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Missouri football: 'Christmas Thursdays' have offensive line dancing for joy

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 | 5:41 p.m. CST; updated 10:53 a.m. CST, Friday, November 8, 2013

COLUMBIA — On Oct. 24, Evan Boehm sent out a video message to his 4,000-plus Twitter followers.

"Thursday tradition," he said. "Christmas music."

The six-second video then cut to a peculiar wide shot: the Missouri offensive line was dancing to Andy Williams' "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year."

One week later, the phenomenon continued on Halloween, this time with a new title.

"Christmas Thursdays!" Boehm announced as fellow lineman Mitch Morse performed a complicated high-leg clap routine to Leroy Anderson's "Sleigh Ride."

The videos spread around social media, and soon there was an obvious question: what was going on, exactly?

Senior Max Copeland was guarded with his response.

"I want to keep it shrouded in mystery," Copeland said. "What you have to know is it's a sacred ritual of the Christmas people of old. We feel many spirits of O-linemen passing down beneath our dance moves. It’s an intimate ceremony to bring us in touch with our fellow lineman of old."

So, where does this magical event take place?

"We need to keep the location a secret," he said. "I'm afraid people are going to show up for it."

Boehm was less interested in secrecy.

"Every Thursday, we sit back and wait until everybody leaves," Boehm said. "Then we just go out to the parking lot."

That parking lot would be the one in front of the Mizzou Athletics Training Complex, where the offensive linemen leave their Thursday night meeting around 9 p.m.

Before the Indiana game in September, Morse and Justin Britt tuned on a Christmas Pandora station in Britt’s “mom car” (a navy Saturn Vue), and the tradition developed from there.

“We started dancing,” Britt said. “And then we started playing really good.”

During the week leading up to the South Carolina game in October, Boehm decided to take the next step, and shared the event with the Twitter world via Vine, a downloadable phone application that allows users to piece together short six second videos.

“One day I thought, ‘I’ll just go out and I’m gonna film it,’” Boehm said.

The videos took off, with several Twitter users either sharing or commenting on the links. One group of viewers took the players by surprise, however.

Last Friday, offensive coordinator Josh Henson walked up to the offensive line.

“My daughter and son were on the floor laughing because of 'Christmas Thursdays,'” Henson said.

Sophomore offensive lineman Connor McGovern was flattered, and hinted that Henson’s kids might appear in a future video, along with other featured guests. Copeland alluded to the new appearances as well. 

“It’s one of the highest honors I think anyone could have bestowed upon them,” Copeland said. “We have a few invitees on the horizon.”

Where will "Christmas Thursdays" go from here? Will the sanctity of the event be called into question as more and more people join in the craze? For this set of Missouri offensive linemen, the decision to celebrate their favorite holiday is a no-brainer.

Even if they are a couple months early.

“Sometimes you have to spread the Christmas cheer to everyone,” Copeland said. “That’s not something to keep bottled up.”

Boehm promised a new video on Thursday via Twitter.


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