A Tiger Town ad gushing about the friendliness of Georgia Bulldog fans appeared in an Athens, Ga., newspaper this week, and it has gone viral.
It turns out the message was paid for by Tom Atkins, who is pulling out the stops to brand Columbia as “Tiger Town USA.”
The ad ran in the print and online editions of the Athens Banner-Herald, a local community newspaper.
It read: “Our thanks to all of you Georgia Bulldog fans! What a terrific bunch of visitors you were — friendly, gracious and fun. We don’t like to lose around here, but both of our teams played an undeniably exciting and awesome game!
You gave us an unforgettable first game in the SEC, and we thank you for that. We hope you enjoyed your visit to mid-Missouri, and look forward to seeing you next time."
Best wishes from the fans & residents of Tiger Town, USA."
Atkins said he arranged for the ad to "get the name (Tiger Town) out there."
He said he was unaware of the stir his advertisement had caused on sports blogs and newspapers.
Joel Provano, an editor with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, referred to the ad on the newspaper's sports blog:
"Nice. But can you imagine Auburn or Tennessee fans taking out such an ad after a loss to Georgia? Can you see Georgia fans taking out an ad in the The Alligator thanking Florida fans for a fun time in Jacksonville after a loss?
Clearly, Mizzou needs to step up the hostility a notch if they’re going to be a real SEC team.”
Nearly three hundred people commented on the post, some defending the move as a sign of Midwestern manners.
“Sounds like you could learn a thing or two from Mizzou, Mr. Provano," one comment noted.