Tailgaters embrace Mizzou opening day

2 years 4 months 2 weeks 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 - The University of Missouri Police Department was called early Wednesday morning to a report of an unknown person... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, January 22 2020 Jan 22, 2020 Wednesday, January 22, 2020 4:25:00 PM CST January 22, 2020 in News
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese state media say the city of Wuhan is shutting down outbound flights and trains as the... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, January 22 2020 Jan 22, 2020 Wednesday, January 22, 2020 2:21:00 PM CST January 22, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Royals signed outfielder Alex Gordon to a $4 million contract for next... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, January 22 2020 Jan 22, 2020 Wednesday, January 22, 2020 2:18:51 PM CST January 22, 2020 in Sports
ASHLAND - Ashland Police Officer George Roberson was recognized at last night's Ashland Board of Alderman meeting for his actions... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, January 22 2020 Jan 22, 2020 Wednesday, January 22, 2020 2:03:00 PM CST January 22, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council voted 5-1 to allow Raising Cane's the conditional-use permit necessary to build a... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, January 22 2020 Jan 22, 2020 Wednesday, January 22, 2020 1:29:00 PM CST January 22, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A week after the Supreme Court of Missouri upheld that part of the voter ID law which... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, January 22 2020 Jan 22, 2020 Wednesday, January 22, 2020 1:13:00 PM CST January 22, 2020 in News
MID-MISSOURI - A multi-day storm system is on its way to Missouri and could lead to icy roads and snow... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, January 22 2020 Jan 22, 2020 Wednesday, January 22, 2020 1:13:00 PM CST January 22, 2020 in Weather
COLUMBIA - Winter weather causes many problems, and people get antsy when driving and walking conditions become dangerous. Many... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, January 22 2020 Jan 22, 2020 Wednesday, January 22, 2020 9:59:00 AM CST January 22, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — The weather fatigue is making its way here in mid-Missouri, impacting businesses and everyday people. Mackenzie Knierim,... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, January 22 2020 Jan 22, 2020 Wednesday, January 22, 2020 9:44:00 AM CST January 22, 2020 in News
Authorities say a suspected drunken driver who was behind the wheel of a stolen Arkansas sport utility vehicle has... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, January 22 2020 Jan 22, 2020 Wednesday, January 22, 2020 8:01:39 AM CST January 22, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - One youth organization is looking to make big strides this upcoming year to stop climate change. The... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, January 22 2020 Jan 22, 2020 Wednesday, January 22, 2020 3:22:00 AM CST January 22, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA—Lucky's Market in Columbia will remain open, while the two other Missouri stores, and others across the country will... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, January 21 2020 Jan 21, 2020 Tuesday, January 21, 2020 8:19:00 PM CST January 21, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – Memory Strategies is hosting a STEM workshop for parents and teens at the Daniel Boone Regional Library. ... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, January 21 2020 Jan 21, 2020 Tuesday, January 21, 2020 8:02:00 PM CST January 21, 2020 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - One man and his dog are wrapping up a cross-country adventure that is far from ordinary. Michael Angelo... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, January 21 2020 Jan 21, 2020 Tuesday, January 21, 2020 5:05:00 PM CST January 21, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia is preparing on Wednesday morning for possible winter weather. A 22 person work crew... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, January 21 2020 Jan 21, 2020 Tuesday, January 21, 2020 5:00:00 PM CST January 21, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - New Fire Chief Andy Woody always knew he wanted to be a firefighter because he grew up around... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, January 21 2020 Jan 21, 2020 Tuesday, January 21, 2020 4:42:00 PM CST January 21, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Tuesday marks what Jay Minor is hoping will be the first day of his last legislative session.... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, January 21 2020 Jan 21, 2020 Tuesday, January 21, 2020 3:29:00 PM CST January 21, 2020 in Continuous News
BOONVILLE - Kelsey Breshears only worked at Pinnacle Hospital for a year, and now she's on the hunt for a... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, January 21 2020 Jan 21, 2020 Tuesday, January 21, 2020 3:11:00 PM CST January 21, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 32°
7pm 33°
8pm 33°
9pm 34°
10pm 34°