I’ve tried and tried to love college sports in my thirties. While attending Mizzou, I loved the games and loved the feel of the crowd. Now, two hours and 11 years away from those days, it’s terribly easy to change the channel. Why has the love left my gold and mostly black heart?

One of the greatest and smartest men I know, Henry Sims, has the simple spoken genius that few of us possess. He sums up in one sentence what I need 1,000 words to explain. I asked Henry why he didn’t watch college sports. I never did either, except for title games and tourney time, but I never knew why. Was it a childish love I lost somewhere in the decade since leaving college behind? Was it the feeling that I no longer had a connection to the university I once called home? No, it wasn’t. Henry summed up all the feelings I had pushed deep deep down inside. He simply said this.

“I hate watching amateurs do amateur crap.”

And I really, truly do. But, for you Mizzou, I am back…for this season. I’ve watched the last two games, and buddy, I gotta tell you something. You stink.

I know it’s not all your fault. Who put you in that mean old SEC? The powers that be, that’s who. They didn’t care about you, or your buddy Truman the Tiger. We know what they cared about. They just wanted to cash those SEC checks. And can you blame them? Yes, yes you can.

What was wrong with the Big 12? She was a sweet heart, so full of love and cupcakes on the schedule. What’s better huh, let me ask you this, getting throttled by Ole Miss and Auburn, or running roughshod all over Kansas every season? Come on, you know the answer. I know…I know it’s cool to say, “Who us??…no no…we’re in the SEC.” But, come on buddy, don’t ya wanna kick some Jayhawk tail feather from COMO all the way to Arrowhead?

I’m sure there’s some equation that came out of the math department that shows being in the SEC is statistically better for the Tigers. But you know what there isn’t an equation for? Knowing that at least once a year, no matter our differences, colors, creeds, or conference record….we all joined arms and hated the living daylights out of that stench coming from Lawrence, Kansas. God, that was an amazing feeling. I mean, who’s the greatest QB in Kansas history?? It’s ok…I’ll wait.

………

That’s what I thought!!! There isn’t a greatest…there isn’t even a “not the worst.” Yeah, they may have jumped up once and a while when we got lazy, or fat, or Larry Smithed. They’d get one nip of the tiger’s tail and wake the sleeping beast. Then…well…ol’ Chase Daniel had a little something to say in response. Remember that 2007 game? He went 40-49 with three TDs. I needed a cigarette after watching that.

Now, let’s browse the Mizzou schedule and see what we have to look forward to in a season in which, as previously stated, Mizzou stinks. Wow, that border war game with Kentucky ought to be a real riot. Let’s not forget that natural rival Georgia we need to get bragging rights from…or how about that late season match up with our life long arch nemesis Vanderbilt. I can barely contain myself.

I know. It’s not your fault fellas. I don’t mean to lash out. It’s not you, it’s the university cash grab that continues to this day. I know you may only win one or two games the rest of the way. I know you’re gonna give it the old college try and all. And in the past, with KU somewhere lurking on the schedule, I knew I had at least one Saturday to get pumped about. But now, am I supposed to get my juices going about the potential throttling of out of conference UConn? To quote Jack Burger, “I’m sorry, I can’t, don’t hate me.”

So, Monday morning, let’s you and me do this together. We’ll get the Big 12 commissioner on the blower and ask to come home. He may say no at first, but, if we ask nicely and promise to never do such a foolish thing again, he’ll take us back. Then, the next time the season is lost before September is gone, we can still look forward to beating the living snot out of KU…not UConn.