ATTENTION: Due to the bickering between Kansas and Kansas State, I thought it would be fun to shift the focus from that rivalry to the one between the borders. If you are a Mizzou fan I would advise you to proceed with caution. Thank you.
This is always one of the most thrilling weeks in Kansas City because the Big XII Tournament rolls into town. This year is especially riveting as local rivals Kansas and Kansas State are the favorites to meet in Saturday's final match-up. Having tied for the regular season conference title, the tournament could indicate who the true conference champion really is. Kansas fans argue that they bested the Wildcats twice in conference play, K-State fans argue that Kansas lost badly to Baylor and TCU; both are sound arguments. Regardless of how things shake out, the energy and excitement is unmistakable for Kansas City residents.
Wait. Something is off here. There are the Kansas State fans in purple, standing outside the Sprint Center, frantically searching for tickets from KU fans who bought them all up months ago...
And there are the KU fans inside Johnny's Tavern, enjoying cold beers, patiently waiting for the game to start since they got their tickets months ago.
But where's... oh, wait I see them... the Missouri fans. There they are moping in the corner, dressed in black. Not sure if the color choice indicates team spirit, or how dead they are to the city.
Known Missouri fan Carrington Harrison of the 610 Sports Radio Danny Parkins Show said it best this morning when he tweeted, "Missouri is really out of sight out of mind this week." And there's just no better way to put it.
The Missouri Tigers were crowned champions of last year's Big XII Tournament, and immediately afterward were sporting their ready-made bright yellow Big XII Championship shirts as players and coaches cut down the nets. Shortly thereafter (and by shortly I mean, as they literally exited the Sprint Center) members of the Missouri basketball team were seen with the newly acquired Big XII tournament trophy, wearing a black t-shirt featuring a large SEC logo on the front - a clear message to us all that Mizzou had already moved on.
So what exactly have the Tigers moved on to? If you haven't been able to follow Missouri Basketball this year due to its extreme irrelevance in this community, you are not alone. So allow me to bring you up to speed. The sixth seeded Tigers will play fellow Big XII abandoner, the 11th seeded Aggies of Texas A&M from Bridgestone Arena tonight in Nashville, Tenn. Miz is a mediocre 11-7 in the SEC, a conference that has only one team in the top 25, the No. 13 Florida Gators. If you are seeking further details, just ask a Missouri fan. They enjoy talking about the SEC and how great it is, almost as much as they enjoy talking about how great of a quarterback Chase Daniel will be for the Chiefs. In either instance their presented facts will lead you to believe that they have never actually sat down and watched a game.
Tiger fans were thrilled at the idea of the SEC, but since moving have witnessed a dismal football season (which was to be expected), an average at best basketball season, no real rivalries, and no hometown conference tournament. What exactly was it that they were so excited to be a part of? You can pull up a chair to the popular kid's table all you want, but if nobody sitting there likes you, what have you really achieved?
Missouri is so far forgotten this postseason that even their fans forgot they played tonight. One such fan tweets:
@anonymous: I should have worn gold to match my black jeans today, it looks like KU barfed all over my coworkers #gameday #miz
Yes, I am sure that gold necklace would have smothered your outfit with Missouri pride, but in the meantime Kansas fans are well aware of what today is, and could not be more excited about the local tournament action.
With that being said, best of luck to all local teams, even those who are out of sight, out of mind.