The beat goes on and on: Resume the traditional Kansas-Missouri football game and hold the annual event in Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium.
Almost from the moment Kansas University officials announced they did not intend to continue one of the nation’s longest football rivalries, Kansas City, Mo., business interests started campaigning for a renewal of the game. Some tried to suggest their desire to get the event started again was based on many noble-sounding reasons, but the real reason is that Missouri merchants want the thousands of out-of-town fans who would be attending the game to spend their dollars in Kansas City hotels, motels, restaurants, retailers and many other venues. Also, Missouri officials want the sales tax receipts, and Arrowhead people like the revenue they gain from parking fees, concessions and other sources.
Last week, Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel was in Kansas City touting the renewal of the KU-MU contest, saying the game should be played at Arrowhead. He said he didn’t understand why KU officials wouldn’t want to renew the rivalry.
One big reason is that Missouri officials thumbed their noses at KU and other Big 12 Conference schools, making it clear, as did University of Nebraska officials, that they were far better than their former Big 12 cousins and that Southeastern Conference and Big 10 conference schools were a better fit for their superior athletic and academic programs.
KU officials said, “Fine, we can get along quite well without annual football and basketball games with Missouri and Nebraska.”
If — and this is a huge IF — there should be any degree, event the slightest degree, of talk or interest by KU officials about the possibility of renewing athletic competition between the Jayhawks and Tigers, it should be about games played on a home-and-home basis in Lawrence and Columbia rather than in Kansas City. The game belongs on college campuses, where revenues would benefit Lawrence and Columbia, rather than in a professional stadium in Kansas City.