Once In A Lifetime
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- You know the fans are taking things seriously when the stands are jammed at kickoff.
I'm not talking about half full, or mostly full, I'm talking about filled to the gills. Even Michigan-Ohio State didn't have it packed like this for the opening moments.
But when you're Kansas and Missouri, and you don't know when you'll next get the chance to play in a game of this magnitude, it's understandable.
Sas heads for the border (war).
It wasn't just the fans that were treating this like the unique event that it was, Mizzou coach Gary Pinkel was right there with them. If it were a game of poker, Pinkel was all in all night. From the perspective of a neutral observer, it was fantastic.
In the first quarter alone, Pinkel tried a fake field goal (it failed) and went for it on fourth and goal from the one (it worked). It was the biggest game of his career, and he was treating it like a game of Madden with his buddies. Going Big approves.
The one downside of the once-in-a-lifetime atmosphere at Arrowhead Stadium was that the fans were nothing short of belligerent. This was compounded by the 7 p.m. start, which gave them an extra few hours to fill themselves with spirit, and spirits. For 98 percent of the fans, this wasn't a problem. But there are always the select few that simply can't handle their Natty Light.
Today it was a group of KU faithful that insisted of jumping in front of our camera as we were trying to shoot. It would have been cute, had they not been annihilated at 11 a.m. There's an old saying that goes, "you can't drink all day unless you start in the morning," and these Jayhawks were taking that a bit too literally.
Fortunately for the rest of KU nation, these drunk punks were not an accurate representation of the rock chalkers. The rest we met were enthusiastic and cordial.
These KU fans proved that not all Jayhawks are drunk idiots. It was reassuring.
Once the game started, their enthusiasm did them little good in the face of Chase Daniel. The Missouri quarterback picked apart the Jayhawks defense like Joan Rivers does red carpet outfits, and though the final score of 36-28 may have indicated otherwise, the Tigers were in control throughout.
Not so fast my friend! Before he got to celebrate with his teammates, Daniel had to take some questions from Lee Corso.
With the accuracy and poise displayed by Daniel, it's no wonder Pinkel was so brazen in his gameplan. It's easy to look good when you're quarterback completes 40 of 49 pass for 361 yards. Even when Mizzou was up by double digits in the fourth quarter and theoretically trying to run out the clock, they were still running their no-huddle offense. I've always been a big believer in the mantra, "dance with who brung ya," and apparently Pinkel agrees.
The loss was obviously a tough pill for KU to swallow, as they'll likely end up in a second-tier bowl, when a BCS bid was right in their grasp.
I won't go so far as to say that their karma was ruined by the stupid drunkards who kept running in front of our camera, but they couldn't have helped.
These Mizzou fans feel pretty strongly that their team is No. 1.