Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Border War

I've always thought that Iowa-Iowa State was a rivalry that kind of went under the radar mostly because ISU sucked for so long and, well, no one really cares about the state of Iowa outside of Iowa. However, another rivalry that really deserves some more national play is Kansas v. Missouri.

I mean, how many rivalries go back to the Civil War?

I'll run through some history for those that didn't grow up in Kansas. Kansas-Nebraska Act...blah blah blah...popular sovereignty...free or slave state, etc, etc. The gist is Kansas was going to vote whether to be a free or slave state which led to mass immigration by anti-slavery advocates from the north. This didn't set well with the slavers in Missouri and controversy ensued. There was so much violence between the two sides that Horace Greeley called it "Bleeding Kansas" in his New York newspaper.

One of the most notorious incidents includes John Brown and his sons hacking up five pro-slavery residents with swords in response to the first time Missourians burned Lawrence.

John Brown is considered something of a hero in Kansas and that photo above is from a painting in the dome of state capitol building representing the strife that our great state saw during its birth. In grade school they sort of gloss over the facts of the massacre and that he was executed for treason after attempting to seize the federal armory in the hope of arming a slave revolt. Yeah, kind of a hardcore nutjob, but at least he was on our side.

It was during this time period that the term "Jayhawker" was coined for anti-slavery guerrilla fighters that burned plantations and freed slaves in western Missouri. You might have seen them in "The Outlaw Josey Wales."

The most infamous event of all of this is William Quantrill's raid of Lawrence in which over 400 Missourians managed to sneak across Kansas undetected. They met on top of Mount Oread, the home of the KU campus today, and swept into town burning it to the ground and executing every man and boy they could find. They killed around 180 before approaching Union forces caused them to retreat back to Missouri.

So, hey, obviously this thing had a hell of a start. You don't really hear much about militias from Oklahoma crossing the Red River to torch Austin, Texas (ripping off their scrotums is a different story). I suppose they aren't killing anyone anymore but they still really don't like each other. A good example is when Norm Stewart would bring his basketball team over he would make the bus driver gas up in KC so they wouldn't have to spend a dime while they were in Kansas.

You may have heard that KU and Mizzou will most likely play each other for a Big 12 North title and a possible spot in the national championship game. They're playing this game at Arrowhead stadium and probably at 7 PM. Let's see...thousands of fans from each school + bitter hatred + the biggest game in the history of the series + all day to drink = rioting? I've stood for an entire game in the student section at Kinnick Stadium and never feared for my safety but I'm honestly a little nervous about going to this game. I mean, they are from Missouri after all...

Actually one interesting thing I noticed is the lack of "Fuck Missouri" shirts. There are a billion "Muck Fizzou" shirts around here but the people waiting in line for tickets to the game were shocked at the guy selling the "Fuck Mizzou" shirts. Maybe it's just more accepted up there but there were always a bunch of "Fuck the Hawks" and "Fuck State" shirts. But, is dropping an F bomb any less classy than these shirts they are selling?

Ha! People from our state killed a couple hundred people in your town 150 years ago! pwned! Does the scoreboard actually refer to the number of dead or what?

On the back of this are the words that Quantrill said to his men before the raid:
"Raise the Black Flag and Ride Hard Boys. Our Cause is Just and Our Enemies Many"

Cause is just? Umm, well, I guess they are from Missouri. That's pretty embarrassing. Can we expect a Klan rally along with a tailgate in the parking lot?

Not to be outdone someone is selling these.
Which, and this must be the Kansan coming out in me, is honestly pretty awesome.

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