Don't Kill The Mellinger

Connecting Seinfeld and Quantrill and the Border War

Updated: 2013-08-21T16:23:14Z

By SAM MELLINGER

The Kansas City Star

If you’re not a Seinfeld fan, or are in a hurry, skip to the 1-minute mark here…

That is exactly how I feel about this whole Mizzou-fans-celebrating-the-150-year-anniversary-of-Quantrill’s-raid thing.

There are, of course, people who will be offended at calling it “Missouri’s most decisive road victory,” considering that 164 people were killed, others raped, and buildings burned to the ground in the raid that happened 150 years ago today. And if you’re among those taking offense, you probably don’t want to hear a band called “Quantrill’s Disciples” playing at the Black and Gold Tavern tonight. Or that a Twitter feed will “reenact” the raid today.

Anyway, I think most of us can see the purpose here. I don’t think anyone involved thinks they’re, literally, celebrating murder and rape. It’s more a celebration of the Missouri-Kansas rivalry, with the added bonus that it’s an excuse to drink.

I’m fine with all of that. And I think most reasonable people would agree on that.

What bothers me about this is that too many people — on both sides of the rivalry, really — want to have it both ways. They want to talk about how they don’t care about the other side anymore, not now that Missouri and Kansas play in different conferences. Kansas fans say Missouri is out of sight and out of mind, that once Mizzou left the SEC they made the decision to leave the rivalry so why should Kansas make any effort to continue? Missouri fans say they’ve moved on, the SEC is bigger and better so what do they care about Kansas?

The theme of each side is that they no longer care about the rivalry.

The theme of each side is total, blatant, delusional b.s.

Today is just one example. The folks at the Black and Gold bar wouldn’t be doing this if they no longer cared about the rivalry. And the reaction that’s coming from Kansas wouldn’t exist if they no longer cared.

Both sides care, and they just make themselves look silly pretending otherwise.

In other words, none of this bothers me as a native Kansan. It bothers me as a sports columnist.

To reach Sam Mellinger, call 816-234-4365, send email to smellinger@kcstar.com or follow twitter.com/mellinger. For previous columns, go to KansasCity.com.

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