Finally, after way too much time, MU and KU are going to hook up to play basketball against one another.
Hopefully this will lead to an agreement for the two schools to play a non-conference game in football. I am not a fan of MU or KU, as I have an undergraduate degree from Northwest Missouri State and a graduate degree from Wyoming. I will forever be a fan of those college teams, come hell or high water.
But as a lifelong resident of Kansas City, I am a fan of the rivalry between MU and KU. It was one of the greatest rivalries in the country hands down. I loved it when my friends from both sides of the state line would work themselves into a state of insanity to loyally support the Tigers or Jayhawks.
That is what sports is all about. As a kid, my dad would take me down to the Big Eight Christmas basketball tournament and the Big Eight postseason basketball tournament every year. The rivalry was not only fun to watch, but we would talk all the way home about how both fan bases could not stand the other.
We would always looked forward to the last game of the football season when KU vs. MU was the hot topic of discussion the week before the game. I have always loved when the two teams played each other.
The year that MU and KU were ranked in the top three, the game was played at Arrowhead Stadium, and it was the most electrifying atmosphere I ever witnessed. It stood up against World Series games, NFL and NBA playoff games, several bowl games, a national NCAA football championship game and big-time NCAA basketball tournament games – none of which was like that day. You could feel the energy in that stadium from Columbia to Lawrence.
Unfortunately, money has been the culprit that has sent the teams separate directions. From a business standpoint it makes sense, but as a sports fan who grew up in Kansas City, it makes no sense at all.
As a neutral observer, life is not as exciting without one of the most heated rivalries in the country. Both schools could use the rivalry again. The Southeastern Conference is trying to make Arkansas the Tigers’ new rival – no way.
KU and Kansas State do not love each other, but nothing can match the passion of MU and KU when they would match up in any sport. If the two schools played tic-tac-toe, they would be fired up and ready to go.
They have not played each other for several years, but you can bet that no matter the sport, the place will be sold out and it will be the talk of Kansas City for a week before the game and a week after the game.
A young golfer asked me if I thought the rivalry would be the same, and I assured him that any time MU and KU go up against each other, he needed to get tickets because it will be a happening. Hopefully this will be the kick-start for a renewed rivalry. Forget about which conference they are in, the Tigers and Jayhawks will be ready to ROLL!
• The quote of the week comes from Pro Football Hall of Famer and four-time Super Bowl champion Terry Bradshaw: “When you’ve got something to prove, there’s nothing greater than a challenge.”
– Tim Crone, a William Chrisman High School graduate, is a former activities director and coach for Blue Springs High School and is a host of a weekly radio show, “Off the Wall with Tim Crone,” on KCWJ (1030 AM) 6 p.m. every Monday. He writes a weekly column for The Examiner. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.