MU Kicks Off First Football Game Day, Launches New Fan Program
COLUMBIA- MU football fans kicked off the first game of the season Saturday against Southeastern Louisiana. The football game is MU's first game as a member of the Southeastern conference which led to some changes in the game plan for tailgaters and fans.
Saturday also marked the website launch for the MU Tiger Challenge, a new program funded by the Reynolds Journalism Institute to get more fans involved with social media. Project Manager Joe Griffin launched the website early Saturday morning to begin spreading the word about the weekly fan contests.
"It's kind of like a fan site for MU Football fans... it is little challenges we are hoping people might be doing anyway if they're out tailgating anyway," Griffin said. "We are just trying to capture all of that interaction. It is a live newsfeed of the game from a fan perspective."
Challenges could be anything from snapping a photo of a well-dressed tailgater to interviewing an opposing fan. After fans complete the challenge, they submit their work to the Tiger Challenge Website who then posts them on KOMU-TV's website and the Columbia Missourian's website. From there, fans can vote on the picture they like best from that week. At the end of the week, the photo with the most votes wins $100. The team that does the best throughout the season will win $1,000.
MU Tiger's Lair fans lined up at noon for the 6:45 p.m. game kick off. The first sixty Tiger's Lair fans are painted and in the first row of the student section. MU freshman Zachary Amos is looking forward to an SEC season and noted the MU Tiger Challenge is something him and his friends would be interested in.
"This is a test to see how early we have to get here for the big games like Alabama and Georgia. This is a huge change for Mizzou football," Amos said.
Tailgaters around Faurot Field were out early grilling their burgers and tossing around a football. Rochelle Duncan of Ashland comes every year with her family to enjoy the MU games and believes the MU Tiger Challenge could help fans be more involved with the football team.
"I think [the MU Tiger Challenge] is great, just to get more people to come out and support the team, to support the athletics, I think it is also good for getting students to come here to Mizzou," Duncan said. "Just all over excitement for the football community."
MU Tiger Challenge begins next weekend at MU's first official SEC game against Georgia. It is free to register and to compete in the challenge.