My college roommate at Mizzou and TwentySomeone co-author, Doug Serven, blogged his thoughts concerning the big Missouri/Oklahoma game this weekend. Doug is an R.U.F. campus pastor at OU, so he feels some loyalty tension, but as his feelings about Missouri football are mine (and as his blog doesn’t have permalinks – come on, Serven!), I’m posting them here.
I have struggled over what to write about the Missouri Tigers. They are the number one football team in the nation. This happened last in 1960, and they promptly lost that game to hated KU. I don’t even like typing those letters in a row.
So it’s huge. I’ve suffered through almost 20 years of personally caring about Mizzou. The football team was 3-8 all four of my years there. I saw most if not all of the homes games in person. I was taught to have extremely low expectations.
They continued this trend through the nineties, except for a brief bright spot with Corby Jones at quarterback and Larry Smith as coach. I remember Julie and I went to homecoming while we were in seminary, and Mizzou was playing Texas. That seemed like a stupid choice to me, and I was prepared for another loss. But they won! I couldn’t believe it. They went to a bowl game that year, and it had been a long time. I think they lost.
Brad Smith was supposed to be the next big deal. He was really, really good, but then we’d lose to KU in the last game and tank out in a bowl. I couldn’t watch anymore. I think this season is the first time I’ve watched a whole game from start to finish. It was just too painful.
So there hasn’t been much to cheer about. I went to the OU game here, and I felt conflicted. I have grown to appreciate and enjoy the Sooners. I like to cheer for a team that wins sometimes, and they win often. It hurt me when they lost to LSU and USC in those championship games. So I stood there and was confused. But, as Mizzou had the lead at the start of the fourth quarter, I knew I wanted them to win.
And they lost. It ended up not even to be that close, since Mizzou scored in the last minute to close the gap to 10 points. But I was glad OU won. They had a chance to play for another championship. Until they pooed down their leg in Lubbock (another game I attended).
So now: is Mizzou the best team in the nation? I doubt it. But someone has to be there, and no one else has held it or seems to want it. So it might as well be the Tigers. OU fans are spoiled to be sure. But I’m rooting for MU; if they win they will play for a national championship! If they lose, I’m sure I’ll hear about it.
But remember this: it isn’t Texas; it’s Mizzou. They aren’t your natural rivals. Be happy for them if they win. After all, they’re your second favorite team.