Red & Black

Mizzou and Kansas: Then and Now

MU vs KU border War Photo

Photo by: Online

MU vs KU border War Photo

Salem Sanfilippo Solindas, Staff Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

The Mizzou and Kansas rivalry is a long-standing tradition in both places. What do people get out of fighting over a cartoon bird and some angsty looking tiger? The answer is actually pretty deeply rooted in American history.


Back in the 1850’s, Kansas was more a battleground than our own state. According to KCUR, those fighting to abolish slavery were referred to as ‘jayhawkers.’ The KU football team took the name in 1890, reclaiming the relatively rude nickname to be one of power.


In Missouri, the story was a bit different. Confederate soldiers liked to ambush small groups of Union fighters. The problem got bad enough that small towns built their own miniature militia to protect themselves from the ambushes. One group founded in Columbia, called itself the Tigers, and the name stuck with MU.


Though it oversimplifies things to say, the rivalry is really just a continuation of the fight against slavery our country faced in the 1800’s. The Jayhawks symbolise the Union, while the Tigers represent the Confederates. With a rivalry so vicious as the one between the two teams, considering how rooted in blood and slavery it is paints an unpretty picture of both sides.


Nowadays,since MU left the Big 12 conference, the Tigers and Jayhawks have missed opportunities for an annual game, leading a lot of the hype to die out pretty fast. That said, there will always be fanatics, and we can rest assured that the rivalry will never truly end.
After all, the rivalry is called the Border War. It should come as no surprise to anyone that the history is a very bloody one, and if Americans are anything, it’s prideful. Don’t count on the competition to truly end anytime soon

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
The student news site of Jefferson City High School
Mizzou and Kansas: Then and Now