For all the hoopla this week about top football recruit Dorial Green-Beckham and ESPN’s campus takeover for the Missouri-Kansas basketball game Saturday, one of the biggest stories is a viral YouTube post put together by Missouri students.
“We Are Mizzou” — a music video about… well, I’m still not quite sure — is full of moronic frat-boy buffoonery and terrible lyrics, the intelligible ones mostly being about Kansas’ inferiority.
Naturally, the fine students at the University of Kansas offered a rebuttal on Tuesday afternoon. Their parody video, fittingly entitled “We Are KU,” tears apart the original in convincing (and hilarious) fashion. The basketball jersey-clad undergrads take several digs at Mizzou, including a laissez-faire mention of the two schools’ Final Four appearance ratio (13-0, Kansas).
Examples of bad blood are evident on both campuses. The "Jayhawk Roast" is a biannual tradition at Mizzou dining halls before games against Kansas in football and basketball. Students at Kansas sing the lyrics, "Got a bill that's strong enough / to twist a Tiger's tail," in the school's fight song during every game, not just ones against Missouri.
Needless to say, the MU-KU rivalry runs deeper than the gridiron or the hardwood. And it’s too bad it’s coming to a close.
This summer, Mizzou departs the Big 12 Conference for the Southeastern Conference, and the potential contests against the rival Jayhawks are no longer guaranteed.
If the games don’t continue — which looks likely at this point — it will be chalked up to a “he-said, she-said” drama. Kansas is bitter because Missouri is cutting ties. Missouri has hard feelings because Kansas just isn’t willing to grow up.
Besides, Tiger supporters say, KU would’ve done the exact same thing if they were in our shoes (see: Nebraska to the Big Ten).
The fate of a historically Kansas-dominated basketball rivalry seems, as usual, in the Jayhawks’ hands. KU coach Bill Self has hinted that he wants no part of the traitorous black and gold in upcoming seasons. This is disappointing because the basketball games between the two teams are nearly always heated, with intense atmospheres at both Mizzou Arena (a standing room-only crowd of 15,000-plus is expected for Saturday’s contest) and the historic Allen Fieldhouse.
The last year Missouri did not compete against Kansas in any major sport, Benjamin Harrison was president of the United States, Idaho and Wyoming were only a couple months old and basketball hadn’t even been invented yet.
1890 was the calm before the storm, the sane period of time before an epic 121-year athletic battle between two of the most storied colleges in the nation.
Hell, the schools compete in just about every way, shape and form. When I visited MU during my senior year of high school, I heard more about why Kansas fails as an institution than why Missouri succeeds, never mind whether the conversation was focused on academics or club hockey.
Although there is no doubt the MU-KU relationship has been tumultuous, the two schools owe it to each other to continue the rivalry however they can. Even if a hole cannot be found in either team’s football schedule next season, a non-conference game on the hardwood is a must.
Sadly, as of now, the basketball game this Saturday marks the last meaningful competition between Missouri and Kansas taking place here in Columbia. Both teams are ranked in the top 10 nationally, and the winner will have a big say in the Big 12 regular season picture.
A big game like this is what one of the oldest rivalries in the United States is all about: competition that brings out the absolute best effort of everyone involved.
Next year, all they’ll be competing against each other for are YouTube hits.