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FROM READERS: Once a Tiger, always a Tiger — even in Bulldog country

Monday, September 10, 2012 | 8:40 p.m. CDT
Holland Baird and Ben Hansen share their love of the Missouri Tigers with other Missouri fans in Atlanta at Locos Grill & Pub, a place that specifically caters to the Atlanta/Mizzou Alumni crowd.

Holland Baird moved to Atlanta this summer with her boyfriend after they both graduated from MU. Baird is pursuing a career in television and film production.

Let me start off by saying Atlanta is a huge and beautiful city.  Just like a big city should have, there is always something going on and a new hole in the wall place to stumble upon.

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After graduating from Mizzou in May, my boyfriend and I decided to move to Atlanta so that I could pursue a career in television and film production and he could pursue his graduate degree at Georgia State.We packed ourselves up, loaded everything into our 16 foot moving truck and drove the 12 hours from Columbia to Atlanta. It was a bittersweet experience, both of us leaving our families and friends behind in Missouri and heading out on our own, unsure of what “Hotlanta” had in store for us. Five weeks later, we’re still here, alive and thriving in this big and beautiful city.

As football season approached, we both became anxious and excited for the MU Tigers and their first season as part of the SEC. However, we soon realized that we weren’t in Columbia anymore and there wouldn’t be many sports bars that would show the Missouri Tigers. I mean, we are in Bulldog territory down here.

Our hopes of watching Missouri football seemed dashed, but then we found out that there’s actually a restaurant in Buckhead, Locos Grill & Pub, that specifically caters to the Atlanta/Mizzou Alumni crowd. We were saved! All day long on Saturday, Ben and I were both anxious for 7:45 to arrive; we were finally going to cheer on our Tigers and this time finish with “Z-O-U.”

We arrived at Locos Bar and Grill in Buckhead around 6:45, and our entrance  mimicked a scene out of a movie. Here we are, both decked out in our black and gold surrounded by bright red UGA fans. Needless to say, we could hear the crickets chirping. Luckily the hostess took us to the party room where the rest of the Mizzou Alumni were. 

As soon as we walked in we were greeted with warm welcomes, smiles and more Black and Gold! It felt like we were back at Harpos or Bengals watching the game. Ben and I put on our name tags and settled in, finally meeting some fellow Tigers. Former Missouri tight end Chase Coffman, who plays on the Falcons’ practice squad, was even in the crowd of Mizzou alumni.

As we watched the game, everything went well. We were all cheering for our Tigers, and even started up our own “MIZ-ZOU” chant to join along with the chant in Memorial Stadium.

Although the Mizzou fans had their own room to gather in,  UGA fans occasionally came in and threw around some boos and “Muck Fizzou” calls. We just ignored them, or one of the older Mizzou alumni escorted them out of the room; we were there to support our team in their first SEC game, and we wanted it to be fun and memorable for the right reasons.

We were all on pins and needles while watching the game, ecstatic that our Tigers were holding their own against the Georgia Bulldogs, but once UGA gained a touchdown, and then another, and then finally the 21-point lead against us, we all became quite somber and saddened that our Tigers had lost. At this point the UGA fans had begun to leave us alone, and by the time the game was over, most of the UGA fans had left the bar.

Locos was a great environment to be in, reminiscent of game days back in Columbia full of adoring fans for both teams; I was just glad to be back in my black and gold and surrounded by my fellow Mizzou family.

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.


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