Governor Nixon: One of Mizzou's Biggest Fans
COLUMBIA - Missouri Governor Jay Nixon is a familiar face at Mizzou Arena, rarely missing a Tiger basketball home game.
Mizzou is a family affair for Governor Jay Nixon.
"My Dad went here, my Mom went here, my kids go here, my wife and I went here. A lot of great memories from Mizzou," Nixon explained.
His love for Mizzou basketball runs deep. Governor Nixon tries to make every home game.
"The only one I never miss is KU, obviously," he said.
The Governor's favorite place to watch the game: courtside.
"The lower the better. The closer the better basketball. If you can hear the squeaking of the shoes up close it's the best place to be. I like being underneath or near one of the baskets," Nixon said.
That's at the Mizzou Arena.
"Mizzou Arena is way better. Hearnes was a cavernous place where you could scream and no one would hear you," Nixon said.
Governor Nixon's favorite moment in MU basketball history happened right here at the west side free throw line at Mizzou Arena.
"I hate to say this but it was so nice to see that Moody guy miss those free throws," the governor explained.
Coach Mike Anderson has the governor impressed, even earning comparisons to Norm Stewart.
"Mike Anderson and Norm play a much different type of basketball. They have a much different relationship with their players. Norm's a good friend of mine. I get to see him a fair amount, he's pretty old school. Anderson can, I hope, have that length of a career. I think if he gets that many years he will get that many wins," Nixon explained.
Every half-time the governor comes down to the locker room to show his support for the team.
"I give him a chest bump a lot. I gave him a hug after we beat Illinois. He supports us and I definitely support him," Kim English said.
The players love seeing Governor Nixon.
"I like Jay a lot. He was my coach at the black and gold game two years ago. I like Jay a lot, he's one of our biggest fans," English said.
Although the governor has high praise for current Mizzou players, his favorites are from past MU teams.
"I mean probably John brown. When you look back, you know I was in high school and then getting up here and seeing someone that good and that had an NBA career. I got to play against him some when we play in the Show-Me-State games in the summer, so getting a chance later in life to play against someone you cheered for and watched play professional basketball. And a special guy," Nixon said.
A long history of Missouri pride keeps Governor Nixon sitting courtside at every Mizzou game.