’Twas the night before Border War, less than 24 hours away
Not a creature was stirring, not even Bill Self’s toupee;
The players’ sneakers were placed by their lockers with care
In the hopes they’d run out to 15,061 “F kU” cheers in the air.
Mizzou’s fans were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Aidan Shaw dunks and court stormin’ danced in their heads;
In their 573 tees and their tiger-striped Santa hats,
They’d just turned off TikTok for unseasonably warm winter naps.
When out in Lot M there arose such a clatter,
They all rushed to the arena to see what was the matter.
Racing to the entrance they flew like a flash,
Tore open the doors and continued their dash.
They arrived in the lower bowl of Norm Stewart Court,
Wondering what the hell was happening with their favorite sport?
When, what did their wondering eyes did appear,
But a practice(?), a practice(!) that all Jayhawkers would fear.
Before their eyes, on the court, a tall figure appeared;
A 6’3” man so lively yet so delightfully weird.
It could be but one person they’d all grown to admire;
It must be Whitten Family Men’s Head BB Coach Dennis Gates who’s set their fandom afire.
More rapid than eagles his players they came;
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, D’Moi! Now, Gomillion! Now, Dree and Nick Honor!
On, Isiaih! On, Kobe! On, Ben and Noah Carter!
To the top of the key! To the paint! To the glass!
Now dunk away! Steal away! Just kick their ass!”
And then, GASP! Something sounded from deep in the shadows;
Some commotion in the tunnel, what could it be? An incoming battle?
The crowd drew in their breaths and watched, quite amazed,
On top of the $20k t-shirt cannon came Truman the Tiger, unfazed.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his paws,
Nothing surprising about that since he’s a tiger after all.
With a wave of his paw and a twist of his head,
Soon let the crowd know they had fun times ahead.
Truman spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And shot t-shirt after t-shirt to the crowd where they lurked.
When the shirts were all gone, he placed a finger aside his nose,
And giving a nod, out on the overpriced cannon he rode;
Offering one last ‘bye’ to the team and giving a friendly growl,
Gates & Co. retreated from the court with nary a scowl.
Just as quickly as it’d started, practice was over just like that;
A feeling of joy rushed over the crowd, they’d beat kU, that was fact.
As fans departed, they heard Gates yell, before disappearing out of sight,
“Happy Border War* to all, and to all a good night!”
*Yes, I know it’s the Hy-Vee Hoops Border Showdown or something now, but that just doesn’t work for me title-wise)