpkins to the south.My life is complete once again.
Now if you'll excuse me, I see that an ever rare, never before seen by me episode of HIMYM is about to come on FX. I suppose I should put on pants soon as well. I mean it is 3 o'clock in the afternoon. But seriously someone hire me.