Fans sound off about Border Showdown, Missouri leaving for SEC

Saturday, November 26, 2011 | 9:33 p.m. CST; updated 9:41 p.m. CST, Saturday, November 26, 2011
Bill Truesdell, left, Mike and Amy Monahan watch the Missouri versus Kansas game while Mike Monahan cheers for Tigers after a score during third quarter Saturday at Bengal's Bar and Grill.

COLUMBIA — Chilly wind and moderate rain turned bars and restaurants into cozy places for fans who couldn't watch the game between the Missouri Tigers and Kansas Jayhawks in person on Saturday.

The rival teams played possibly their last game as Big 12 conference rivals Missouri-Kansas Border Showdown at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. Next season Missouri will leave the Big 12 and play in the SEC.


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At the 2:40 kickoff, a few Missouri fans supported their team at bars and restaurants in downtown Columbia. 

Mike Santacruz, 25, a bartender at Quinton's Bar and Deli, leaned on the bar and joked with his friends while he talked about the game.

"We're going to destroy them, and the score will be 49-7," he said with a laugh before the game started. "Well, that’s my guess."

As for Missouri joining the SEC, Santacruz said, "KU will be worthless without us. We won't miss them, but we'll miss beating them. We'll miss seeing them cry when we destroy their faces."

He added that the rivalry was more of a competitive nature than a violent one, though.

Jim McManus, 53, sat in the booth at Quinton's closest to the hanging television. Taking a glass of Newcastle beer from a server, he said he was sad this was the last game between Missouri and Kansas as conference rivals.

"I'll miss the rivalry," he said. "I wish the rivalry could continue."

McManus, who works for University Hospital, said he has been watching the Border Showdown since it started.

The half a dozen patrons at Quinton's exclaimed when the Tigers made a touchdown, bringing the score to 10-10, at around 4:30 p.m.

Sam Easley, 49, who watched the game from Booches Billiard Hall,  said he sees Missouri leaving the Big 12 as "the end of an era."

Easley has been watching the game for years.

"It's a fun and friendly rivalry, and I want to see it continue," he said. "But it's good to see MU playing bigger games, having more fans and more income," he added.

Dan Harder, 38, was eating hot wings at Billiards on Broadway when the game reached the third quarter. He said he started watching the Missouri-Kansas games when he was 18. He said it’s absolutely important to him that Missouri win.

He watched the whole season, he said, and he got the impression that Missouri improves in the third quarter. The players reserve their power, he said.

Dan Malone, 30, a bartender at Tropical Liqueurs and an MU alumnus, said he expects the Tigers to win by a lot because Kansas has had a poor season.

He said he would miss the rivalry, which he thinks is not just about fun.

"The sportsmanship is good, but I can't divide historical conflicts and the games," he said. "There was a war, and it's hard not to remember it."

At Shiloh Bar & Grill, fans filled the seats and stared at the television.

Tyson Elbert, 33, of Starkville, Miss., said he's been watching Missouri-Kansas football games since he was born.

An MU graduate who was born in Missouri, he said he was raised to be against Kansas.

"There are rivalries between universities, like Michigan and Ohio," he said. "But none of them has the unique trait that MU and KU have."

He'll miss it, he said. But he looks forward to watching Missouri play new teams.

Garrett Daniels, 21, an MU senior, sat at a table with his girlfriend and three friends, watching the game. He has watched rivalry games for six years.

Missouri-Kansas games are always good to watch, he said. "It doesn’t matter how well or poor the teams have been." He still watches and roots for Missouri.

Plus, he enjoys the bonding time with his friends.

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Al Larr November 27, 2011 | 10:37 a.m.

When Missouri signed the deal to play the Kansas game at Arrowhead instead of alternating between Lawrence and Columbia, they abandoned tradition for money. The result was dismal attendance yesterday at Arrowhead.

With the move to the SEC we are taking that to a new level. There is a potential upside but only a fool would not see the downside.

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