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Truman the Tiger swings his tail in the air to amp up the Missouri Student Section late in the 3rd Quarter of Saturday's game against South Carolina.

Diego Galicia/Photographer

MOVE takes a peek into the Tiger’s Lair

Junior Brendan Lavell: “Win or lose, it’s really exciting to be that close to the field surrounded by everyone cheering for the same team and one common purpose for our school.”

By Ashley Jones | Sept. 11, 2017

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Gators, Bears and Razorbacks beware before you enter into the Tiger’s Lair. The University of Missouri’s fan section is one of the most exciting parts of Memorial Stadium.

Newcomers to Faurot Field wouldn’t think that participating in the University of Missouri’s student section would be difficult. Before the first game, the organization meets to teach students the chants that are provided on its website.

Freshman Ryan Sparks signed up for Tiger’s Lair to get involved at MU and meet new people. Sparks said the chants should not be difficult for new members to learn.

“I don’t think it's stressful,” Sparks said. “It's a football game. There’s a lot of chants, but honestly it’s going to be a learning experience. I’ll just need to look for the people who have done it before and watch their movements.”

The Tiger’s Lair coordinators do not just throw students into the lion’s den. They attempt to teach them all of the basics, to an extent.

“They did try to teach me the cheers, but they went through it once, so it was just a lot of screaming,” Sparks said.

Although he may not remember all of the chants to start with, Sparks specifically remembers that there are do’s and don’ts while representing the MU student section.

“No showing up drunk, clothing needs to be on and no storming the field,” Sparks said.

Junior Brendan Lavell has been participating in Tiger’s Lair since freshman year and used financial logic in his decision to join.

“It’s only $25 so I kinda do the math in my head; it’s like $3.50 per game,” Lavell said. “That’s a really good deal to be on the 50-yard line with such great seats. Most student sections in the country are on the corner of the field somewhere and so it’s really a unique experience. Most students don’t get a view of the field like that.”

Lavell has fond memories of his start in Tiger’s Lair, even though the chants took some time for him to master.

“The first couple of games, for me, it was always realizing that we don’t say ‘Z-O-U’ as well as ‘M-I-Z,’” Lavell said. “We only say the ‘M-I-Z’ and the other side says ‘Z-O-U,’ but the rest of it took a couple games, but it was fine.”

Junior Kasey Carlson related to struggling with the chants but had some words of encouragement for people who are struggling.

“You catch on pretty fast pretty much,” Carlson said. “I mean, it’s not that hard. You hear it a few times and then you know it forever.”

Regardless of the results of a game, Lavell said Tiger’s Lair creates a great atmosphere in Memorial Stadium.

“Win or lose, it’s really exciting to be that close to the field surrounded by everyone cheering for the same team and one common purpose for our school,” Lavell said.

Edited by Brooke Collier | bcollier@themaneater.com

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