Since the Kansas versus Missouri exhibition game, I’ve noticed something somewhat profound. This rivalry is just as strong as it was when Missouri was in the Big 12. It would be understandable if you had somewhat forgotten how strong the rivalry was back in 2012, I know that I had lost sight of it. After Missouri left, I was furious and tried my best to stop giving Missouri any of the attention they thought they deserved.
I was first to say “SECYA” and didn’t have any will to ever play them again. It’s important for you to know that I had maintained this position for the following five years, until I saw it happen. When the exhibition game was first announced, I was somewhat surprised at my reaction. It wasn’t anger like my previous position had led me to believe it would be, it was actually great joy and excitement. The thought of playing the best Missouri team since that 2012 team, in a game for charity was truly a good feeling. I couldn’t wait for the Jayhawks to dampen some of the excitement Missouri fans had about this years team.
During the days leading up to the game, two feelings continued to grow inside myself and probably many other KU fans. The prospect of beating the new and improved Tigers, but the fear that we may lose to that team. Since I have been a fan, the latter feeling has never occurred in the build up to an exhibition game. This showed the contradiction in my argument against playing Missouri again.
Like it or not, that game and this rivalry matter. The exhibition back in October shows the clear comradery that each fan base has with each other, and just how much that state line still means. The back and forth at the game, between the divided sides of the Sprint Center perfectly represent the passion we all have for our teams. If the attendance at this game, and how fast the tickets sold weren’t enough to convince you how much it matters, maybe the twitter war will. What prompted me to write this article almost a month later is the ongoing war of words we’ve seen since the game. It’s funny to watch Missouri fans call us the “chicken hawks,” as if that is somehow going to get to us. When a rivalry draws this much bitterness over an exhibition, it proves that it must live on.
The main factor keeping the rivalry from continuing is the unwillingness of both sides to come to an agreement, particularly on our side of it. Bill Self still has the belief that I previously had. While it is understandable, this clash is just too much fun not to continue. I believe that we should do our best, on both sides of the rivalry to set the bitterness aside and show how much the schools understand the rivalry. As I mentioned, Bill Self is not without blame in this stalemate but ultimately, Missouri needs to continue to be the side that reaches out and shows their willingness to get it done, since they arguably destroyed it to begin with. I’ve come to believe that there is no objective argument against continuing the rivalry.
If all it took was this one exhibition game to convince me, I’m sure it has convinced many others. As the months go on, we as fans need to continue the support for the rivalry and show the schools how much we want this back.