Senate Bill No. 971 ( .PDF )
Before entering Missouri, Jayhawks beware.
A Missouri senator has introduced a bill to make the Kansas Jayhawk the official game bird of the state of Missouri.
What's a game bird, you might ask? It's the official bird to be hunted throughout the state. A Jayhawk, remember, is a mythical creature.
"Jeeze, I really don't know what to say to that," said KU associate athletic director Jim Marchiony when told of the legislation. "I don't know whether to be proud, afraid or outraged."
The bill was introduced Thursday afternoon by Sen. Dan Clemens, a Republican from Marshfield, Mo., just two days before the Jayhawks and the Tigers meet on the basketball court. Clemens, who holds two degrees from the University of Missouri, couldn't be reached for comment Thursday night.
While the legislation may seem a bit harsh, one Jayhawk fan said he wasn't the least bit surprised Missourians would stoop to such a level.
"People criticize me a lot because I get after them a lot," said former KU football coach Don Fambrough, an outspoken critic of all things Missouri. "But they justify that. They're not very nice people to start with. As long as I've been here, I could tell you a list of things like this they've done over the years."
But Fambrough has a suggestion. "I'm going to recommend that our people make the Tiger our most wanted. I have no love for those people."
If the Jayhawk were to become the state game bird, it would replace the bobwhite quail, which was selected as the state game bird last year. The KU-MU game is 7 p.m. Saturday on ESPNU, Sunflower Broadband Channel 141.
The bill is No. 971.