The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

November 5, 2012

Mike Pound: MU still dangerous territory for KU fan

I was afraid I would get caught, and if I did, I was pretty sure state law would not only allow for but demand my execution.

I mean, technically, I wasn’t a spy, but I was a member of the enemy. I was a University of Kansas basketball fan at a University of Missouri basketball game.

I know!

I am one of those rare KU fans who has nothing against MU, and in fact, I actually liked former MU basketball coach Norm Stewart. And I will always like current MU coach Frank Haith for his support of Joplin after the May 22, 2011, tornado. Despite that, I’m pretty sure that on Sunday, I would have been taken outside and shot.

That’s just the way it works.

I was at the MU basketball game because Robert Corn’s Missouri Southern State University basketball team was playing Frank’s MU team.

I was wearing an MSSU basketball pullover. Had I been wearing clothing with MU colors or an MU logo, I definitely would have been shot for trying to impersonate an MU fan. Of course, if I had worn MU clothing, I would have been shot the next time I went to a KU basketball game.

That’s the way it works.

Robert’s basketball team played pretty well against MU on Sunday. Missouri Southern is a Division II school, and MU is a Division I school. There is a world of difference between Division I and Division II, so the outcome of Sunday’s game wasn’t really in doubt. I’m pretty sure everyone in the arena knew that MU was going to win the exhibition game.

But with a halftime lead of only nine points, the MU players and fans were painfully aware that Robert’s guys had come to Columbia to play.

Things changed in the second half, and MU wound up winning by a comfortable margin, but Robert’s guys have nothing to be ashamed of.

I’m writing this on Sunday night from a hotel room in Columbia. Our 14-year-old daughter, Emma, doesn’t have school on Monday, and my wife thought it would be a good idea for us to stay in Columbia on Sunday so Emma could tour the MU campus.

“Why?” I asked my wife.

“In case she wants to go to school there,” my wife said.

“I’m just going to pretend I didn’t hear that,” I said.

Emma is on record saying she wants to go to KU, and I am on record as supporting that decision. My wife refuses to accept Emma’s college preference.

After the basketball game, my wife had me drive to the MU Alumni House so she could take pictures of her mother’s and uncle’s honorary bricks. She had Emma pose for pictures by the bricks, and then had her sit on the bench of the Beetle Bailey statue.

“Why?” Emma and I asked.

“In case she decides to go to school here,” my wife said.

“I can’t hear you,” I said.

By the way, the Beetle Bailey statue is really cool. I love Beetle Bailey, and I have always liked Mort Walker. Years ago, I read a book Mort wrote. He sounds like a cool and fun guy.

On Monday, we are going to meet some MU folks who will take Emma on a tour of the university. In the afternoon, we will even take a tour of the School of Journalism.

For some reason, Emma wants to tour the journalism school even though I have repeatedly told her that she doesn’t want to be a journalist. I mean, journalism is OK for a guy like me, but it’s not for someone like Emma.

She doesn’t know enough curse words, for one thing.

I’m not sure how I should handle things during the tour. While I won’t wear KU clothes, I also won’t wear MU clothes. I may wear a white “I come in peace” armband during the tour.

If I don’t, I’m afraid that if I am caught, I will be taken outside and shot.

That’s just the way it works.

DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at mpound@joplinglobe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.

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