COLUMN: Mizzou fan in Alabama longs for the Big 12 - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

COLUMN: Mizzou fan in Bama land

Missouri's Faurot Field, circa 1999, when Cecelia Hanley was a student there and the athletic program was part of the Big 12 (Source: MGN) Missouri's Faurot Field, circa 1999, when Cecelia Hanley was a student there and the athletic program was part of the Big 12 (Source: MGN)
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    Alabama game to go on against Fresno State

    Friday, June 23 2017 8:00 PM EDT2017-06-24 00:00:07 GMT
    (Source: University of Alabama)(Source: University of Alabama)

    A university spokeswoman says the University of Alabama football game against Fresno State will go on as scheduled despite California announcing a ban on state travel to the state because of LGBT discrimination.

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    A university spokeswoman says the University of Alabama football game against Fresno State will go on as scheduled despite California announcing a ban on state travel to the state because of LGBT discrimination.

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  • Alabama's Chandler Taylor selected for the 2017 College Home Run Derby

    Alabama's Chandler Taylor selected for the 2017 College Home Run Derby

    Tuesday, June 20 2017 4:21 PM EDT2017-06-20 20:21:08 GMT
    SOURCE: Alabama AthleticsSOURCE: Alabama Athletics

    Alabama’s Chandler Taylor has been selected to the roster for the eighth annual College Home Run Derby at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha in Omaha, Neb., on Saturday, July 1, Intersport announced today. Taylor is one of six men’s college baseball players selected for the event that will air live on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. CT. He was invited to take part in the College Home Run Derby after being recognized as one of the top power hitters in college baseball.

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    Alabama’s Chandler Taylor has been selected to the roster for the eighth annual College Home Run Derby at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha in Omaha, Neb., on Saturday, July 1, Intersport announced today. Taylor is one of six men’s college baseball players selected for the event that will air live on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. CT. He was invited to take part in the College Home Run Derby after being recognized as one of the top power hitters in college baseball.

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  • Alabama

    Enough talk, bring on the national championship game

    Enough talk, bring on the national championship game

    Sunday, January 8 2017 5:28 PM EST2017-01-08 22:28:47 GMT
    (Source: WSFA 12)(Source: WSFA 12)

    Clemson and Alabama are now fully focused on the title game. That's because they are done talking to us, the media.

    ?

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    Clemson and Alabama are now fully focused on the title game. That's because they are done talking to us, the media.

    ?

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MONTGOMERY, AL (RNN) – Outlanders who move to Alabama have to make a choice - which college football team are you for? Alabama or Auburn?

I'm surprised new residents aren't stopped at the state line and made to declare an allegiance (they do a similar thing here to suspected illegal immigrants, and it's state law).

Saying you don't support either team will not let you off the hook – you have to choose, and strangers will badger you in elevators until you get off on the wrong floor to flee. And then, if you pick the wrong team, you are in for a whole other kind of hell.

But now, fellow Mizzou fans, I've entered a deeper circle of purgatory, one Dante could never have imagined.

A year ago, I could wear my Missouri shorts to the gym here in my adopted home state and not get badgered by sports fans. People didn't even know what a "Mizzou" was.

Last November, when Our Tigers left the Big 12 for the SEC, a man approached me as I stepped off the treadmill, and pointed at my shorts with a smirk.

"Mizzou, huh? Are you sure you're ready?"

I laughed – sure! After fighting Nebraska for years, dealing with the football factory that was Oklahoma, battling various Texas teams and loving life when we Rock-Chalk Jayhalked Kansas back across the border – I was sure we were ready.

Oh, the blissful joy of ignorance.

Before you call me out as a fair-weather fan, know that I'm a third-generation Mizzou alum. My grandfather purchased his home (where my mom grew up) near Faurot Field so he could walk to games.

When I attended school there, my grandfather and I watched games together on TV.

Missouri's style has never been flashy, and we've had to deal with getting the wrong end of the stick from time-to-time (Colorado's fifth down, anyone?) but we soldiered on, worked harder.

Gary Pinkel's no-nonsense coaching style and demeanor appealed to the Missouri "show me" spirit, which pretty much boiled down to "put up or shut up."

I'm going to be honest here. We've been shut up.

Sure, Mizzou is getting big bucks from televised games by joining the SEC, and the first few weeks of football season have given exposure to the school like never before. College football is all about money. But I miss rivalries.

I miss Oklahoma and Kansas – and being within striking distance of making a road trip. As a student (heck, even as an alum), you could hop in your car and drive to most Big 12 games in half a day.

Thanksgiving dinners across the Show Me State will be calmer this year because family members won't be jawing at each other over an upcoming game.

But I would take a yelling match and a turkey leg over the slow torture of the past few weeks, when fans of the No. 1 juggernaut Alabama have taunted my misery as Mizzou suffered serial losses.

Of course, I know, I know. This is only our first year in the new conference. Missouri is adapting its style of play, and I'll always wear black and gold on Saturday. But I still have the feeling we're going to be quiet for a long time.

You have to win for decades to attain the level of obnoxiousness that comes naturally to fans of top-tier SEC schools. Trust me, they are experts at it.

Last week we lost at home to the SEC's lifelong doormat, Vanderbilt, whose long-suffering boosters have had generations of practice in humility. Even they are mocking us, now.

I think it's going be a long, long time. Please, let basketball season hurry and get here.

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