I was very upset by my interactions with Mizzou fans this weekend, beginning in the Houston Airport. One Mizzou fan, who was traveling incognito, wearing no identifying clothing, noticed the Jayhawk on my shirt and accused me of being a Jayhawk fan. Acted like he was alright with it as he mentioned off-handedly that he was an MU fan. But I saw right through him. I knew what hatred and bitterness was seething below his calm, even genial, surface. He mentioned he was from St Louis. Just to make small talk and change the focus of the encounter from his raging, concealed animosity, I hesitantly asked him for recommendations on where to eat in STL. He told me that anything Italian on the Hill was excellent. I recognized that he was trying to trick me, that the Hill was likely the name for the area where Chevy Chase's car got stripped in "Vacation" on the way to Wally World, so I made a mental note to not risk life and limb by going anywhere near this so-called "Hill."
As it turned out, this Mizzou fan miscalculated and outsmarted himself. As I landed in STL, I sent a message to one of my son's KU friends who grew up in St Louis and asked where to eat. He said the Hill. So I figure that the Mizzou guy said the Hill thinking that I would be suspicious of him and not go there. You lose, Mizzou guy. I ate at Lo Russo's on the Hill, in spite of your efforts to steer me away from there--and it was terrific.
Getting off the plane in STL, another Mizzou fan identified himself as such and also pretended to be pleasant. Again, I was too smart to be taken in by his demeanor.
It first occurred to me that there was a plot to fool me into believing that Mizzou fans are not animals, but actually part of the human species, at the game. A Mizzou fan and his three adult sons sat to my right. They continued the day long charade by discussing basketball, including Mizzou's loss in the tourney without displaying any animosity toward KU. The dad figure asked if I agreed with Self that the KU/MU series should come to an end. I explained, as I did in the REAL Standings report a few weeks back, that it did not make business sense for KU to do so. He expressed disappointment that there would be no more games, at least for a while, but did not argue with me, nor whine as Mizzou fans, it is common knowledge, are wont to do.
On the off day, a Mizzou fan at the zoo noticed my KU hat and said, "Good luck tomorrow." He should be in the movies, because he said it so convincingly, I almost believed that he meant it.
All this, understandably, left me quite distressed. How would you like being the target of a conspiracy challenging one of your long-standing and cherished beliefs--in this case, that all Mizzou fans spend their entire existence wallowing in self-pity, spite, bitterness, hatred, spite, jealousy, and paranoia?
Could there be anything more dastardly?