Tailgaters embrace Mizzou opening day

5 months 2 weeks 6 days ago Saturday, September 02 2017 Sep 2, 2017 Saturday, September 02, 2017 1:12:00 PM CDT September 02, 2017 in Top Stories
By: Adam Duxter, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - The sun had barely started to rise over Columbia on Saturday, yet there was a line of cars waiting down Tiger Avenue. Black and gold clad fans waited patiently outside of Lot L for the 7a.m. open time. 

For the first time in eight months, it was football Saturday.

The chirping of morning birds was quickly drowned out by the sound of whirring generators, music and the smell bacon crisping on the grill. 

For the fans in Lot L, tailgating is an art. Many have been parking in the same spot for every tiger home game for decades. To some, tailgating is just important as the game itself. 

"A lot goes into it. There's like four or five couples that plan everything. We meet in the summer to plan out the menus for the fall.We have everything all organized. It takes us about half an hour to get set up," said Melodie Powell. Powell is the woman in charge of the "Lot L Lair and Bistro," a compound made up of four large tents that features a chandelier and TV viewing area.

Mizzou football is coming off of a 5-7 season, which featured heartbreaking losses to Middle Tennessee State and Georgia, both at home. These fans have forgotten about that. Now, it is a new season.

For some, a sense of renewal for the season created a sense of hope for the University itself. 

"We are so proud of the school at this point," said Powell. "We got some bad press this summer, which was totally unnecessary, and we are so excited about the way Mizzou is stepping forward and how we're moving up and getting this wonderful university back to the stature that it was a few years ago, if not better."

Saturday's season opener had an especially special atmosphere, as Mizzou set to square off against in-state competitor Missouri State for the first time in 94 years. 

The match up against the Bears is personal for some Tiger supporters. In August, Missouri State President Clif Smart stated that his school had plans to become "the undergraduate choice for Missouri." For some Mizzou fans, that claim has no value.

"I don't think there's any doubt that the University of Missouri is right here in Columbia. This is the flagship institution of the state. The amount of research that goes on here, the amount of dollars raised through research, the patents that are issued, and all of the money we've raised for fundraising," said Powell.

Missouri State fans made their presence felt at the tailgate, however. Dozens of maroon and white shirts dotted the black and gold crowd. Among them is Jerry Short, a Missouri State alumnus, who now regularly tailgates Tiger football games.

"I've always been a Mizzou supporter, even when I was at Missouri State. But when Missouri State plays Missouri in either football or basketball, I'm going to wear the colors of my alma mater. I'm proud of them," said Short.

Missouri State is in its third year under former Mizzou assistant coach Dave Steckel. The bears are 5-17 under the former Tiger defensive coordinator.

"Hopefully they'll be better this year. They struggled a bit last year, and they've struggled a bit in the past, but I'm looking forward to a really good season for Missouri State," said Short.

Yet, on Saturday morning in Lot L, there were no worries. There was no animosity among fans from different sides. Fans laughed, ate, and celebrated the return of a beloved tradition.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - For the first time, a Columbia competitive cheer squad will compete at The D2 Summit Championship at Disney... More >>
36 minutes ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 8:02:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The city is considering an additional audit of Columbia. Every year an audit takes place to make sure... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 7:32:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
CENTRALIA - A bill that would give the city of Centralia the opportunity to increase sales tax by a half... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 6:56:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri Senate has endorsed a bill that could boost Medicaid payments for nursing homes.... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 5:47:01 PM CST February 21, 2018 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Both the Missouri House and Senate have given initial approval to bills that would create... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 5:43:37 PM CST February 21, 2018 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY - Not all convicted Missouri inmates run from the law, but most run up large costs for the... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 5:09:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in Target 8
JEFFERSON CITY - Nearly six million vehicles cross structurally deficient bridges every day in the state of Missouri. That's according... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 4:21:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri teens are twice as likely to use tanning beds than the average American teen according to... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 4:03:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines (FHLBanks) awarded Jefferson City $910,000 to Greenway Village, Inc.... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 3:37:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA — Back-and-forth winter temperatures have been known to cause headaches, but especially for drivers this year. Potholes are... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 3:36:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri is one of three states that has not outlawed texting while driving for drivers 21 and... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 3:34:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – A local business owner is facing charges of marijuana possession and distribution. Osama Nadir Yanis and his... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 3:05:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri House is leaning toward making it a felony to purposefully send explicit images without consent,... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 2:55:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Columbia Regional Airport canceled two departures and delayed an arrival Wednesday because of the weather; but not the... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 2:19:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The dangers of opioids are forcing police to change the way they test drugs... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 1:39:08 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Authorities say a man and woman from Missouri have admitted to selling male enhancement pills that... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 1:18:08 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Springfield man has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a teenager with a mental disability... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 12:49:46 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri bill would confiscate licenses from teenagers accused of unlawful driving. The Springfield... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 12:46:17 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 29°
9pm 29°
10pm 29°
11pm 30°
12am 30°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
10:35p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
8:00p
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
7:00p
Riverdale
8:00p
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld