Friday, January 13, 2006

Thoughts on a Rival

This was sent to me last year by one of my friends -- a former Columbia Missourian reporter and big-time Tiger fan -- shortly before the final kU game of our college years. I've updated some of the information in parentheses, but I think most of it still holds true and serves as a good call to arms with kU coming up on Monday (I'll be there, by the way).

Fellow Chickenhawk haters... It's kU Week.

It's kU Week. It's hard to say how long I've waited for this. I guess you could say it's the culmination of my four years at Missouri, the culmination of four years of bitter hatred for a rival. When I arrived at college, I only had a minor disregard for that school. By contrast, I've been looking forward to this game since November. When I arrived at college, I wasn't a hateful person. This week, my anger and abhorrence have reached a fever pitch.

It's kU Week. In the literature version of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the characters refuse to say the name of Sauron, the ultimate evil of Middle Earth. I hold the name of that state in the same regard, and such will be the consistent tendency for this diatribe, in which I will try to use every euphemism for evil, exhausting my repertoire of angry words. Frankly, they deserve it. Inhabitants and fans of that other school lack all morality and decency.

It's kU Week. It has been next to impossible to pay attention in class this week. Instead of recalling the lecture on Bismarck's rise to power in Germany, all I heard in my head was, "Rock, Chalk, Chickenhawk, Screw kU." But it doesn't stop there. The clever (or not so) sayings about them flowed like water: "M-I-Z, SCREW-k-U" or "Burn kU" or "Can't spell `sucks' without kU." I would look down at my watch, and I heard in my head, "It's (time) and that state still sucks." There are more, I assure you, but decency forbids me from reproducing them in this forum. Of all the fans I've encountered in the past two years, Missouri fans are likely the most nasty and ferocious, wishing nothing but heinous ruin on its opponents. Multiply that anger and outrage by 100,000 this week. Personally, I could go on for days, but again decency and time constraints hinder me.

It's kU Week. The Antlers, probably the most vicious of Missouri fans, took it a step further last year. In the middle of Speaker's Circle, a central location and gathering area on our campus, they proudly paraded and boasted their extreme disgust for that state. A petition circled the area, asking the federal government to remove that state from the Union. They also prominently displayed deprecating signs, such as "Bomb kansas" and "Leave Iraq, Occupy kansas." I'm sure they'll find something equally outrageous to do this week.

It's kU Week. How do you a kU grad of your porch? You pay him for the pizza, and oh yeah, they also forgot the recipe for ice.

It's kU Week. I can be more specific, more direct with my corrosive language; they are certain villains who deserve a larger dose of detestation. They are my Minions of Malevolence...

10. Mark Mangino, head football coach...At the end of the 2004 football season, the Missourian football writers composed an All- Opponent team. Because of his efforts against Missouri on Nov. 20, Mangino was named the All-Opponent coach, and a picture of his bulbous mass of flesh pacing the sideline accompanied the story. More poignantly, though, the jump word of the article was "Terrors," placed just to the left of his photo with a colon after the word. It is certainly a horrific sight, and his presence on the Earth will forever muddy our existence.

9. Roy Williams, former Chickenhawk basketball coach... I couldn't give Roy a higher position on the list. I'm too afraid he'd choke on it. (But it was certainly nice to see Williams stick it to kU by winning his first national title last year at UNC… one year too late)

8. David Padgett, former Chickenhawk center... Dude sent a crushing blow to Missouri two years ago, for he made the winning shot in the game at Missouri, but he showed his true character shortly thereafter. Weeks after that game, he announced his intent to transfer to UNLV. In response to the phrase, "If you can't stand the fire, get out," dude bolted with his stupid little chicken tail between his legs. (I figure he finally just came to his senses…)

7. Christian Moody, Chickenhawk center... Every team's walk-on has a special story; you're no different. No one cares. In addition, Moody missed time last year because of a staph infection on his knee? On his knee? If ESPN is going to tell your story every eight minutes, suck it up and play through some pain.

6. Jeff Graves, former Chickenhawk goon... Graves committed what many consider the cardinal sin in terms of college basketball in the Midwest. A native of Missouri, Graves flew the coup and signed on with Roy and the Chokers. His story got better because of off- court "issues." (In 2003, he was suspended indefinitely for "irresponsibility and lack of respect for the basketball program and his teammates.") Well, he looks like a thug and acts like a thug.

5. Bill Self, Chickenhawk coach... Self went from bad to worse. Self, a known sniveling money-grubbing traitor (the folks at Tulsa will tell you about that), left his post as coach at Illinois to become the head Chickenhawk. That school will be his dream job until some other school ponies up the brass ring. (The best part is, things seem to be falling apart at kU under Self's watch while his old school challenges for the national title.)

4. Drew Gooden, former Chickenhawk guard... Pompous, overrated and an underdeveloped inside scorer, Gooden never did anything more than thump his chest and flap his gums. Seriously, dude, can you show us how strong you are one more time by hanging on the rim?

3. J.R. Giddens, Chickenhawk guard... Riding the stellar game of his teammate Wayne Simien, Giddens spent the majority of the 2004 Big 12 Tournament game against Missouri telling Josh Kroenke he was on the team only because of his dad. Ten dollars says Josh ends life as a more successful person than Giddens, and not because of his father. What a jerk, but I'm not alone on this one. Earlier this season during an atrocious shooting night, Giddens received a rude reception from his home fans. Fed up with his glorified, arrogant play, kU fans booed Giddens and made obscene gestures at him. This guy is a serious waste of precious oxygen. (Little did we know, the best was yet to come. Over the summer, Giddens was stabbed in bar fight and eventually transferred to New Mexico. This was supposed to be his breakout year… some even thought he would enter the NBA Draft. Now, he sits.)

2. Aaron Miles, Chickenhawk guard... Miles is guilty for twice ripping my heart out in home games. He first did it sophomore year, making a desperation 3-pointer with about 1 minute, 30 seconds and the shot clock expiring. Why do I have a contention with this? He wasn't freaking looking at the basket. It got knocked away from him. He tracked it down about 30 feet away, turned and pushed the ugliest shot I've ever seen, and it went in. UNBELIEVABLE! Then last year, he hit a more conventional 3-pointer with about the same amount of time. It came from the left wing, directly in front of where I was sitting on press row. If my shoe were off, I would have thrown it at him.

1. Kirk Hinrich, former Chickenhawk guard… Words can not convey the animosity felt toward him. Neither can derogatory nicknames, many as there are. Page after page would fail to comprehensively summarize Harry Potter's debauchery toward Missouri. I will highlight the most egregious ones. Final seconds of the game in 2002, Hinrich, with Rickey Paulding in his grill, hit the winning 3- pointer as the shot clock expired. Damn. Tough cookies. I can deal with that. It was a great shot; it was what he did next that forever soiled him in the eyes of Missouri fans. He went to center court and held up his jersey to accentuate that school's name. He continued to move his jersey in and out as he skipped (like a girl) off the court right by our cheering section. In addition, I'd like to see him to play defense without holding. I bet you Paulding still has scratches on his arms from where that little wiener grabbed at him... Again, I could on for a long time about him. The transgressions run together. Too many foul memories pollute my recollections.

Let this serve as a call to arms, a call to cheer, a call to support, a call to amplify the hate of our rival. Invest yourself completely in the game. Yell until you can yell no more. Clap until your hands hurt. Heckle until it causes them to come into the stands and hit you. Make this a memorable moment. Make this an unforgettable week. It's kU Week. It's kU Week

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