Classless? We Beg To Differ
This past weekend was not only a great weekend for the University of Missouri, but for the SEC as well.
Missouri hosted its first Southeastern Conference game on Saturday against the Georgia Bulldogs, and the atmosphere was amazing. Droves of UGA fans came into town for the weekend, and all of them raved about the game day scene in Columbia.
Except for one.
Jeremy Dailey, a writer for The Red & Black, Georgia’s student newspaper, made the long trek to Columbia for the big game and was not impressed by Mizzou. He states that the fans were classless. He states that our traditions are horrible. He states that we “ripped the welcome mat” from underneath the Georgia fans. I would disagree with all three, especially the last one.
I do realize that his opinion does not reflect the entire Georgia fan base. We met many Dawgs fans throughout the weekend and got positive reviews from each before and after the game. One wanted to take Quinton’s Bar back to Athens. Another said we were “too nice.” Everyone we met loved the campus and the downtown area and thought Mizzou was a gracious host.
On Friday afternoon, a Georgia fan in a pickup truck drove by me with a megaphone yelling “Go Dawgs!”. That’s awesome. I didn’t complain. The MIZ-ZOU chants got a lot of compliments. We don’t yell it after every single play. Dailey’s comment on it being like “nails on a chalkboard” is ridiculous – it’s a pretty standard cheer.
In regards to the booing of an injured UGA player, let me explain what we Mizzou fans saw. First off, it happened once. There was a play during a Mizzou no-huddle drive in which a Georgia lineman stood up and fell down behind the play – clearly when the Tigers’ offense had momentum. He was down for two minutes, sat out one play, and came back in. We were booing because it appeared that he was trying to slow the Tigers drive down. Every other Georgia player was applauded when he walked off the field after an injury. We have class, especially when it comes to sportsmanship.
Our attire? The Mizzou CS staff and I wore golf polos and khakis. There were young ladies in sundresses and many others in “classy” attire. It was not a bunch of blue Levi’s and yellow T-shirts, as Dailey claims.
We started tailgating at 8:00 a.m. and the temperature was in the mid-50s. Is that not dedication? We did not leave the game early and we represented the school well.
I will agree with him on one thing: The Mizzou football team did need its fans. That’s why Faurot Field was sold out with 71,004 in the stands. That’s why we arrived early and stayed late.
It’s a shame Jeremy felt strongly enough about his experience to write a column trashing an entire school and fan base. He missed the point that this past Saturday was supposed to be about accepting new traditions into the SEC. Instead, he took a few negatives from an overwhelmingly positive weekend and wrote a rant without much substance.
But, on behalf of Missouri and its fanbase, I’d like to say that I had a pleasure sharing my city with Mr. Dailey and the rest of the Georgia faithful. I truly hope they all come back to Columbia in two years.
Go Tigers. MIZ-SEC!