1966 Sugar Bowl championship team honored
COLUMBIA- MU honored 1966 Sugar Bowl championship team and celebrated its 50th anniversary during halftime of the football game against South Carolina.
For many of the men out there, it was a time to celebrate with old friends and talk about the glory days.
"A lot of us have changed in our appearance in over 50 years," said Larry York, a member of the Sugar Bowl team. "But we're still the same guys and we just liked getting together and renewing old friendships."
Ranked sixth in the nation, the Tigers faced a tough opponent in the University of Florida, led by future Heisman trophy winner Steve Spurrier. In the game Missouri led 20-0 through three quarters before Spurrier and company made a major comeback. Ultimately three missed two-point conversion attempts cost the Gators the win, but Spurrier was still named MVP for his late-game heroics.
While the three missed two-point conversions hurt Florida, a key interception by Gary "Skip" Grossnickle also helped seal the Missouri win. And even a half century later, Grossnickle remembers the moment fondly.
"It was a great moment," Grossnickle said. "I've talked to Spurrier three times since then about that and it's always been a good coversation."
While they were enemies on the field years ago, today some of the MU athletes are still close with Spurrier, including MU legend Johnny Roland.
"I talked to him as he was going in to the tunnel and half time and told him that if MU wasn't playing South Carolina I'd be rooting for him today," Roland said.
But as the expression says, football is more than a game, and this day was about more than just honoring a team.
"I just enjoy this," Grossnickle said. "There's always a time in life to enjoy what you're doing and that's where I am."