A University of Alabama fan is offering, “tips” to University of Missouri followers in advance of the SEC Championship game in Atlanta Saturday. Entitled, “Open Letter to the Mizzou Nation,” the ‘Bama fan says the Crimson Tide will be cheering for Ole Mizzou as it takes on Auburn.
“Here in the SEC we appreciate resilience and you have SHOWED it all season long,” states the writer only known as 5026. “Great job! Secondly we want you to know we ‘Bama fans are all behind you guys.”
It seems the writer seeks to warn the Mizzou Nation about the ills of entering the Auburn Sports Arena, affectionately called “the Barn.”
“Ok, here is a word to the wise… expect cheap shots. Now Gus is not really like this that I can tell, but a lot of these guys are Trooper’s boys. Cheap shots, especially to the knees, are just a part of their game. And trash talk, just ignore it. And be sure your guys do not get dragged into any exchange of punches. I know it is hard, but just keep your cool against these guys. They can get to be real hot heads so just let them be their own worst enemy.”
Since Alabama lost to its archrival, the Auburn Tigers, Alabama’s run at a third consecutive national championship crumbled with its loss to Auburn this past Saturday. Whether real or contrived, many Mizzou fans say they’ll take the support, which has been lacking since joining the SEC.
“I read this and for some reason I’m not really buying it but hey I’ll take it,” Amy Jordan Tvrdik wrote on Facebook. “Last year when ‘Bama whipped our butts, they weren’t so warm and friendly.”
And Mizzou fans understand the pure hatred that exists between rivalries. When Mizzou was in the Big 12, the Missouri – Kansas rivalry was one of the oldest in the nation. A matter-of-fact, in 2012 sports analyst Dick Vitale ranked the two schools at #5 in his list of “Top Five Rivalries in College Sports.” The rivalry between Missouri and Kansas dates back to pre-civil war days, during the “Border Wars.”
Related: SEC Championship preview
“This is really more about how much they hate Auburn vs. how much they truly like us,” said Julie Cameron, a 1991 University of Missouri graduate.
The “tips” written for Mizzou fans has since gone viral on the Internet and social media sites, often sounding more like a rant or spewing sour grapes than words of wisdom from “big brother.”
“Oh yeah, don’t let them feed you this line about how they have a better tradition that you guys,” writes 5026. “They have 2 NC. But, one came while on probation and was won by a bunch of guys illegally recruited and the other came by the way of a guy who found a way around that little rule against paying recruits. They have 2 NC and both are tainted and won the only way AU knows how to win…cheating. They have been on probation a bunch of times. That is their real tradition… cheating.”
As the first public university west of the Mississippi River, many Mizzou fans say there is no need for the warning about “tradition.”
Missouri invented homecoming back in 1911, when MU Director of Athletics Chester L. Brewer invited alumni to come “home” to watch the Border War football game between the Tigers and the Kansas Jayhawks.
The MU mascot – “Truman the Tiger,” was named after Missouri-born U.S. President Harry S Truman. Twice in the past eight years, Truman was acclaimed “Best Mascot in the Nation” in national competition.
The nickname “Tigers,” given to Mizzou’s athletic teams, traces its origin to the Civil War period. At that time, plundering guerilla bands habitually raided small towns, and Columbia people constantly feared an attack. Such organizations as temporary “home guards” and vigilance companies banded together to fight off any possible raids.
The town’s preparedness discouraged any guerilla activity and the protecting organization began to disband in 1854. However, it was rumored that a guerilla band, led by the notorious Bill Anderson, intended to sack the town. Quickly organized was an armed guard of Columbia citizens, who built a blockhouse and fortified the old courthouse in the center of town. This company was called “The Missouri Tigers.”
The marauders never came. The reputation of the intrepid “Tigers” presumably traveled abroad, and Anderson’s gang detoured around Columbia.
Soon after Missouri’s first football team was organized in 1890, the athletic committee adopted the nickname “Tiger” in official recognition of those Civil War defenders.
Yes, Missouri knows something about tradition.
But alas, 5026 finally concludes his open letter transitioning from talking about “traditions” to making “promises.”
“And finally if you guys beat AU and somehow make the NCG (National Championship Game) I’ll promise the whole SEC will be with you except for one school…Auburn. That is right.”
Fans from the Show Me state may have something to say about making promises you can’t keep, especially to a school looking for a new rivalry to call its own.