Missouri Is #1 In College Football
Say It Loud, Say It Proud, But For God’s Sake Say It NOW
After this past weekend’s 36-28 victory over Kansas University,1 The University of Missouri Tigers, unranked in the preseason polls, are now #1 in the Bowl Championship Series, #1 in The Associated Press Writers’ Poll, and #2 behind West Virginia in the USA Today/Coaches Poll.
This dizzy ascension of my medical school alma mater to the top of the computer-calculated BCS heap is sufficiently atypical to cause me to (1) acknowledge that a college football season is under way and (2) abandon my steadfastly maintained strategy of climbing on the bandwagon of any sports team2 only after it has crossed the finish line.3
It’s been a long time since Missouri has been #1 in its conference, let alone the country, and who knows when it will happen again – or how long it will last?
There’s a whole lot of gloating to catch up on while the gloatin’s good.
The Kansas City Star summarizes Mizzou’s situation succinctly:
It has been 47 years — the final week of the Big Eight Conference season in 1960 — since a Missouri football team has been ranked No. 1.
To keep that ranking, Missouri has to beat Oklahoma — No. 9 in the BCS — on Saturday night in the Big 12 Conference championship game in San Antonio.
That will guarantee the Tigers a berth in the BCS National Championship game in New Orleans in January. Then all the Tigers would have to do is beat an opponent that right now is likely to be West Virginia.
The Victory Song Celebration
Most schools have one or two fight songs. When I was enrolled in The University of Missouri Marcus Welby Tech back in the 1970s, Mizzou seemed to have dozens of fight songs. The count may be in the three figures by now.
Regardless, this quaintly ferocious refrain is The Mizzou Fight Song. Prepare to be moved.
Hit it, Hooray, Hurrah,
And a “Bully” for Ol’ Mizzou,
Rah, Rah, Rah, Rah,
Mizzou-rah, Mizzou-rah, Mizzou-rah,
Fight Tigers Factoid #1: This is only nominally a song. It is actually a cadence spliced between “Every True Son” and “Fight Tigers,” two of the many songs officially listed as the Mizzou Fight Song.
Fight Tigers Factoid #2: 97.7% of those who join in singing/chanting “Fight Tigers,” know the words to only the first five lines. Beginning with the words, “And a ‘Bully’ for Ol’ Mizzou,” those folks substitute random nonsense syllables for the actual lyrics. Mizzou tradition holds that this is an acceptable alternative to the version as originally written as long as those nonsense syllables are vocalized at maximum volume.
OK, play “Fight Tigers” once more and sing along this time. Making it through those first 5 lines after imbibing any liquor costing less than $1.65 per gallon, one or more pitchers of beer, or, at least in the 70s, a six pack of fruit coolers, not only qualifies you as an honorary Missouri Football Tigers fan but also as a medical practitioner licensed to perform surgeries and psychotherapy throughout Kansas.
- Kansas plays the deservedly loathed villain to Missouri’s hero in the ongoing morality play that is the intensely competitive Missouri-Kansas rivalry; it is also the school my first wife attended [↩]
- The obvious exception is college basketball which transcends the concept of “sport” to take its place in the metaphysical realm. It is, by he way, only 112 days until the March 18, 2008 start of the 2008 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament. [↩]
- From Blog Reports On Crystal Lake Rowing Event Not Part Of Gay Games: I am, like most bloggers as far as I can tell, not only a fair weather fan but a fair weather fan who also demands a bit of glitz or at least a comfortably appointed bandwagon onto which to climb. … For that matter, bandwagons themselves must meet certain criteria. My official declaration that I was a Chicago White Sox fan, for example, became effective midnight 26 October 2005, just after they won the World Series. Many practical and fiscal compensations accrued from my precise timing in acquiring citizenship in ChiSox Nation. The savings in time, fuel, and parking fees alone garnered from my decision not to drive to games that season is impressive; add to that the hours and dollars I would have otherwise spent if I actually attended any games, and the totals approach remarkable levels. I am likewise confident that my intellectual and neurological states were protected from the damage that would have necessarily been inflicted if I had read beyond the headlines of the sports pages or listened to the sports broadcasts featuring wincingly painful puns (”Soxtober” and “Battle of the Soxes” come to mind); player by player and community characteristic by community characteristic comparisons of the White Sox, their then current opponent, and, of course, the Cubs; extensive classical, revisionist, and deconstructionalist takes on the Black Sox; and yet more examinations of the “Curse Of The [fill in the blank]” phenomenon in baseball. The primary advantage of deferred fandom is, of course, psychological. I simply bypassed the angst of the championship race as well as the bitterness of the late season slump and, without even pausing to pass Go, proceeded to the post-victory celebration and gloating. As one who was first seduced and then heartbroken by the late 1970’s-early 1980’s versions of Ray Meyer’s DePaul Blue Demons as they transformed from the NCAA Tournament’s Cinderella Team into the ugly stepsister, I can testify that the “Destiny” in “Team of Destiny” is not inevitably a felicitous state. In any case, given the pace of baseball, it certainly seems safe to climb on the bandwagon once it has crossed the finish line. [↩]