COLUMBIA - 58,165 people attended Mizzou football's game against No. 1 ranked Georgia Saturday. While fans watched the game on the field, an army of people worked to make everything run smoothly.
Every car that rolled up to Parking Structure No. 7 across from the gleaming glass of the NextGen Precision Health building was greeted with a smile from Jennie Bayless. During the week, Bayless works in the MU's admissions office. But on Saturdays, she's a parking attendant with Mizzou Athletics.
"It's a part of my brain that I guess I don't use because I work on the computer system for the admissions office," Bayless said.
She made the drive from her home in Rolla to hand out tickets and collect the $30 parking fee. But it might be a little extra if you're wearing the wrong colors.
"We tease the other team, it's extra for them if you're wearing red today," Bayless said.
All joking aside, Bayless said she is able to make connections with people who are trying to navigate the mayhem of game day.
"They'll just ask you questions because a lot of people, this is the first time that they've been here," Bayless said. "It's just nice to help people out."
Other game day workers help themselves by helping others. Benton Jenne is vice president of fundraising for Alpha Kappa Psi, the business fraternity at MU. Jenne and a handful of other fraternity members fill orders at the stadium food lockers. They get to keep a portion of the sales, which goes toward fraternity events and member dues.
Jenne said he likes working behind the scenes because it lets him be more hands on as team leader.
"I can help people out and not have to worry about, kind of, the presentation of how things are looking on the outside and take more time to make sure everyone is settled back here," Jenne said.
Even though the students at the stand can pop their head out and watch the game, they don't get to enjoy game day the same way most fans do.
"Generally, I just want to make sure that as long as the work is getting done, that people are having fun here, because I know that this taking up their weekend," Jenne said.
Being able to the game isn't as much of an issue for Taylor Watson. Watson helps set up the Big MO Drum, a staple of Mizzou game day.
"Big MO has the greatest view in Faurot Field," Watson said. She has a bird's eye view of the game since the drum overlooks the entire stadium.
Watson shows up about 2.5 hours before game time to get the drum out of its box and ready to go.
Throughout the game, people try to swarm the drum and get an up close look at it.
"The atmosphere is wild," Watson said. "We have tons of fans coming up here wanting to take pictures. They always want to hit the drum."
Watson takes pride in taking care of the largest playable drum in the world.
"Purdue likes to say they have the biggest drum in the nation. They do not," Watson said.
Everybody who works at Faurot Field plays a part in making game day as enjoyable as possible. Without them people wouldn't be able to park, buy food, or get into the stadium.
Next week, they will be able to watch the game like everybody else as Mizzou travels south to play the University of Florida.