The Antlers: Not Mizzou’s best example of good sportsmanship

Good sports or bad fans?

Photos by Karen Mitchell

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Darren Hellwege, sports commentator

Sometimes in this job, I take the opportunity to set myself up as public enemy No.1. When I have got something I think needs to be said, knowing it won’t be popular, I weigh what’s at stake and decide how important what I’m trying to stand up for is.

Today, I don’t have to decide how important what I’m talking about is. The University of Missouri does it for me, before every athletic event. “The University of Missouri supports good sportsmanship,” we’re told. Fans are told we should “support the participants, coaches and officials in a positive manner.” Yet too often we see that if those aren’t mere words, they’re certainly not taken them as seriously as they should be.

The Antlers, in black, pride themselves on being loud and obnoxious, trying to get in the heads of the visiting players.

I’ve seen many situations around campus that lead me to wonder about the university’s commitment to good sportsmanship. Student cheer groups like VolleyZou frequently hound opposing players. Mini Mizzou, the pep band, sometimes crosses into ugly, spiteful behavior aimed at the visitors. And heaven knows this isn’t a fun or sometimes even safe campus to cross on a football Saturday while wearing colors of another team. But the greatest example of all of how little the University of Missouri really supports good sportsmanship continues to be the existence of The Antlers. (See associated story here.)

Members of the Antlers cheer group wait for the front rows of the student section to open up to them. Because they are not a university recognized group they do net get priority seats.

Since the 1970s the Antlers have been a group at MU men’s basketball games who come for one reason—to yell ugly, hateful and frequently vulgar insults at players, coaches, mascots, fans, anything they can find associated with the other team. While still low rent, the current incarnation is not as out of control as some of their predecessors. Antics range from holding up signs announcing that players have social diseases to saying unkind things about players’ mothers to making frequent phone calls to their hotel rooms late at night. But their crowning achievement: meeting Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson at the airport with the head of a dead pig on a stick. They have moved away from the sort of things that get them banned from the arena altogether, as the latter did, or put them into the crosshairs of the athletic department, but still they continue to be the sharpest example of what good sportsmanship is not.

Whether their hateful comments are aimed at a well-known star from a heated league rival, or perhaps, even more pathetic, when they are shouting abuse at a harmless scrub on a low-level non-conference team, they’re an embarrassment to the athletic department, the university and its fan base.

Members of the Antlers cheer before the start of a men's basketball game on Monday, Nov. 14, 2011, at Mizzou Arena. Each member has a nickname printed on the back of his shirt. If the name is offensive the student has to turn the shirt inside out.

I’m sure some question the need for sportsmanship at all. Some ask if sportsmanship still matters. I think that was answered during the Mizzou-Texas football game when Texas coach Mack Brown took time to jog across the field and extend his hand to a Missouri player who was about to be carted off with a season-ending injury. That moment is perhaps the most lasting image of this entire season.

Other examples of good sportsmanship have become the stuff of legend: a softball player who hits a homerun, is injured on the way to first base, and is helped around the bases by players from the opposing team. A soccer player who refuses to take advantage of an injured opponent to score a cheap goal. Sometimes it’s big names like Albert Pujols, winner of the 2008 Roberto Clemente Award for his community work, and sometimes it’s guys you’d not have heard of like Jared Ingram of St. Louis. He replaced an injured teammate on the 4×400 relay in a track competition, and when the team medaled, he let the injured teammate take to the stand and accept the medal rather than taking it himself.

Sportsmanship was a part of every practice and game when I coached youth sports for many years, yet we can also see examples of the best—and worst—of it in every major league contest.

And it should be a part of every game at Mizzou. What a pity that the same environment that fosters coaches wearing orange ribbons to honor the Oklahoma State coaches who were killed in a plane crash and players traveling to Joplin compete in a basketball game to help tornado victims put their lives together, also fosters people who say insipid, hateful, taunting yells at opposing players.

Back when the basketball teams played in the Hearnes Center, the Antlers were given prime seats in the front row, the better to have their abusive garbage heard by opponents throughout the game. Following some of their most shameful incidents they have been relegated to a position further back, behind student groups that actually exist to support the team and which, unlike the Antlers,

The ZouCrew, in yellow shirts, and the Antlers, in black shirts, form the bulk of the student section at a men's basketball game on Monday, Nov. 14, 2011, at Mizzou Arena. The ZouCrew is the official student cheer group and has priority seating in the section.

choose to affiliate with the university. The Antlers refuse to do so, because that would mean following rules, and what fun would that be?

And every few years, the whining begins: why can’t they be back in the front row where they can be even more personal and more hateful? It happened again this year, they’ve been trying to lobby Mike Alden for front row seats. One hopes that Alden, while he’s done far too little to promote the idea of sportsmanship at MU, knows what a rotten idea that would be.

I’ve heard them defended as “tradition,” but too many examples of bad things that stayed around too long because they were “tradition.” Like segregation. I’ve been told it’s part of setting a “home court advantage” or a “hostile atmosphere.” I’d like to think that the players don’t need those kind of underhanded tactics to win games. But I’m also reminded of the best example I can come up with from the world of sports to disprove that claim: if fans behaving like jerks won games, the Philadelphia Eagles would have seven or eight Lombardi trophies.

The Antlers hold themselves up as being “the most passionate fans” but I call even that into question. Great fans support their team positively; they don’t tear down the other team. No, from their refusal to join in the “Let’s Go, Tigers” chant at the start of each game to the habit of yelling what they find “amusing” insults at opposing players, the behavior is much less “let’s go, Mizzou” than it is “Everyone pay attention to me!” From just simply yelling “Scum, scum, scum!” to the sort of thing they take perverse pride in — researching the name of a player’s girlfriend, or learning of a sick parent, and attacking that — this isn’t what great fans do. It’s what self-absorbed goons do.

Whether it’s fans throwing things at opposing band members, visiting fans having obscenities screamed at them, or leading the league in “riding” officials, MU has earned a reputation of poor sportsmanship among the schools of the Big 12. It would be nice to see us start off on a better foot as we begin life in a new league. The subject’s rarely even discussed around MU athletics, so I’m raising it. Let’s get serious about sportsmanship. Encourage our fans to be loud and boisterous, but in supporting our team not in tearing down the other team.

Schools like Ohio State and West Virginia had to take the issue very seriously, forming “Sportsmanship Councils” and setting specific rules for fan behavior after their misbehavior made national news. Let’s hope it doesn’t take an embarrassment of that nature for the athletic department, from Mike Alden on down, to take notice. Things aren’t as they should be at Mizzou.

From the directive of “The University of Missouri supports good sportsmanship” at the beginning of a game, until everyone sings the final words of the alma mater: “proud art thou in classic beauty of thy noble past, with thine watchwords honor, duty, thy high fame shall last,” it shouldn’t be something to either snicker at or forget. That sportsmanship, that nobility and honor should be taken seriously at Mizzou.

And a good place to start would be by bringing down the curtain on an old tradition that’s run its course. The Antlers are like a raunchy joke we’ve all heard one too many times. Some thought it was funny at first, others just offensive, but now it’s just tiresome all the way around. Let’s hope we hear this bad old joke for the final time sometime soon.

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98 responses to “The Antlers: Not Mizzou’s best example of good sportsmanship

  1. Pingback: The Antlers: Helping the home team by rattling the visitors «

  2. gameovergreggy December 9, 2011 at 5:03 PM

    The Zou Crew can’t even fill the seats they’re given — but yeah, let’s attack the fans that kill themselves to be there and be loud.

    • Darren Hellwege December 10, 2011 at 6:00 AM

      I not only don’t “attack” them for being there and being loud, but specifically say I’m all for fans being loud and enthusiastic…while supporting their team, not ripping into the other guys, especially in vulgar and personal slams.

  3. Zach December 9, 2011 at 5:15 PM

    Lol sir. The Antlers are ridiculous that is a given and they have been disciplined in the past, but Zoo Crew are generally a bunch of nerds who live in the dorms as seniors. The Antlers are funny and do succeed in creating an intimidating environment for opposing teams. If you want the Zoo Crew environment maybe everyone should just finger paint together after the game. Get real. The Antlers have crossed the line before and have been punished accordingly.

    You clearly are just trying to make a name for yourself by attacking an easy subject. Any real Mizzou fan who has been to a MU sporting event understands what The Antlers bring to the table. Go back to coaching little league and leave college sports to the grownups.

    • Darren Hellwege December 10, 2011 at 6:10 AM

      Ah yes…of all the obnoxious behavior of the Antlers, their constant hatefulness towards fellow Mizzou students and fans is among the worst. Criticism of their not being louder, or not being there at all, is fair game and probably is richly deserved. The bilge of them being “nerdy”, their sex lives (or supposed lack thereof) or the rest sort of confirms one of my main points, which is the whole Antlers mindset is more “look at me! Aren’t I cool?” than actual support of the Tigers. Fans can create an intimidating environment without being nasty about it.
      The Antlers have not “crossed the line before,” they cross the line every time they set foot in the building, over and over and over again. Their “punishment” obviously didn’t make much of an impression.
      Make a name for myself? Give me a break, I’ve been at KBIA longer than any of the Antlers have been alive, I don’t share my opinions here to “make a name for myself.” I “understand” far better than most of the posters here what the Antlers bring to the table–rudeness, vulgarity, and in general the worst sportsmanship possible. It’s not my job to be a “real Mizzou fan” but I have been an employee of this university for 24 years and do care about people giving it a lousy reputation or harming the school. Whether it’s tightwads in Jefferson City putting tuition through the roof or “fans” making MU look like a bunch of idiots, I’m opposed. As for “easy subject,” the 18 posts (so far) ripping me here are only the ones that didn’t have to be pulled for being too personal or nasty (a decision made by others, not myself)
      And finally, if you think the behavior of the Antlers is “grownup” I have a bridge to sell you. Roberto Clemente was a grownup, so is Mack Brown. Sportsmanship isn’t something just for children.
      A

  4. CT December 9, 2011 at 5:18 PM

    You might want to double-check some of your facts. The Antlers have always done the “Let’s Go Tigers” chant along with everyone else. To say they refuse to do so is flat out wrong.

    • Darren Hellwege December 10, 2011 at 6:12 AM

      Sorry, CT, but like several folks here making this claim, you’re badly mistaken. I do do my research, and have been attending Mizzou basketball game for an awful lot of years. They do NOT do the “Let’s Go Tigers” chant along with everyone else. While swinging arms wildly, they do the chant in their own cadence, at their own pace…again, because “everyone look at how cool we are” is the Antlers goal, not being part of a crowd supporting their team.

  5. Blake Frost December 9, 2011 at 5:30 PM

    They’re a helluva lot better than the Zou Crew. I’m not even an Antler and I hate those smug yellow “fans”.

    • Darren Hellwege December 10, 2011 at 6:18 AM

      And, again, there’s nothing quite so obnoxious about this whole conversation as those insulting the students in Zou Crew. No, they’re not as loud or enthusiastic as they might be and yes, I’d agree many if not most are just looking for the good seats. Making them pretty typical college students in a pretty typical student section. One thing I find a lot of the most hardcore sports fans just cannot get, even as alleged “adults,” is that not everyone is going to take it as seriously as you do and there’s nothing to be gained in insulting people who come to the game and sit on the cell phone trading stocks or knock-knock jokes or stuffed mushroom recipes or whatever it is they’re doing instead of cheering. I’ve never seen a drunk fat guy with body paint screaming at them convince a single one to convert, try though some might. Ironically, having heard and seen this line of, ahem, “thought” from the Antlers aimed at Zou Crew for many years, the one word that probably best describes the Antlers’ attitude is “smug,” so thanks for the suggestion.

  6. Connor December 9, 2011 at 5:34 PM

    This article is disappointing. The Antlers are tradition. My dad has told me so many stories about The Antlers. I have seen them in action. I am getting really tired of having to be politically correct in today’s society. Basketball, at it’s most entertaining level, is on a cement court with chain nets. The trash talk flying back and forth. Fans of both teams yell worse things. I’ve heard high school freshmen yell inappropriate things. It’s funny. It gets in player’s heads. I doubt it decides the outcome of games, but it’s the whole reason students are slumped together, you know, following your cited example of “segregation.” It’s so they can be rowdy and act LIKE COLLEGE KIDS. Unless we should rename Mizzou Arena to “The Back Nine” and politely golf clap for our opponents. No, it’s college. Let loose. By the way, really quick, the “Missouri player” was only Henry Josey. 1st Team All Big XII. No big deal. Whatever.

    • Darren Hellwege December 10, 2011 at 6:28 AM

      OK, you take the prize. This is the only one that really ticked me off. Regardless of content, the vapid, meaningless, ridiculous term “Politically correct” is about ten years past due for the vernacular dumpster next to “oh, that’s cool…NOT!” Whether it’s from someone being vulgar and rude thinking those they’re offending are the ones with the problem, or more insidiously those getting their little feelings hurt because they can no longer get away with public expressions of bigotry without someone actually telling them what idiots they are, “PC” is a load of bull.
      Now, if you think trash talk is necessary for sports at it’s most “entertaining”, I have a suggestion…pro wrestling. I find basketball, and in particular the brand the MU men’s team is playing this year, unselfish offense, fierce yet disciplined defense, a good big man and guys who will penetrate balanced with outside shooting and a point guard who knows what he’s doing very entertaining. Sorry, but I was about 12 the last time I found the sort of behavior we’re talking about here “entertaining.” Yeah, I’ve heard freshmen yell inappropriate things, too…and, if they have a coach worth a darn, get yanked right off the court and put on the bench or in the showers where they belong. There’s a whale of a difference between “rowdy”, which I fully encourage, and nasty. I don’t accept “oh, they’re acting like college students” from people whether it’s about vulgarities shouted from the stands or drunkenness or whatever. It’s an insult to the 98% of students who manage to cheer for their team without embarrassing their team and school.
      Several folks mentioned the “golf clap,” and that’s not even vaguely close to what I’m calling for here.

      And by the way, I know perfectly well who the player was. If you’ll take a look down our page, you’ll see I supported him for all-conference, and have been telling people all season that he was the best thing to happen to this offense all season.

  7. jimmy duan December 9, 2011 at 5:38 PM

    You are a clearly a KU fan trying to poise as an MU fan. Sad that someone actually thinks you are worth the paper or web space you occupy. Seriously sad. Go back to Laurence and continue to cry about how crappy a program you guys have..

    • Darren Hellwege December 10, 2011 at 6:34 AM

      If that’s “clear” to you then you need a clarity transplant. And by the way, it’s “Lawrence,” the “crappy program” with three national championships. No, I’m not a fan. I’m a reporter, not a “fan” of any team in theory but given that I’ve been an employee of the University of Missouri for 24 years, I rather doubt I’m fooling very many people…other than, it seems, you.
      Oh, and if putting me online is a waste of “web space”, you’ll be positively outraged to know I’m also on the radio every morning, a whole 100,000 watts. 91.3 FM is the frequency you’ll be wanting to avoid.

  8. Mario Speedwagon December 9, 2011 at 5:57 PM

    I’m a Mizzou student who goes to the basketball games but doesn’t participate in either The Antlers or ZouCrew. First off, the Antlers do the “Let’s Go Tigers” chant. They intentionally do it in a different rhythm, so good research on your part, buddy. The Antlers care about this team way more than ZouCrew does. The dedication these people have is insane and they belong in the front row. I love them and their antics. There is only one reason anyone at Mizzou joins ZouCrew and that is they have a chance at getting all of their tickets up front, and avoiding going to 4 pickups. People don’t join it because it’s a great section or because it is beneficial to them at the actual games.

    • Darren Hellwege December 10, 2011 at 6:38 AM

      Yes, they do the chant, off by themselves rather than along with everyone else. I didn’t say they didn’t do it, I said they refuse to do it along with the other fans…so of the people saying “do your research” you’re the ONE who actually knew what I said was right and STILL said “do your research,” so you get bonus points. If they care about the team, they should shout encouragement at them, not insults at the other team. Their “dedication” is not in question, how they express it is. They belong in the front row like the obscene chant the student body disgraces us with at KU games belongs on a big sign on the chancellor’s door. In other words, not at all.

  9. Mario Speedwagon December 9, 2011 at 6:00 PM

    …also players like Mike Dixon and Kim English love The Antlers because they’re loud and passionate while the ZouCrew section barely makes noise.

    • Darren Hellwege December 10, 2011 at 6:43 AM

      Yeah, I’m perfectly aware of that, and while I think very highly of both I’m not here to make either Mike or Kimmie happy. They’re entitled to their own opinion, although I doubt Mizzou fans would be real happy if for some reason the Antlers were banned and Mike carried out his threat to no longer play for the Tigers. Sorry, I’ve seen this guy practice, his dedication to the program’s way beyond that of someone who’d quit over that.
      That said, I’m quite certain that neither Mike Alden or Brady Deaton taken my suggestions as seriously as some seem to think. The Antlers are in no danger of being banned (and if I’m mistaken, I have a number of suggestions about costs, enrollment standards, curricula, Title IX compliance, and plenty of other campus issues…Brady? Mike? You have my number!)

  10. Matthew Caldwell December 9, 2011 at 6:01 PM

    I am a MU student and a huge college basketball fan. I am not in ZouCrew or a member of The Antlers, I attend every basketball game and usually sit pretty close to the The Antlers. With that said; I hardly think the Antlers are half as bad as you make them out to be. When was the last time you sat in the student section? They almost always chant with ZouCrew and even start several cheers. The people in the Antlers can be kicked out and punished as a whole. The most offensive are the ones which sneak in alcohol, and yell cuss words at the ref, players and coaches (on both teams). Even the Antlers have limits because they don’t want to be dis-banned, and if you bring “down the curtain” on them they would still show up just without they t-shirts (which are awesome) and without limits!
    As a Division 1 athlete you are putting yourself in a position to be scrutinized. I would be willing to bet that sports commentator comments hit a lot closer to home then the fans random comments which probably aren’t even heard 90% of the time.

    • Darren Hellwege December 10, 2011 at 6:57 AM

      Well Matthew, for starters let me say that I’m also a passionate college basketball fan (I’m going to stay away from “huge,” I’m a mite sensitive about that topic) and having attended Mizzou games for a lot of years, I’m not making up the behavior that has me concerned. There’s an excellent piece done by one of our students on the page here that gives a more dispassionate look at the Antlers–what it doesn’t mention is that we had to make the student go back and re-cut the piece, because the chant that was included in the original was too vulgar even to run in a piece about vulgarity, and even on the website not the radio station. I sit on press row, which is right next to the student section, but it’s no secret, everyone in the building knows what they’re shouting isn’t just “come on, Marcus!” or “nice pass, Phil!”
      On the subject of alcohol, there is a specific Antlers policy on the topic and in the 20-plus years I’ve been haunting Mizzou Arena and Hearnes Center I’m not personally aware of any violations of that…any violations by the Antlers, I’ve seen others violate the daylights out of it and in fact when I was in school a time or two at Gallagher Hall we…um, never mind.
      They also have “limits” on cuss words, which I find hysterically hypocritical, as if some of the vulgar and obscene things they shout are fine because they don’t contain one of George Carlin’s seven magic words.
      Yeah, athletes are up for “scrutiny”, there’s a difference between scrutiny and browbeating. There’s a difference between scrutiny and shouting that someone has V.D. I know that the commentator comments may upset a player now and then. Even a pro doesn’t like it when I or one of my fellows in press row mention a slump or say someone looked bad or when someone goes totally Whitlock on them in the newspaper. They can claim not to pay attention, but I know better.
      I have a job to do, and if someone in a Mizzou uniform, even someone I like a lot (and that’s one part of this job—I do know the Mizzou athletes, and there’s very few I don’t like, and some I like a great deal) has a bad game, I have to say so. I hope I’ve not ever hurt anyone with anything I’ve said, but that is probably wishful thinking. But even this column is about the behavior and the organization. I have a 21-year-old son who has a sense of humor that makes the Antlers look like Mr. Rogers, and fact is that I’d probably like the guys in the Antlers just fine. This ain’t personal. But the behavior of the organization really is a proble.
      Yeah, athletes are

  11. jamesburlison December 9, 2011 at 6:08 PM

    I respect you opinion about the Antlers, but if the Zou Crew stepped up and were the student section that helped the team win games, then Mizzou wouldn’t need the Antlers. The Antlers have been around for more than 30 years and aren’t going anywhere. They might be a little out of line every once in a while, but if you are noticing the Antlers, I guarantee you the other team is too. Also, you can’t argue they aren’t good fans. The Antlers are always the first in the arena, and more recently, the first people lined up for the kU ticket pick-up. Sorry, but this raunchy joke isn’t going to end anytime soon, so you might as well just buckle up and get ready for the ride. Agrokrag.

    • Darren Hellwege December 10, 2011 at 7:05 AM

      Thanks for the respect, and as I’ve said before, I’m fine with criticizing the lack of enthusiasm in ZouCrew land. The personal slams are just ugly and wrong, but they should be louder, and the empty spaces in the non-conference games are a source of annoyance to me, too.
      Yeah, the Antlers have been around a long time, but that’s hardly an excuse. They’re not a little out of line once in a while, they’re way out of line every single game, repeatedly. That the other team may “notice” them is my point. If we have to try to distract the other team by shouting vicious insults something’s wrong with our basketball team.
      And yeah, I absolutely can argue they aren’t good fans. I’m great with being first in the Arena (actually we’re the first in the Arena most times, but since we get paid to be there we hardly count) and in line, but they’re doing it so they can be as close as possible to the opposing bench so their garbage can be heard, not just to cheer for the Tigers. A good fan is the guy cheering his lungs out in the top row. A good fan may have a job and family and not be able to camp out all night long for tickets to a basketball game.
      The raunchy joke may not go anywhere, but one reason is that so few, even those who share my opinion, have spoken out loud about these guys. I don’t have that problem, I’m going to say what’s on my mind if anyone agrees or not.

  12. Jarod December 9, 2011 at 6:35 PM

    Did you do any research before writing this??? The Antlers START and LEAD the “Let’s Go Tigers” chant. We do numerous other chants supporting our team as well, such as: “Up up over the rim,” “a tiskit a taskit,” “penetrate and score,” “rotate rotate, shoot a 3,” . We don’t say anything vulgar or obscene as that is against one of our four rules for games: be at every home game, be loud, don’t swear/use obscenities, and don’t be drunk at games. Yeah, we give the other team a hard time, but they usually end up laughing at it and it takes their attention away from the game. I suppose you would like us to all be like Zou Crew. We could all sit on our hands and look at our phones until the game is exciting enough that we all feel compelled to say “OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” for a while like nice little school children.

    By the way, most of the alumni disagree with you, the players disagree with you, and Coach Frank Haith disagrees with you.

    • Darren Hellwege December 10, 2011 at 7:22 AM

      Yes, I did research and no, the Antlers do NOT lead the Let’s Go Tigers chant or else EVERYONE would be in the same rhythm. I find it amusing that you want us to believe there’s a purely coincidental double meaning in “penetrate and score.”
      Forgive me if you find this offensive, but Jarod, you’re lying to us. You’re lying. Saying you don’t say anything vulgar is a flat out falsehood. The Antlers say remarkably, offensively vulgar things every single game, over and over again. Removing the four-letter words so you don’t get banned by those not listening that closely doesn’t mean it’s not vulgar. I’m fine with being loud IN POSITIVE SUPPORT OF YOUR TEAM, that you want people to “be loud” so the sophomore scrub you’re ripping can hear you plainly isn’t impressive. That you get a snicker now and then from the other team isn’t impressive. I even hear the occasional comment I think is very funny. But when I go to a game as a fan, I’m not there to try to earn a spot at “Catch A Rising Star,” if you want to be funny, go do comedy. That doesn’t excuse the incredibly rude, nasty, unsportsmanlike conduct that is not just the accident once in a while but the reason Antlers exist.
      Not sure how many times, including in the original article, I can say I’m great with fans being loud and enthusiastic. I loved seeing the old meter at Hearnes hit 105.
      And I get that lots of folks disagree with me. I don’t care if the whole world disagrees with me, I don’t base my beliefs on popularity polls.
      As for the players and especially the coach, I’ve learned over the years that coaches aren’t paying attention to what’s going on in the stands. There was a point some years back when fan behavior at another sport’s events got totally out of control. I talked with the coach of that team after the game about fan behavior, and he said “oh, it’s not that bad.” I described some of what I’d seen, and he was absolutely shocked. Frank’s got more important things to worry about during a game than exactly how nasty the Antlers got. Maybe he doesn’t know. Maybe he knows and doesn’t care. I’d hope it’s the former. One of the arguments I had with Coach Stewart was that I’m quite sure he was exactly aware of how hateful the Antlers were and just loved it. It’s a subject we didn’t see eye to eye on, there were others. But, even if Frank’s right there with Coach Stewart, much as I like and respect the Coach it’s not going to change my mind.

      • Jarod December 11, 2011 at 9:50 PM

        Why does the cadence at which we do the chant matter? We are still the ones that start the chant, we are louder than everybody else in doing the chant, and it is their choice not to join in at the same tempo. Also, when has anybody ever even hinted at a double-meaning to penetrate and score? Penetrate is a widely-used basketball term for when a guard drives to the lane, therefore penetrating the defense. Any other meaning is pure speculation on anybody else’s part. I can think of one chant with a double-meaning, and if you want to call that one out, fine, but don’t demonize penetrate and score. It seems you are really reaching for reasons to berates the Antlers. Again, we don’t say anything VULGAR or OBSCENE. Those words imply the use of the vulgar or obscene language that you admit we don’t use. Things are said that are suggestive, but not vulgar or obscene. You know good and well by using the word vulgar, people will believe we use profanity, but that simply is not the case. So tell me now, who is the one who is lying? Yes, we do rip into the bench-warmers, because that distracts their teammates and often makes them try to fight back laughter or anger. I’m sorry you don’t agree with the methods we use to give our team what Coach Haith referred to as one of the best home-court advantages in the nation, but I guess not everybody can be the shining example of politcal-correctness that you would have them be.

  13. Captain Munnerlyn December 9, 2011 at 6:56 PM

    Other than when you compared a group of students being allowed to attend a basketball game to segregation, and the facts you made up to make the Antlers seem much worse than they actually are, good article.

    • Darren Hellwege December 10, 2011 at 7:24 AM

      I’ll take that as a supreme compliment, since I made up absolutely nothing and the comparison stands, fully. I don’t buy that we allow something that’s wrong to continue because it’s “tradition.” I didn’t say they were as bad as segregation, anyone who knows me knows that racial injustice is not a hot-button issue with me, it’s THE hot-button issue with me.

      • Duper December 13, 2011 at 11:24 AM

        Darren, you say “I made up absolutely nothing.” But in your article you say “It happened again this year, they’ve been trying to lobby Mike Alden for front row seats.” When I know for a fact that no one in the Antler organization has attempted to contact Mike Alden in an effort to regain our seats. Sure, we may whine and complain about not having front row seats, but none of the Antlers seriously think there’s a possibility of them getting their seats back. We certainly aren’t “lobbying” him either.

  14. Karen Mitchell December 9, 2011 at 7:24 PM

    From the Editor: Some comments have not been published because they contained insults directed at specific people (yes, I get the irony of this for an article about The Antlers.) We will publish all civil conversations but nothing containing personal attacks or profanity.

    • Ashley December 9, 2011 at 9:17 PM

      So basically you are saying that he can specifically attack the Antlers (people) but readers cannot attack the writer. That is the real irony. All he has accomplished is succeeding in is increasing the Antler’s followers. You have to love the bias of the media and good old yellow journalism.

      • Darren Hellwege December 10, 2011 at 7:28 AM

        I didn’t attack anybody. I criticized their behavior, just as plenty of people have disagreed with what I’ve said here. Nothing that’s been posted here is a personal slam on me…fact is, I’m rather pleased both that the things here aren’t even close to personal slams, and that the ones that got pulled aren’t a lot more numerous.
        Yellow journalism? Hardly. Bias? You bet, I’m biased against vulgarity and bad sportsmanship. Ironically, had someone in Lawrence screamed something vile about one of our players, and I’d criticized it, I’d be seen as a hero by some of those knocking me here. THAT, my friends, is bias.

  15. 2150ajm December 9, 2011 at 7:26 PM

    You clearly need to fact check your story before you post it. The phrase “refuse to join in on the ‘Let’s Go Tigers’ chant is almost ludicrously false. Say what you want about the group, but you should definitely make sure you get the facts right. That’s irresponsible journalism.

    • Darren Hellwege December 10, 2011 at 7:34 AM

      It’s not false at all, “ludicrously” or not. I’d not have said it without being very, very sure I was correct. Yeah, they say the words, but they refuse to do so in the same rhythm as everyone else. Because they don’t want to just be fans like everyone else, they want to call attention to themselves and be seen as super-cool. That, not to the level of the vulgarity and nastiness, but on the list anyway, is part of my criticism. If they were just huge fans of the team, they’d not care that much about “preserving the Antlers” or whether or not they were in the front row. They wouldn’t try desperately to sneak past ushers with signs and shirts they know full well aren’t within the rules. They’d not steadfastly refuse to become an official university entity. They’ve got the whole lot of you snowed. The Antlers are not the world’s biggest fans of Mizzou basketball. They’re the world’s biggest fans of themselves. We’ll never know the name of the biggest Tiger fans, because they don’t put the attention on themselves. The self-styled “superfans” (and there are examples beyond just the Antlers) aren’t great fans at all.

  16. Brian December 9, 2011 at 7:38 PM

    This column is at least 20 years too late. The author refers to a couple of the Arkansas incidents, mentions that things are better now, and then goes on to say we need to get rid of the Antlers anyway. Sure it would be great if we all sat around and golf-clapped or gave a hearty “rah rah team” to support our boys (or girls), but that’s not how these things go.

    • Darren Hellwege December 10, 2011 at 7:45 AM

      True, and I mentioned that they were in the past, and that there’d not been similar incidents in the recent past.
      I don’t care, though. Brian’s my absolute favorite. If someone wrote and said “This is a great article, Darren is wise and handsome and deserves a big fat raise” Brian would still be my favorite for mentioning that there are TWO basketball teams on campus (I’d call them “women” not girls, but I’ll let it slide)
      THAT’S where you find your REAL Mizzou fans. The 300 people who’ve been showing up for every MU women’s basketball game since Joanne Rutherford was here. The guys who sit in freezing rain and yell for the soccer team. The fans at MU baseball, even when they’re not winning. If you know how to pronounce Lars Rise’s last name (here’s a hint, it’s not what a cake does in the oven) or who Michaela Minner is or why Mizzou had to get a new heavyweight wrestler this year.
      If you come to the football games and the Big 12 men’s basketball games, don’t talk to me about being a great Tiger fan no matter how much that fine new knit shirt from Dillards cost. The real fans are there when the Tigers are playing Coppin State or Louisiana Directional. They’re in the stands in the 4th quarter when Mizzou’s up by 32 and Jimmy Costello’s getting his snaps. They know who the first Tiger out for warmups is (See? I told you I like Kimmie) But they are ALSO there for ALL the Tigers, and are supporting them not screaming abuse at the other guys.
      OK, got that little side rant off my chest…carry on.

  17. Casey December 9, 2011 at 8:16 PM

    LOVE The Antlers. Keep up the good work Men.

    • John Moffitt December 22, 2011 at 10:15 AM

      Real men don’t act like vulgar, self-aggrandizing animals. I have yet to meet a fellow alumnus who did not see the antlers as an embarrassment to Mizzou.

  18. anti ku December 9, 2011 at 8:28 PM

    yeah, not cool guy. do some research

    • Darren Hellwege December 10, 2011 at 7:49 AM

      I’m not sure exactly how much “research” you guys think this takes. I have actually attended a Missouri mens basketball game in my lifetime, I know how the game starts, how a chant works, and that saying the words at different cadence isn’t the same as a crowd doing a real chant. It’s sort of like making up your own words to the fight song, or deciding that orange looks better than black on “black out” day.
      Now, I’m a fairly radical sort and I’m all for doing your own thing. But a chant ain’t a chant if people aren’t doing it together, whether it’s “Let’s Go Tigers” or “Hell no, we won’t go” or…no, I’ve already frightened my editor enough. She knows my politics and if you think my views on the Antlers got me into trouble…oh, boy…

  19. Mike D December 9, 2011 at 11:10 PM

    Horribly written, from now on if you have an opinion don’t write a paper about it because it sucked

    • Darren Hellwege December 10, 2011 at 7:52 AM

      Sorry, if I let someone thinking what I wrote “sucked” slow me down I’d have had a very short-lived career. No, my wife wouldn’t talk me out of this (I think she’s more worried about the damage egg whites do to the finish of the paint job on her car if you miss mine and hit hers by accident than in my own well-being) then you sure aren’t going to.
      If you’d like to send me your phone number I’ll consider clearing my opinion through you in advance in the future, though…if you promise not to throw eggs at my wife’s car.

      • Mike D December 10, 2011 at 12:24 PM

        How about instead just quit. You clearly have no understandings of the antlers. If you have a problem with them, stop going to the games. No one is going to miss your crappy stories.

  20. Steve Cassidy December 10, 2011 at 3:28 AM

    You’re attacking the Antlers for being disrespectful, yet you sit there and say things like, “Whether their hateful comments are aimed at a well-known star from a heated league rival, or perhaps, even more pathetic, when they are shouting abuse at a harmless scrub on a low-level non-conference team, they’re an embarrassment to the athletic department, the university and its fan base.”

    A harmless scrub? That particular player cant just be called a back-up? You sir, have me calling into question your respectfulness.

    • Darren Hellwege December 10, 2011 at 8:13 AM

      Hey, I’ve been at that spot on the bench. Trust me a scrub knows he’s a scrub…or “I’m” rather than “he’s”

      I don’t treat others with disrespect, but I also don’t play silly games with semantics. I don’t call my garbage man a “Sanitation engineer” or call my wife “altitude challenged.” She’s just plain short.

      I remember the incident vividly, this was a team Mizzou was beating by about 300 points, and this guy at the end of the bench looked like they’d given the manager a jersey for his birthday or something, he never got in the game even though his team was now losing by 400 points. A scrub…yeah, I related to the guy a bit, believe me I am not on press row because I just got tired of being so darn good at playing the games and wanted a switch. And STILL the abuse rang down, “Hey 14! why don’t you…” (you can fill in the blanks.) I don’t agree with yelling at the opponent’s best player while he’s shooting a free throw to win the game, but at least I get it. Screaming at this kid was just bullying, and sorry but I really, really hate bullying.
      Yeah, there’s some of this at nearly any sporting event, but I travel a lot in Big 12 country and Mizzou is the worst for the whole package. I had some harrowing stories told to me by the secretary of the marching band at a rival school which shall remain nameless. Things were thrown at them, they were spit on, filth screamed at them. I’ve watched, there is no place among the old Big 8 schools (I’ve not made the trip to the Texas schools, guess I’ll never get to see beautiful Lubbock now, dang it) and MU is the worst for abuse of opposing athletes, fans, and officials. The worst.
      We gotta do better, gang. That’s just a bad reflection on the whole university, and contrary to those who called me a “Jayhawk” here (which had to really crack up the gang back home in Stillwater…and you say I don’t do MY research???) I really do love the University of Missouri, I take tremendous pride in my association with the school and having worked with and taught hundreds of students here, I want people to think of MU and think as highly of the young people here as I do. And believe me, if you ever walked across this campus on a football Saturday wearing OU or Iowa State or Kansas or Texas colors, you think MU was the worst place in the world. I’d sure like to see that change.

  21. Spirit of 1976 December 10, 2011 at 11:35 AM

    I derived great amusement from the fact that Mr.Hellwege almost immediately had to walk back his line about the Antlers “refusal” to join “Let’s Go Tigers”. Yes, because doing it at “a different rhythm” certainly equates to “refusal”. That’s an excellent use of weasel wording and misinformation and you should be proud. It is true the Antlers and cheerleaders usually do not end up on the same page for this cheer. What is not true is that the Antlers intentionally use a different “rhythm”. Since Mr.Hellwege declined to actually interview an Antler for this article, I will attempt to provide an explanation. (About a dozen people a year come and grab an Antler for an interview-which we are more than happy to do, hitpiece or not, but it seems Mr.Hellwege had some trouble making his way down to us) The Antlers start the cheer by screaming “let’s GO, tiGERS” at the top of their lungs, followed by the cheerleaders starting their cheer (a more even “lets go tigers”) a little bit later. By this point both groups cheers are usually already off from each other and its difficult to get 35 guys screaming their heads off to either slow down or speed up to match. Ideally the pace of both groups should be same, but it is harder than it seems in practice. The Antlers do the cheer with a different intonation, but if the groups were timed together right one would probably not notice, and any reasonable person would have a hard time believing that the Antlers are outright refusing to do the cheer. I am sorry I had to do Mr.Hellwege’s job for him, but hopefully that helps some people understand the situation.

    Mr.Hellwege also mentioned the alma mater, but declined to report that 75% of the student section (and that is being generous) has left by that point while the Antlers proudly remain to sing. I’m sure you will huff and puff that it is being done sarcastically or ironically (I can assure you this is not the case), or try to twist the fact that since the Antlers hold their arms up in the air while some of the student section locks arms, that once again, those disgusting Antlers are just trying to draw attention to themselves again. (During the alma mater. While no one is there. Surely this is the case)

    And never forget,
    “One man’s vulgarity is another’s lyric”
    -Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan II

    • Darren Hellwege December 10, 2011 at 2:16 PM

      I could write a book responding to this one, let’s make it simple…
      1. I’m not walking back anything. They refuse to join in the chant. Joining in a chant means doing it the same way everyone else is. I find it hilarious to be accused of “weasel wording,” then having someone say that the Antlers start the chant and the cheerleaders and thousands of other fans all do it wrong.
      Feel free to think of it as “unreasonable.” I’m going to file it, instead, under the heading of “I was born at night, but it wasn’t last night.” Done my job for me? Hmm…I’ll have no problem collecting what passes for a paycheck this month.
      2. I interview someone for a story, or a feature. Not an opinion piece. There weren’t any aspects of this I needed explained to me, and really felt like the excuses I knew would come raining down once this ran would be given their full airing. Now, that said, the Antlers are free to continue responding however they see fit here in the response section (although, again, the boss is going to keep pulling the stuff that includes vulgar language or more direct attacks…I didn’t ask her too, and frankly the couple that did get pulled I found funny, in a pathetic sort of way, more than offensive, although they certainly were that as well) But, if that’s not enough, I warmly welcome them as a group or individuals to write up a more complete response and I’ll do whatever I can to see that it runs. If they think I’ve been unfair in my criticism, they can and should say so.
      3. I didn’t say the Antlers weren’t there early, mostly so they can grab the best seats they can get, but I have no love for those who wander in about the time of the first media time out and even less for those who leave early…I even know a guy who has a math equation to it. If the lead is more than the minutes left, if there’s a 6 point lead and five minutes to go, he heads for the parking lot. That’s just sad. So, yeah, good on them for hanging around and singing the Alma Mater. No huffing or puffing at all.
      4. How can I not love finishing with a good quote, or that someone actually knew who Justice Harlan was-ironically, a member of the Supremes on several deseg rulings. Ironyman strikes again!
      That said, you’d be real, real hard pressed to find anyone who could say that some of the Antlers greatest hits were very lyrical. Just plain ole vulgar, and while you may think that vulgar is hilarious, shouting things out at a basketball game is a place where what others might think of what you say has to be considered by decent human beings.
      5. If you really WOULD like to do my job for me, knock yourself out. I look forward to seeing you at 5:30 Monday morning…bring some coffee, won’t you?

      • Rob December 10, 2011 at 7:01 PM

        I take issue with your rebuttal, specifically the first point. Spirit of 1976 stated that the cheerleaders and fans start the “Let’s go Tigers” chant after the Antlers begin theirs, and that this is the reason why they are off cadence, which is a valid excuse. You then stated in your response that the Antler said “the cheerleaders and thousands of other fans all do it wrong.” Reread the original post, in no way what-so-ever did Spirit of 1976 imply that the cheerleaders and thousands of fans do it wrong. I find it hilarious that you find “weasel wording” hilarious and then you go on to “weasel word” his statement.

      • Spirit of 1976 December 11, 2011 at 1:09 AM

        Wait, are you being serious? A job where I can not only leech off the government, but espouse my inane/batshit insane opinions without having to bother to fact check because I hide behind the shield of “opinion piece”? I would love to do this actually.

  22. Darren Hellwege December 10, 2011 at 1:43 PM

    It would be very wrong of me not to mention this–saw one of the Antlers at halftime of the women’s game show exactly what GOOD sportsmanship is all about. He and a younger girl from one of the ballclubs in town were finalists in the layup contest, and the Antler…well, I won’t say he outright threw it, but he took his time getting back and the girl barely beat him. A lot of guys would have gone, “hey, free t-shirt” and knocked some people down going for it.
    Like I said before, my argument is with specific behavior, not the people themselves, and today proved what I suspected, which is these guys are also capable of being perfectly decent people. I doubt I’m any more likely to convince them to upgrade sportsmanship than they are to convince me that they’re just hilarious and enthusiastic fans. I wish they weren’t acting like, well, you know…the Antlers. But at least they’re showing up for the women’s games lately, which is more than you can say for 99.9% of the student body, sadly. I dearly love the loyalty of the women’s hoops fan base, some of whom have been coming to these games for decades. But, I’ll admit they can be rather calm. I like seeing some life in the place, and I know the players appreciate it a lot.

    • Emi!y December 14, 2011 at 12:32 PM

      I wasn’t going to leave a comment because I think you’re doing a great job responding to all of the vitriol pointed at you. I come from a university that at my time had a spectacular student section (that did occasionally cross the line, I admit), and as only a casual Mizzou basketball fan, I am often embarrassed by what I hear from the Antlers. I love passionate fans, but hate the group behavior that often comes out in them. Like you say, it’s not an individual attack, it’s the thought of what outsiders see as Mizzou’s mouthpiece.

  23. M2Scout December 10, 2011 at 1:44 PM

    I find it unfortunate that, in a time where even the national media has mentioned poor student attendance, you choose to spend your time on the soapbox attacking two of the tiger’s most faithfull fan organizations. When an organization that you admitted has limited membership matched the university recognized organization in attendance while laying claim to less one tenth their tickets, we’ve got bigger problems than vulgarity. Also, I couldn’t tell you how strong of an influence mini mizzou and the antlers have on the energy of away and neutral site crowds. This is college athletics, where schools pride themselves on the how passionate their fans are, but you went out of your way to knock on the only people passionate enough to go to every game, always. Either you’ve got some vendetta against the antlers or some very skewed priorities over what merits an opinion piece. Either way, as you are someone so concerned with public image, I hope you realize that empty seats make it through the tv a lot more clearly than anything the Antlers chant.

    • Darren Hellwege December 10, 2011 at 5:59 PM

      I mentioned repeatedly that I’m great with students attending the games, and enthusiastically supporting their teams. I didn’t “attack” anyone for being “faithful,” but did criticize their incredibly rude and vulgar behavior. Explain they can’t have “attendance” without it, you act as if we should be concerned only with attendance and just take whatever goes with it without complaint.
      The schools can pride themselves on enthusiasm, but it’s a disgrace to the university when these groups shout extremely hateful and vulgar trash at visitors to their school. I take pride in our students when they earn it, not just for being in the building.
      It’s also far from true that they’re the only people who go to every game, always. Plenty of other people do, but AGAIN that’s far from what I’m concerned about, it’s GREAT if they’re at every game, if they do the right thing.
      This has nothing to do with “vendetta,” there’s very specific behavior that is the problem, and it’s not a small or occasional problem.
      Comparing their obscene chants with empty chairs makes the same mistake–as if the two have a thing to do with one another. I’m great with getting more people in the building, And I’ve said so several times. But tell me this, there are a few thousand empty seats at the men’s games you’re talking about, why is there no concern for the women’s games which are nearly entirely empty and until very recently had a student population of the players, the band, and that’s about it.

  24. M T Welsh December 10, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    Sir, you clearly have not experienced being part of a team, and getting a huge boost from hearing your fans support you and not support the other team. The fact that you criticise the creation of a ‘hostile atmosphere’ is also laughable, what is the point of a ‘home field advantage’ if you can’t make the opposing team uneasy! I would also advise you, sir, not to attend any sporting events in Europe as I am certain you would get offended and write another ludicrous article slamming the immense atmosphere the fans create as ‘bad sportsmanship’. And comparing the Antlers tradition to ‘segregation’ is just crazy. Are you kidding?
    The Antlers may be a little ‘in your face’, but they are at EVERY game and support the team twice as loudly as any fans! Maybe you should think again before posting another ridiculous article, picking on an easy target and using completely redundant examples to compare the subject matter with.

    • Darren Hellwege December 10, 2011 at 6:06 PM

      You’re badly mistaken. I have been part of a team, as a player and a coach. There’s nothing “laughable” about the ugly, hateful things these guys shout, and it’s not required to have a tough home court advantage. Not sure how many times I can say I am great with loud enthusiastic fans who don’t rip the other team to shred with vile slurs.
      I’m also aware of the atmosphere in Europe, and with the violence and extreme racism that often go hand in hand, and how much trouble they’ve had getting rid of those “traditions.”
      No, I’m not kidding. Saying something should be accepted because it’s tradition is absurd, which is the only way in which they were compared.
      The Antlers are NOT “a little in your face,” they are extremely vulgar. I’ve already written another article today, and will have one more before the day is through. I do them all the time.
      By the way, take a gander at the amount of criticism I’ve taken in the 24 hours or so since this was posted, and bear in mind the worst of it wasn’t even posted here…easy target? Are you kidding? I could have said Faurot Field should be re-named, that “Tigers” is a dumb name and Mizzou should call themselves something else, and not been bashed this much.
      But, as for “thinking about” it, my level of regret remains at zero. This space will be used to express my opinion on the issues I think are important regarding Mizzou sports. Sometimes they’ll be popular. Often they will not. They will always be real.

  25. TigerGirl December 10, 2011 at 10:28 PM

    Ok, The first thing that I want to say is that I’m a member of ZouCrew, I’m a senior and I’ve been a member all four years. And I will admit that this years crew isn’t up to my personal standards, but there are MANY of us who come to every game, and show up when the doors open. We’re in the stands before the team is on the court. And us, we’re cheering our asses off. We’re the same people who camped out (with the Antlers) for Kansas tickets on Thursday night. Each and every member of ZouCrew might not be dedicated, but we have more dedicated fans than the Antlers membership.
    I personally have no problem with the Antler’s most of the time. There’s a few shirts that still need to be banned (They’re a play on words with women’s genitals and Lawrence of Arabia and Vuvuzela). And sometimes, they say things that really cross the line with me, and I have a pretty high tolerance threshold. However, the Antlers never really were on my radar until this year when none other than Kim English started running his mouth about how the ZouCrew doesn’t deserve our seats, and the Antlers do. Trust me, I deserve my seat. I’ve lost my respect for Kim, I’d rather see Steve Moore play, he might not be the best, but at least he makes it seem like he appreciates the fans. Kimmie talks big about wanting dedicated fans but where was he when we were camping outside the arena? Home in bed. He tweeted about. Steve sat outside with us all night, hugged us all and high-fived us when we finally got into the arena. That’s appreciation.
    I’m sorry, but I’m never going to be yelling “Scum, Scum, Scum go back to where your from and DIE!” or “Ref, you’re ugly, your wife sleeps around!” It’s rude, and how does that make you a fan, how?

    • BooCrew December 11, 2011 at 3:41 PM

      Yeah… steve moore was also plastered drunk, ripping people from their tents that night. Zoucrew picks the best people to cheer for!

    • Jarod December 12, 2011 at 12:46 PM

      Kimmie was understandably upset after the Binghamton game. Can you blame him? He wasn’t saying there aren’t any dedicated fans in the Zou Crew. He was saying that, proportionately, the Antlers are much more dedicated than the Zou Crew. Nobody can really argue that either. As far as the seats go, I don’t believe all members of Zou Crew should lose the opportunity to sit in the front row much like I don’t believe the Antlers should. It should be a first-come, first-served policy for every game. Wouldn’t you agree? That way, dedicated fans such as yourself can still have a chance at your front-row seats and the Antlers, who are there every single game before the doors open, can have a chance at front-row seats as well.

      • Darren Hellwege December 12, 2011 at 8:44 PM

        Actually I do argue it. The Antlers “dedication” can be impressive in some ways, in others it’s dedication only to themselves and their image. Dedicated fans don’t insult other fans of their team constantly.
        But Jarod, absolutely no way should Antlers have seating in the front row. They don’t want to be there to support the Tigers, they want to be there to rip the other team, embarrassing the school along the way. The best seats are, and should be, for the official school groups and the people who follow the simple rules.
        The criticism of Zou Crew seemed primarily to come from their absence at the Black and Gold “Game,” a scrimmage of absolutely no real purpose for fans. I’d be a little embarrassed asking people to pay for tickets to these at all. On the other hand, these have been big recruiting deals for some schools, with the pointless scrimmages televised on the four-letter word (I’m almost as big a fan of ESPN as I am of the Antlers, that’s a column for another day, I’ve made enough friends with the one for the time being) so already student turnout in general and in particular ZC are on the players list.
        Then the B’ton game which did have pretty pathetic turnout. But what NOBODY in the media mentioned is that the dorms didn’t open until later in the day (as I understand it, if a student could confirm or deny) I’m all for supporting your team, but it’s hard to blame students for not rushing home from a weekend with the family and real food to hurry back home…to have no home. Maybe I should include Frankie Minor on the list of people with questions to answer.
        Hard to blame players, who understand how much work goes into this, for being upset when they see the student section half empty. But, even though it’s been 75 or 100 years, I went to college too and remember that there is more to life than going to basketball games. MU students, including the players, ought to cut another a little slack. If that section’s half empty when Oklahoma and K-State start rolling through, then they have a legit beef.

      • Jarod December 13, 2011 at 1:12 AM

        This is for Darren’s comment below as I can’t directly reply to it. How does our calling out Zou Crew for their lack of dedication a lack of dedication on our part? That makes absolutely no sense. We do that in an attempt to get them to show up and be loud in order to create a better advantage for our team. Secondly, we just plain disagree on the seating issue. I, as do many who have spoken out this year, believe there should be a first-come, first-served policy for games. Let the fans who want the good seats the most get them. And no, we don’t just want them to draw more attention to ourselves, we want them to be closer to the action and have a better view of the game. The fact that we would be closer to the opponents’ bench would be nice, but it certainly wouldn’t be the primary factor driving us to sit closer to the court.
        As far as the black and gold game, students didn’t have to pay for that, it was free to all students. Not even Zou Crew coordinators showed up. If they were really that dedicated to the team, wouldn’t they jump at a free opportunity to see their basketball game in live action for the first time all year? Furthermore, you say the Antlers only like to draw attention to themselves through making fun of and berating the other team. Why then, would EVERY ACTIVE MEMBER of the group show up to a game that featured all Mizzou players in a basically empty arena? For the Binghamton game, I know some people were at home with family. I know the dorms hadn’t yet been opened. But out of 30,000+ Mizzou students, and the thousands of whom who are in Zou Crew, all we can muster is around 50? (Not counting the Antlers) I believe more MU students live off-campus than on anyway. There is no excuse for that coming off that complete embarassment we spoon-fed Cal.

      • Jarod December 13, 2011 at 1:22 AM

        Edit: How IS*** our calling out Zou Crew for their lack of dedication a lack of dedication on our part?

      • Jarod December 13, 2011 at 1:30 AM

        Also, how can you sit there and tell my why I go to games? I was in the Zou Crew last year and sat in the front row for EVERY SINGLE GAME. Do you think I did that because I wanted to rip into the other team? NO! I went to the games because I love Mizzou basketball, and that is still why I go to the games. I left Zou Crew and joined the Antlers because I was fed up with Zou Crew’s terribly unorganized and apathetic leadership whose best ideas are copying whatever kansas does (see the holding of the newspapers and flash mob at the football game.) I go to the games now because I love Mizzou basketball, I love our players, and I love our school. I rip on the opposing team because it helps our team win. Whether you like it or not, we aren’t the self-absorbed you-know-whats you have made up your mind that we are. We all love Mizzou basketball and that is what drives us to do what we do.

      • Jarod December 13, 2011 at 11:38 AM

        Edit: Tell ME*** why I go to games

  26. Michael A December 11, 2011 at 12:20 PM

    Darren, your perception on the Antlers is different than 99% of people. The Antlers are tradition and are not going anywhere. During non conference games over break they make up at least half of the student section. What needs to happen is you need to buy yourself a sense of humor and laugh at some of the things they say or you just need to stop writing.

    • TigerGirl December 11, 2011 at 7:03 PM

      Half of the student section? There is 35 of them. I’ll make sure and count how many are in the section over break, I’ll guarantee it’s more than 70.

    • Darren Hellwege December 12, 2011 at 8:50 PM

      Even if the preposterous notion that 99% of the people disagree with me on this were true, it wouldn’t change my opinion one bit. See, it’s based on what’s right and what’s wrong, not what’s popular or what’s cool. I’ve already expressed what a phony baloney excuse “it’s tradition” is, they’re not even vaguely close to half of the student section over break (nor do I have any criticism for students actually putting their family ahead of the basketball game) and you’d find if you bothered to ask anyone I know that in fact I have a fine sense of humor.
      The Antlers filth and rudeness just ain’t funny. I won’t ever laugh at the vulgar trash they toss out for us every night, and make the sincere promise that I’ve no intention of stopping the column, either.

  27. Jane McGuire December 11, 2011 at 4:51 PM

    Excellent!

  28. AdamC December 12, 2011 at 9:49 AM

    This article’s a joke. Segregation should never have been brought up. The campus is NOT unsafe to cross as an opposing fan. I’ve been around fans of opposing teams MANY TIMES and they were fine on campus, even tailgating with our fans a lot. I really can’t even take this one seriously.

    • Jarod December 12, 2011 at 12:49 PM

      Yeah, I guess that is why San Diego State fans were saying Mizzou was one of their favorite road-trips of all time last year, even with the fashion in which they lost. I’m an Antler and I greet any fan I see (other than those who celebrate terrorism) warmly and wish them a fun and safe time at Mizzou.

    • Darren Hellwege December 12, 2011 at 8:56 PM

      Adam, you’re dead wrong about one thing…I’ve walked on this campus with visiting fans, and it IS unsafe. I’ve seen people have things thrown at them, had people threaten them, saw a child knocked off her feet, I’m afraid you’re going through life with black and gold blinders on if you aren’t aware that this university has earned a lousy reputation in the league and region for being the worst place to be a visiting fan. Numero uno. I’ve been on all the campuses of the old Big 8 and plenty of others, and it’s not like that anywhere else I’ve been. I’ve heard that a couple of the SEC schools can be rough, in particular LSU, I guess we’ll all get to find out first hand soon. And, the fans of the SEC schools will see what Columbia has to offer. I hope it’s a whole lot better than what I’ve seen in the past in over twenty years of going to football games here. It sure wasn’t a proud moment for anyone who cares about this university.

  29. Bill in StL December 12, 2011 at 6:00 PM

    Maybe there’s a difference in definition here. What exactly do you consider a vulgarity, Mr. Hellwege? The most extreme complaint I see in your article is the chant of “Penetrate and score.” You dislike the obvious sexual connotation. I would counter that a college game is an appropriate place for sexual connotation. This isn’t a junior high game, so there’s no call to shield the participants from human sexuality. I disagree that one should expect an atmosphere suitable for filming an episode of Mr. Roger’s. Sports are where we funnel our competitive drive, that in less civilized times and places finds its outlet in war. As uncomfortable as it may make you, sexual and athletic prowess are both fundamental measures of manhood, making the double entendre entirely appropriate. Similarly, taunts of venereal disease suggest sexual dysfunction and a less manly opponent, and are meant to undermine the opponent’s athletic performance. Does anyone seriously wonder if the Antlers are making valid accusations? Do any of your fellow reporters ask the opposing players if they have these diseases after the game? Or, like reasonable people, do you dismiss it as simple taunting, not meant to be believed?

    Without direct quotations of the comments you find offensive, I find no support in your article for the notion that the Antlers have, in recent past, behaved in an unsportsmanlike manner. Vulgar is a relative term, and I can’t simply accept your assertion that it’s too scandalous to print.

    You cite as an example of good sportsmanship Mack Brown, who crossed the field to shake Josey’s hand after his season ending injury. Have you ever witnessed the Antlers jeering an injured opponent? From the many football games I’ve watched from the student section of Faurot, I’ve never seen them do so.

    You claim that because you’re writing an opinion piece, there’s no reason to interview the subject. That might have merit, except on at least four occasions in your article you claim to know their motivations. For instance, “the Antlers refuse to [affiliate with the University], because that would mean following rules, and what fun would that be?” Could it be instead that the Antlers simply don’t like the idea of being officially sanctioned? I don’t know, and neither do you, because you didn’t bother to ask. A persuasive piece consists of facts and logical arguments based on those facts which support a conclusion. By assuming some of the relevant facts, you’ve built your argument on a shaky foundation. You can’t pretend everything is solid by hiding behind the label “opinion.”

    • TigerGirl December 12, 2011 at 7:08 PM

      Am I the only one who finds “go back to where your from and die” and “I’d kill myself” chants, offensive?

    • Darren Hellwege December 12, 2011 at 9:28 PM

      Sadly, Bill, that is NOT anywhere close to the most vulgar thing we’ve heard…most of them weren’t appropriate for us to publish. But, that’s the direction most are headed, one way after another to try to sneak around rules against four-letter words by saying the exact same thing in other ways. There is absolutely no way anyone could argue this stuff was appropriate. Not even close. “Measures of manhood”? Seriously? These guys need to find other ways for “measures of manhood,” if THAT is what this is about, that’s just plain sad. To try to make excuses for saying a player has VD, I just hope you’re not serious. Undermine the opponent’s performance? If the Missouri Tigers need THAT to win games, they should shut down the athletic department. I’ve watched the men’s basketball team win a lot of games over 20 years and not a single time was it because of vile trash yelled from the stands. The fact is, this mindset doesn’t win games, but it sure does lose them. I’ve seen plenty of games lost to an ill-timed personal foul or unsportsmanlike conduct penalty or technical foul. The players know full well they can’t get away with this nonsense, nor should they. They win by playing basketball better than the other guys.
      Yes it’s taunting, but NOT to be dismissed. It should not be ignored, or laughed off, or tolerated in any way.
      Someone earlier said that I don’t have a sense of humor. Man, you should have seen how I laughed at the claim here that the Antlers don’t behave in an unsportsmanlike manner. That’s genuinely hilarious.
      No, I’ve not seen them jeer an injured opponent. To claim that proves they’re as sportsmanlike as Mack Brown just makes this all the more preposterous. I never saw Bob Knight jeer an injured opponent. Think HE’S a model of sportsmanship?
      I do find it remarkable that a guy who’s trying to say that the Antlers aren’t vulgar, aren’t unsportsmanlike, and are fine with the rules the university would extend if they were sanctioned is talking about “shaky foundations” pretty amusing, too.
      This is opinion, and clearly identified as such. But I’m not hiding, not by a longshot.

  30. Ryan December 12, 2011 at 7:17 PM

    Mr. Hellwege, you write a very lengthy piece on the Antlers without even talking to them, and then claim that was unnecessary because it’s an opinion piece? Not seeking out easily available information (their motives, their side of the story, etc.) undermines your opinion’s credibility. That is extraordinarily poor journalism.

    • Darren Hellwege December 12, 2011 at 9:34 PM

      It’s opinion, and clearly identified as such. So far, the “defense” of them has ranged from either the remarkable pretense that they’re not vulgar or unsportsmanlike to saying it’s OK because they supposed help the team win games, which I made clear wouldn’t excuse it even were it true.
      The only fact that’s been questioned is the business about the chant, and that we all heard them do precisely what I said they do even after this was posted ought to put that one to rest.
      I’m great with any response they want to foster, but no, it’s not “poor journalism” to express an opinion about a situation I’ve been watching longer than any of the current Antlers have been alive. There’ve been dozens of responses with maybe, if I want to be generous, three supporting my view. Which is exactly what I expected. I’d love to know what you think the Antlers might have said in an “interview” that would have changed my mind about anything here.

  31. Just another Antler December 12, 2011 at 9:47 PM

    Hey Darren,

    Just want to say I am an Antler myself. You are totally right to hold your own opinion, while I may find it to be completely and entirely wrong, it is yours to hold. The masses have hated us and the masses have loved us, but our utmost goal will always be to support our team to the next mizzou victory. Our means may be off and at times even upsetting to some, but we do it for the good of our team. Yet, in your efforts to defame my friends and a group in which we all care just as much about as our education, you have given us the best gift of all. Free Publicity. Thanks to your hatred of our group you have made us stronger and more bonded than ever. We will never leave, we are true fans, and your spiteful words mean nothing more to us than just another hater in the crowd. Welcome to the club. I wish you only the best, and who knows you may even get a sign at a game one day.

    We as the Antlers will leave it at that.

    Yours Truly and Happy Holidays,
    Vulvazuela

    • TigerGirl December 13, 2011 at 12:33 PM

      You have one of the shirt names which we gave to athletics to ban. Congrats.

      • Just another Antler December 13, 2011 at 12:45 PM

        If you find my shirt offensive, I truly am sorry. I wish you only the best in your attempt to remove my antler name from my jersey. If this is really a problem, don’t hide on a message board, feel free to speak in person to me, any other antler at an upcoming game or email me directly taj4y8@mail.missouri.edu. We are all adults and can figure this out civilly with out having to continuously resort to tattling on each other. We’re in college not high school, grow up, be an adult, and confront your issues head on.

        God Bless

        Vulvazuela

      • Jarod December 15, 2011 at 4:28 PM

        Oh NO! You really got us!

    • Darren Hellwege December 18, 2011 at 3:04 PM

      I’d gotten out of responding, felt like I’d said my piece, glad I wandered back into the fray to spot this one. I’ve spent a long time covering sports and politics, both have one thing in common…the person or group themselves often defend themselves against criticism with more dignity and less anger than their fans/defenders/supporters. This looks like a good example.
      Yeah, I have little doubt the members of the Antlers are passionate Tigers fans, I’ve seen them here through some rough seasons, supporting pretty poor teams on nights with crappy weather and through games I only sat through because it’s my job. I admire all that stuff.
      And while I still have questions about the supposedly pure intentions…I can’t begin to believe they think it’s for the best of the program to make snotty comments about the guys in Zou Crew or yelling abuse at subs on a club your team is stomping like hamburger meat.
      One thing to clarify–the “hate,” as it were, is for behavior. It’s stretching to say I “hate the Antlers,” completely false to claim I hate the individual members. I’ve worked with college students since I was one, and whether it’s the ones in my class, at KBIA, on the teams I follow, my own daughter and her friends, or just the guys I see on campus every day I couldn’t hate any of them if I tried. They go far beyond “Hey, you guys suck!” and manage at the same time to both be really offensive yet show there’s a lot of intelligence and creativity there. I just wish it were going into a better direction, positively supporting your team instead of ripping the other one.
      You’re right about the “publicity,” which I hope demonstrates my point. If I just hated these guys, you’re right I’d have ignored you altogether rather than talk about the Antlers (although I’ll admit I had no idea it would get this much response, I wish people had given this much attention to my columns about keeping BYU out of the Big 12 or the radio show about Title IX. And as for “people love us or hate us,” I see very few people in the comments section here with anything but full-throated support for you guys, which you gotta like.
      There is one thing I’d take strong issue with–I don’t feel anything I said was remotely “spiteful,” I’m talking about being AGAINST ugly spiteful things being said. And I was also critical of some of the behavior from the band (and I’m a music nut and huge supporter of music programs at MU from Marching Mizzou to the University Philharmonic) and gave at least moderate criticism of Mike Alden. They’ve all been good sports about the whole deal.
      But you’re showing that you’re not even trying to use the intelligence I know you have if you think this is “just another hater.” Your actions are offensive, are vulgar, are a disgrace to the university, and you’re being even less immature than your worst critic claims if you just think this is “people who hate us for no reason” and can’t see there’s a REASON you’re being criticized. And it’s because while I have a professional obligation to remain neutral as far as who wins or loses a sporting event, there is absolutely nobody who cares more about this University as a whole than I. It was a strange thing for a guy who was born in Stillwater and grew up in orange and black to become a Tiger, but after 25 years here, I love being part of Mizzou, I’m proud to be associated with this great university and its extraordinary students. That one of the guys responsible for the most ugly and hateful behavior out of student body closes a note to a guy who’s knocked them pretty sharply closes a note with the kind of respect you did proves what I told several people as this was being prepared…that this is about specific behavior, not bad people, and that outside the gym we’d probably find that they’re mostly perfectly good guys.
      Since the column’s been posted I’ve seen nothing to change my mind about that.
      I doubt I merit a sign, but if I do, please be sure and save it for me, that would be a pretty cool honor. and would find a place of prominence in my office.

  32. MKrip December 13, 2011 at 1:04 AM

    Mr Hellwege,

    First off, let me thank you for your service and care for Mizzou athletics. I have alot of respect for you, your support for MU and also share in your opinion of good sportsmanship. I too feel that we as fans and our University can do more to increase the level of class shown by our fanbase towards visitors to Columbia and we should try harder to greet visiting fans, wish them well here and thank them for coming.

    I also am appreciative of our current group of Antlers for their support. I wish everyone could show the passion that they do for the team. Sure, they may not be the prototype that many of us middle aged people may agree with, but who are we to rain on their parade? They aren’t vulgar, just a bit obnoxious at times and I really don’t see that much wrong with it. I think you hurt your arguement when one of your main attack points is centered around a “being cool, look at me” atitude that you project upon them. That’s an opinion of yours but an unfair one that you fail to substantiate in your write up when you attempt to paint the picture that its all they care about while belittling their true passion for Tiger athletics. I think it would be a travesty if they were banned from our games. They are a unique tradition that’s worth keeping and they’ve already demonstrated time and again that they are willing to amend their schtick away from the antics that lead to a more negative reputation that long preceded this current group of fans in comparison to their predecessors from back when I went to school here.

    Instead of attacking them and threatening them, how about trying to give some encouragement and focus on the positives they have to offer? I actually wish there were a whole lot more of them attending the games and also hope that they can continue to keep it relatively clean but on edge as well. I’d rather see these kids standing and screaming than us older folks sitting on our hands hardly participating in the fandom if we even show up at all. If anything, we need more of these students at the games, not less, and we are failing at getting that done. That’s what Mr. Alden should be focusing upon first and foremost in regards to this topic.

    Thank you for your piece here. I do think its a valuable topic worth discussing but I also want the Antlers who are obviously reading this attack upon them to know that there are those of us out here that appreciate the positives that come from their support as well. Keep up the good work.

    • Darren Hellwege December 18, 2011 at 3:23 PM

      Well, I disagree a bit on the whole attention-getting vs. passionate fan bit, but it’s a minor point and about the only thing we need less than the Antlers being in psychological analysis is anyone being examined by me, so I’ll call that one a jump ball and leave it.
      I do continue to sharply disagree on the other point. Maybe I should have given examples to back up my point about their being vulgar, but I don’t think it’s needed, and I know I don’t want to read what I listen to from them on this website. I’ll just continue to stand 100% behind what I’ve said all along. Yes, they are vulgar, very very much so. And it’s got no business here.
      A travesty? Are you KIDDING? The behavior we’re talking about is embarrassing and unsportsmanlike, it’s not needed an shouldn’t be wanted. We’re talking about people yelling filthy insults at another team, a travesty is someone being denied educational opportunity because of discrimination or greed. What Jeff City is doing to tuition at this school is a travesty. Guys not being allowed to hold up signs with poorly disguised sex “jokes” isn’t.
      I don’t even want the members banned. How’s this for a compromise? Retire the t-shirts and the signs, lose the nastiness and vulgarity and insults, and you can have front row seats right behind the Mizzou bench. Think they’d go for it?

      Nope, I don’t either.

      I do wonder how many times I’ll have to say that I am great with loud and enthusiastic fans and NOT calling for people to “sit on their hands” or do the “golf clap” thing. The last thing I’d want is to have a gym full of the people who used to drive me nuts when I’d go to the Rams games, the guys with the 12 dollar chicken salad and white wine who spent the game checking Stock Trader on their cell phone. Blech.

  33. Spirit of 1976 December 13, 2011 at 9:17 AM

    Mr. Hellwege, regarding vulgarities, I am looking forward to your 1400+ word “opinion piece” calling for the banishment of all fans from Mizzou Arena for the yearly “M-I-Z [expletive]-ku” chant with great interest.

    It is worth noting, as I am quite confident Mr.Hellwege will elect to ignore this aspect, that this IS a chant the Antlers refuse to participate in, precisely because people like Mr.Hellwege and Mr.Alden would only seek to admonish only the Antlers for it, when in actuality it is the entire student section.

    • TigerGirl December 13, 2011 at 12:32 PM

      Let’s not say entire student section. Because now you’re the one making up your own facts. It’s against ZouCrew rules to use expletives. I’m not saying that people in ZouCrew don’t say that, but we all don’t.

    • Darren Hellwege December 18, 2011 at 3:34 PM

      Great point, and were it not for the (at least temporary) end of the rivalry coming soon, you can bet I’d be delighted to have a long talk about that shameful practice. There are differences…this is something coming from an entire crowd (or at least the student section) with people who otherwise aren’t causing a lot of trouble, as compared to a group who’s entire reason for being is to be snarky and vulgar.
      But yeah, there’s a lot more to the problem than just the Antlers. I’d love to see Mike Alden establish, as they’ve one at other schools, a sportsmanship council. Bring in people from the student body and fan groups like the QB Club, the athletic department (including student-athletes) maybe the media, maybe MUPD, of course the spirit squads and/or band, and try to find the biggest problems and solutions to them.
      You seem to think I’m somehow just out to get the Antlers, which is malarky. I’ve criticized the student body for the nasty chant at the KU games on the air several times, and in this column pointed out several others beyond just the Antlers whose behavior merits criticism. I do find it interesting that you think the Antlers ONLY bypass this chant because they think people would unfairly pick on them. Fact is, think the opposite is true. They’ve gotten away with more than anyone else would have because of their popularity. My guess if a group of four or five guys not associated with the Antlers got into regular seating near the opponents bench yelling the same things, they’d probably not stay around for long. They have, unfortunately, had some very powerful supporters for this behavior over the years, one in particular. I said before that the Tigers shouldn’t need this junk to win games, I suspect we’ve had people around for whom “win, no matter what it takes” was the attitude to the whole situation.

  34. Sillyhappybaot December 13, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    Yo dawg, couple things that made me lol. First, that amount of antlers that are cheering in the first picture of the article, compared to the amount of zoucrew people that are just have a GREAT time at a basketball game. Second, this fungus author actually makes some good rebuttal points, if only he woulda put those points in his article, smh. Finally, the fact that he thinks the antlers are going anywhere. I love those zany guys

    • Darren Hellwege December 18, 2011 at 3:41 PM

      OK, as for the picture, hard to make much of that, it’s a millisecond out of an entire game. It’s like the photo guy who catches some world leader yawning at a big meeting, he might have put in 16 hours of focused work that day but the photo runs and the world thinks “he slept through the whole thing!”
      The bit about the conversation here as opposed to the article is interesting. We’ve debated in class a lot about how much of this to do, I’ve been concerned about including the comments at all and have wanted them monitored pretty closely. Some of the conversation I see on websites of the KC Star or others get really nasty and I want no part of that, there’ve been a few we removed for good reason but for the most part this has gone pretty well. On the one hand there’s a temptation to feel like hey, I said my piece and there’s no sense arguing but I have given most of the responses here some kind of answer if for no other reason than to let people know I read it and give them the respect of a reply. I sure don’t want to get into the message board business, I can’t stand most of those, but this has gone pretty well.
      And trust me, I’m a big fan of “zany,” so long as it’s not malicious.

  35. Jeff Herman December 14, 2011 at 10:02 PM

    Yo Darren,

    Paper was crap. Don’t write anymore please

    • Darren Hellwege December 18, 2011 at 3:42 PM

      Jeff,
      My high school English teacher didn’t get me to stop writing by saying “this is crap” thirty years ago, why should you?
      And trust me, this is a lot better than my essay about Milton’s “Paradise Lost.”

  36. Danny January 27, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    I’m not sure why everyone is making this article out to be The Antlers vs. Zou Crew. It’s about The Antlers lack of sportsmanship. And I don’t care what their twitter is saying, they are definitely responsible for the “NMT” shirts. Which brings them to an all new low.

  37. GoodLuck January 28, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    Till today I had never heard of Missouri’s fan base known as the Antlers. Honestly, I wish I would never clicked the link that took me here. The article was very informative and although you might not be able to believe everything you read it was the comments that you all had left that really disgusted me. The most embarrassing thing I have read from this page is the comments you all directed toward one of your own. Instead of disgracing your school with all this hatred that you not only feel about other teams and obviously feel about each other… maybe you should work on ways to help this group have more of a positive way to express themselves and keep this tradition alive before its completely taken away altogether. These arguments aren’t getting you any further. Instead, they are proving to everyone that maybe Darren is completely right.

    Take a minute to think about all the personal things that have happened to you… Would you really want them posted all over national television? Would you really want someone who doesn’t know the real story to put such a negative spin on your life? It’s truly sad that you all probably hear about school shootings and suicides and wonder why people do it. I’m sure to you it all seems like good fun and that nothing you say, post, or print is supposed to be taken as more than a joke. I’m sorry but the world doesn’t work like that.

    I can only hope that someone will take action to salvage this organization. If this group is such a Missouri tradition then it deserves to stay for many years to come. Unfortunately with the direction it’s headed now. With people realizing that hatred gets us no where I am worried it won’t last much longer. Those who aren’t part of this group but still comment on how much the Antlers support their team spirit are obviously confused. If you really believed that what was going on was okay then wouldn’t you join? Or are you too embarrassed to put your face on television supporting everything they say, post, and print?

    Best of luck to you all and to Missouri! I hope to see positive changes.

  38. Impressed KU Student January 30, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    Darren,

    I just wanted to let you know that I have immense respect for you and disagree with most of what was posted here. I am a KU student and have friends that go to MU. I think the hatred thrown back and forth (from both sides) is completely uncalled for and have said more than once that I believe being a true fan is about supporting your own team, not tearing down the other.

    I posted your link to my facebook page with a caption saying:

    “This is the best thing I’ve read in awhile and I think applies to fans everywhere, not just at MU. It only furthers my belief that you are not defined by your school affiliation, but instead by your personal character and integrity. Being an MU fan does not make you “bad,” nor does being a KU fan make you “good.” How you choose to treat a rival team says more than how you cheer for your own.”

    I think your message should be heard by fans everywhere so that we may turn all this hatred into something more positive.

    Thank you for using your position to tell people what they need to hear, even when you know it isn’t the “popular” opinion.

  39. Pingback: Mizzerable Fans | Muck Fizzou

  40. J.D. Burgess January 25, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    I didn’t read all the comments, but you are wrong about one thing (which seems odd since you seem to celebrate how much research you put into this article.) The Antlers never met Arkansas and Nolan Richardson at the airport with a pig’s head on a stick. It all took place right outside the Hearnes Center in 1992. How do I know this? I was there. Also, the group never had “front row” seats. They were in the first two rows of A-16. There were people in front of the group.

    Finally, your article reads a lot like Sam “Mayday” Malone’s first commentary when he took a spin being a sportscaster. “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Good luck with that.

  41. INTERESTING February 24, 2013 at 4:50 PM

    Some of the stuff is right, saw some games back in 2007 and 2008. When Antlers shouted really obnoxious threats toward Brandon Rush’s family and hisnpast teen history. I was embarrassed to see Mizzou fans acting like that..especially the students. But ZOu Crew I have no problems with.. I too am a Ku fan, who has much respect for MU program.. i thought it was a well written article..truth needs to be told..

  42. Pingback: Mizzou AD Alden ejects Antlers from second basketball game |

  43. MizzouFan6324 December 3, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    Bought my first Kansas Sucks AND SWALLOWS shirt from them.

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