MU Alumni in KC Root to Keep Rivalry Alive
KANSAS CITY - The end of the MU vs. KU rivalry would impact many Mizzou alumni living in Kansas City. According to the Mizzou Alumni Association (MAA), there are more than 25,000 former Tigers living in Kansas City, which is 10 percent of all MU alums.
Those stats include former MU quarterback Phil Snowden. Coach Don Faurot recruited 6' 4" tall Snowden from Kansas City to play quarterback in the late 1950s.
"I loved playing offense, and I love playing quarterback," Snowden said. "Anytime you could get the ball in your hands, run the team and call the plays, that's exciting."
Like most Mizzou athletes, Snowden knows the rivalry between MU and KU well.
"All the coach has to say is KU, and that inspires everyone to work a little harder and dig down a little bit," Snowden said.
Snowden took part in an especially big win over the Jawhawks on November 19th 1960 that sent the Tigers to the Orange Bowl.
"I look back and it was what 55 years ago, it's been a great experience," Snowden said.
MU players may not get the same experience as Snowden though thanks to the switch to the SEC, which has many alums worried Saturday's rivalry game might be the last one.
"It's more a disappointment with me. I know in Kansas City [the rivalry] is probably more prevalent here than in other places in the state," Snowden said. "I think we feel it here more than anybody."
MAA President Pam Oberdiek, also from Kansas City, hopes to see the 120-year-old rivalry stick around.
"I think for most tigers in Kansas City it's probably a little bitter sweet because we enjoy going to Manhattan and Ames and you know some of the close by schools," she said.
Oberdiek said the end to one of the oldest traditions west of the Mississippi would halt habits in Kansas City, like Friday night pep rallies and big tailgates before the rival game.
"You always want to beat KU, so I hope that we continue to have the rivalry game and that our children's children understand what it means to be a Tiger in the KC area," Oberdiek said.
MU athletic officials hope to continue playing the border showdown game and said it is up to KU to reciprocate that request.