Those of you who are followers of this piece, and DawgSports as a whole, are well aware that I normally use this space to chronicle my personal hate journey with Georgia’s upcoming opponent. This week is a bit different.
Missouri as a whole always just seemed like a place that there would never be any reason to go to. Let’s be honest, unless you were stuck in a family whose idea of a vacation involved going to see the big pointless arch, there really wouldn’t be a draw to visit Missouri. Let’s be honest here, the fact that the arch in St. Louis is far and away “the thing” that people know and identify the state by means it is a place you should never go.
I drove through Missouri once on a cross-country road trip, and the Western half of it was like an extension of Kansas with more roadkill. Kansas is by far the worst state to drive through in the entire country, and I urge you to never do it unless you must. The other half of Missouri is basically more of Eastern Kentucky, and there is a reason that many media outlets have written in-depth articles about how bad it is to live in Western Kentucky. To sum it up, Missouri is all very bad.
As all of you know, Missouri is a newcomer to the SEC, and has only been playing in the conference since 2012. Growing up I knew that the University of Missouri existed, but I feel like there is absolutely nothing memorable or exceptional about their sports teams. Research tells me this is correct, and Missouri has only once won a national championship in a major sport. Wikipedia says this championship was in baseball and it happened in the year of our lord, 1954.
Missouri was good at football for five minutes once, but it happened in 2007. That was the same year Kansas was ranked number two in the nation for a time, so nothing about it actually counts. They did win SEC Eastern Division title twice this decade, which is more than we can say about Tennessee, but it just felt like a weird anomaly. That feeling was validated when the Tigers were absolutely depantsed in their two SEC Championship Game appearances. They had the defensive tackle who made the “old man football” comment about UGA’s offense before the Dawgs went to Columbia for Mizzou’s first SEC football game in 2012, but that was just funny because it turned into an epic self burn when Georgia blew Missouri off the field in the second half. It was hilarious watching Missouri’s dynamic “scrambling quarterback” James Franklin get introduced to S-E-C speed when Georgia’s defensive tackles caught him from behind on a few occasions. Yet, none of that is hateable.
The closest thing to hatred I can muster for Mizzou is due to their game day fashion choices, which are awful. You don’t wear t-shirts and jeans to an SEC football game (unless you're a Florida fan.) I knew a few St. Louis natives while I was in college at UGA, and all of them said that Columbia is the only place in the history of the Southeastern Conference where someone got a date wearing Abercrombie & Fitch while sporting bleached hair. Absolutely horrid? Yes, but you can’t hate someone for not knowing better.
The reality is that Missouri isn’t worthy of my hate. Their teams have never won big. Their students and alumni don’t do gameday the right way. Those same students and alumni rarely fill Missouri’s 60,000 seat stadium, and it would barely qualify as a nice home for a decent sized high-school in the Deep South. Missouri is not an SEC school in any way. The Tigers just happen to play a schedule with a bunch of SEC teams on it.
The SEC is a giant dysfunctional family filled with ultra-competitive siblings and cousins. They inhabit houses on the same block while trying desperately to look like the most well-accomplished of the bunch. Don’t waste your hate on a non-relative that doesn’t even live in the same town. Missouri is simply a slight annoyance.