Lots of big stuff today...and as you'll see with these top links, this will serve as your daily Hate Week reader/open thread...
The Wall Street Journal's Adam Thompson has a nice piece about the Missouri-Kansas rivalry.
Here in a city where the line between the two states is virtually invisible, many Missouri fans won't live in Kansas, and vice versa. When Jayme Salinardi, a lawyer, proposed moving to a Kansas suburb that offered first-class public schools, his wife, Missouri-born Heather, refused. "I'm not living on the Kansas side," he recalls her saying. He finally prevailed -- by finding a house that is only one block from Missouri.
The game this Saturday will provide the perfect capper to a college football season where up has been down. Traditional powers like Notre Dame have stumbled badly while upstarts like South Florida have joined the Tigers and Jayhawks in making once-unthinkable runs for the top. Neither Kansas nor Missouri was expected to win the six-team Big 12 North division. That crown was supposed to belong to the Nebraska Cornhuskers, a team that is 5-6 and that lost to Missouri and Kansas by a combined score of 117-45.
Not everyone sees the upcoming game as bearing great historical overtones. Corby Jones, a star quarterback for the Tigers in the mid-1990s, sat in a sports bar Saturday watching with glee as Missouri beat Kansas State, setting the stage for this week's mammoth showdown with Kansas, an 11-0 team that before the season started was expected to finish fourth in the Big 12 North division.
But even if Missouri, 10-1, loses, Mr. Jones, a lawyer, won't be leading any campaigns against Kansas or its fans. "It's a football game," he said. "It's not war."
(I do have one question, though: who the hell still calls Columbia "Little Dixie"? I've lived here 10 years and never once heard that. And the only place I've seen any high volume of confederate flag anywhere other than the bootheel.)
The KC Star has the other side of that article--the local story saying neither side minds the national stories...
With Kansas on its way to yet another lopsided victory and an 11-0 record, the 46-year-old master’s student at KU was wearing his Jayhawks T-shirt proudly as he took the opportunity to gloat on the program’s newfound football fortunes. And then he was reminded that there’s another team of high regard waiting across the state line.
"No, we’re not sharing the spotlight," he says. "We’re shining the spotlight that Missouri happens to be under."
And so it began, the verbal jousting before the most anticipated college football showdown this area has seen. Thing is, any other year, a local team ranked this high, with this record and national title hopes, would attract all the attention. This year, however, it’s only half of the conversation.
And not everybody sees it as Phelps does.
Meanwhile, Chase Daniel and Todd Reesing made the front page of ESPN.com with Pat Forde's "Tale of the tape" article.
They were midgets without honor in their own land, forced to go outside their football-rich home state for their best scholarship offers. Reesing wound up at Kansas, Daniel at Missouri -- Big 12 backwater locales far from the league's glamour addresses.
They could play and they knew it, but they had the hardest time convincing the alleged recruiting experts.
Mutigers.com (whose moving Pontiac ads I'm getting extremely sick of, by the way) has all the Media Day quotes you need (if you need more, go to PowerMizzou). Meanwhile, Dave Matter has game notes newspaper-style and blog-style. From the blog...oy...
Bob Moore, the director of public relations for the Kansas City Chiefs, might be in for a rude awakening Saturday night. He said there will be a slight increase in the number of security guards for the game at Arrowhead but he expects fans to behave themselves.
"Everybody’s thinking about security, but most of the students aren’t even in school," Moore said. "You’re going to be getting a lot older crowd. Security here is pretty good anyway, so it will be up some but not to the point where you’re going to see 400 extra police standing around. ... People ask me about security expecting there’s going to be some kind of fracas. But that’s really not the kind of crowd that takes place at these games."
Uh huh, sure.
Bob Moore, please wise up quickly.
70-30?? Yeah, I'll believe that when I see it...
The Post-Dispatch writes about this 'unrivaled rivalry game' as well. And oh goodie, Gordo's jumping into the fray as well. Actually, it's not that bad...he just talks about how apparently not everybody's convinced about Mizzou, as evidenced by West Virginia hopping us into the #3 BCS slot...
Finally, oh yeah...there was a basketball game last night. Michigan State beat Mizzou 86-83 in the CBE Classic semifinals. Mizzou trailed the entire game and took way too many 3-pointers early on, but they still almost pulled it off. Not that I got to watch any of it...not that it was actually on in Little Dixie...stupid ESPNU and stupid Mediacom. Anyway, here are the links: official box score, official recap, Crowd's favor can't earn MU an upset victory (Missourian), Missouri falls to Michigan State (KC Star), Tiger Rally falls short against Spartans (PowerMizzou), Tough in the Clutch (Lansing State Journal).
And just because: who doesn't want to read another Norm story?