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Columbia Missourian

Remarkable season gives Tigers well deserved front-page coverage

By TOM WARHOVER
December 7, 2007 | 5:26 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Well, sports fans, there was no special football section around Friday’s print edition. One was planned, at least before the results of the Oklahoma game were known.

Don’t worry. A retrospective of the year is planned for Dec. 15, and another special report before the New Year’s Day Cotton Bowl game.

For two Fridays, the Missourian was, in essence, inside out. Sports, which normally falls in the back, ran in the front section. The front page of news ran as the second section.

News judgment is a fickle thing. Ask a dozen people and you can get 14 answers about what stories to put on Page 1. Or, in fact, the entire first section.

The KU and Oklahoma games warranted special coverage and display. The first game elevated Missouri to a No. 1 national ranking. The second was for the Big 12 Championship and a shot at the national title game. Any time you get to “once in four decades” kinds of benchmarks, it’s time to sit up and take notice in a different way. The team has experienced a remarkable season.

The season has been interesting but not life threatening. Not a single policy question was answered on the front page of those special sections. Important developments to our watershed, our roads or our schools will not be in the next special section.

The fate of democracy is not tied to the results of the Cotton Bowl game.

So is the Missourian coverage too much?

Two thoughts: First, the Missourian runs on readership. More readers mean more newspaper sales and more advertising. Second, this is a town where you can listen to Mizzou football game over grocery store loudspeakers, even in 4-8 seasons. Even those who prefer a good cookbook over a game summary are forced to taste at least a bit of Tiger football.

To those who want more news, grab next Saturday’s paper. And chin up: The season ends in just three weeks.