A very big event is unfolding for Missouri and Kansas. The 2007 Thanksgiving weekend in Kansas City is unfurling a Super Bowl event. The MU and KU football programs are meeting at Arrowhead Stadium for bragging rights. But this is much more than just bragging rights. This is about very BIG money. Ka-Ching. Ka-Ching, rack em up – the globally weak dollars are rolling.
I should qualify for our readers that I live in Missouri. My education was at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. My extra curricular activities centered around the Missouri Repertoire Theater and guest lectures on narrative versus chaos theory in historical research. But something big is happening in the world of college sports. The star tight end for Missouri is from my home town. I admit to some tribal pride, for my home town, for my State, and for my university system. It is only fair to note that KU is located in Lawrence, Kansas – a suburb of Missouri. I am as proud of them as any foster parent could be.
KU is undefeated. MU has lost only 1. Heisman talk is active in the sports media for both the MU and KU quarterbacks. I watched a part of the Oklahoma/Texas game last night and the commentators were talking about MU and KU. Both of these teams are destined to be invited to a major bowl game, possibly even the National Championship. Whoooeeee! We are talking some real money here folks.
The National Championship this year will be at the Sugar Bowl. I don’t even know where that is located – but it makes no difference – the money is the same. The Orange Bowl, Rose Bowl, and Fiesta Bowl are the other big three.
MU and KU are in the Big 12 Conference, or region, or conglomeration, something about the way college sports are organized. MU and KU are in the North Something of the Big 12. The North will play the South in a Big 12 Championship Game. Ka-ching. Each team will likely be invited to a big bowl game.
So where is the money? We are talking about ticket sales, TV revenues, Sponsor support, merchandise sales, Each of the bowls will have a sponsor prefix, maybe something like the Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes Sugar Bowl, or the Supreme Court 2000 Election Orange Bowl. Would the Rose Bowl by any other name be as impressive?
Here is what I am pretty sure of. Kansas City is going to score big. The showdown at Arrowhead Stadium, home of the Kansas City Chiefs, is as big as a Super Bowl. Kansas City sits geographically between Columbia and Lawrence, closer to Lawrence than Columbia. The MU and KU fans in Kansas City are going to be tail-gating together in the parking lot of Arrowhead. Recruitments at KU and MU will soar, the respective schools will have huge infusions of money.
When a college sports event like this gets the attention of someone like me – then you can bet that it has transcended the sports arena – it has infused the general populace with pride and hope and glory. The academics at MU and KU will benefit from the money, and the sense of pride in the school will filter through the ranks of the student body.
Everybody will win.
Happy Thanksgiving Kansas City.