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November 6, 2011

Fan's Guide to Missouri

A few quick thoughts about the University of Missouri:

  • It is located in Columbia, making the SEC the only major conference with colleges located in the exactly named towns (without being in the same town).
  • Columbia is similar to several other college towns in the SEC (Ttown, Athens, and Oxford), but has a grittier vibe to it.  The campus abuts the downtown area, which has plenty of bar/restaurant/head shop/clothing store type places around. 
  • The quintessential hangout is Shakespeare's Pizza. It is located across the street from campus, approximately where the Espresso Royale Caffe is in Athens in relation to Georgia's campus.  
  • The pizza is good, but nothing to move North over.
  • Their football stadium is called Faurot Field.  It seats a shade over 71K, making it the 9th largest in the conference after the addition of A&M and Mizzou. It was the fourth largest in the Big 12, just behind A&M's Kyle Field.  It is called 'The Zou' by the Tiger fans.
  • Thier basketball facility is called Mizzou Arena.  It seats 15K.  It'll be the 5th largest venue in the SEC.
  • Their sworn enemy is Kansas.  Something to do with the Civil War. Unlike the folks at Texas, who threw their suckers in the dirt over Texas A&M leaving the Big 12, it is expected Missouri and Kansas will still play each other in football and basketball.
  • Missouri is the oldest public institution of higher education west of the Mississippi.  That is a distinction I expect the University of North Carolina to find a way to horn in on.
  • They have a strong music scene, unless you are from Athens or Austin.  Then it is just a cute music scene.
The easist way to get there is to fly to St. Louis, which is 110 miles east of Columbia. The drive from St. Louis to Columbia is easy, but not scenic, unless you are into interstate porn shops, housetrailer churches and cigarette outlets.  Then it is your bag.



j.leonardjr said...

"The drive from St. Louis to Columbia is easy, but not scenic, unless you are into interstate porn shops, housetrailer churches and cigarette outlets. Then it is your bag."

Wow. Can't wait to see when they are on UGA's schedule. Sounds like one helluva road trip.

stick jackson said...

PWD has trained you well, Grasshopper.

Anonymous said...

I like the dig at UNC. I don't understand it...but I like it.

Anonymous said...

Alums seem to like Columbia and I'm sure it's a nice town. Stayed at a local motel when passing through Columbia while heading to to points west on I-70 and had my room burglarized while my family was at the pool after a day on the road. The thief only took my childrens' wallets of cash they had saved all year for their big trip to the Rockies. Oh, I remember Columbia....

Anonymous said...

It's only about 20 miles more if you fly not Kansas City. And while the drive isn't much better (especially the closer you get to Columbia), MCI airport is by far the easiest airport to fly in and out of. Gritty is Avery apt description of Mizzou's surroundings, btw.


Tyler Dawgden said...

My time in Columbia was for meetings, so I didn't get to explore very much. I like KCI, but was thinking the north of Kansas City location would make it less desirable.

It was stunning how many exits were littered with smoke outlets and porn.

Also, what is with Missouri's state road 'numbering' convention. It took me some getting used to seeing Hwy AA or Hwy Q.

Anonymous said...

So in from Jefferson City originally (capital of MO, and about 20 mi from Mizzou) but I went to UGA for undergrad. Columbia isn't a bad town. It gets fairly crazy after big games (like beating Oklahoma last year).

Shakespeares is not the spot to hang out at. The pizza is terrible. Harpos is where the fratty crowd parties and after wins they usually tote the goal post there to cut up and hand out as a souvenir. There's other popular places like the Heidelburg and Flatbranch plus several nice restaurants and bars.

Columbia claims no music scene. They have a summerfest that attracts indie bands and a few good concert venues. The city itself hasn't produced anyone recognizable. Not sure why this was even brought up.

It's not the south. Tailgates don't involve food, girls don't wear dresses to games, and frat boys don't take dates (also no fraternity section in Farout). The stadium says it seats 71k, but that's not on actual bleachers. They have a hill with general admission seating that is either empty or packed full depending on the game. It's rarely sold out. Their basketball arena is nice.

St. Louis and KC are equi-distant from Columbia give or take 10 mi. There is also an airport in Columbia that flies nonstop to ATL and connects to both the KC and STL airports. The drive on I70 isn't scenic but neither are most if the interstate drives in Georgia.

I think this is a horrible move on Mizzous part. As a die-hard Georgia fan I will always say Go Dawgs..... Sadly this may cause relationship problems since my boyfriend is a Mizzou grad....

Tyler Dawgden said...

Thanks for the more in-depth review. From what I heard and saw, Harpos was more townie, but glad to hear your assessment of the pizza at Shakespeare's.

As for the music scene, I thought a couple of guys from Ludo went there (I know they are more a Wash U band) and Uncle Tupelo cut their teeth in town. The Blue Note does ok, right?

Anonymous said...

Terrible move by the SEC--there is no match with this school and the culture or athletics of others in our conference. The SEC should've focused on FSU, Clemson, or even one of the FL directional schools. Having lived in MO for a couple of years, the people don't care for college football only basketball which puts them on par with KY but with an inferior pedigree. I think that we've diluted the conference by adding A&M and this does not help. I know that the argument will be made that this opens a new market to STL and KC but it's a weak argument. One can only hope that the SEC recognizes the error and that the Big 12 legal process derails the move.

Anonymous said...

The UNC dig is because they think they are the oldest public university in the US. They were founded/chartered after UGA, but because they started classes before UGA did (both took years to finally get going), they think they are the oldest.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

I guess I must be the only Georgia fan in creation who doesn't mind this move by the SEC. Mizzou is a slightly bigger risk, but it is a calculated risk made more viable by the addition of both new schools. There is also precedent here.

Hell, I can only imagine the gnashing of teeth if Arkansas and South Carolina were added to the conference during the internet age.

Anonymous said...

Hmm what time of the year were you there TD? Not a lot of people stay in town during the summers. However it should be noted that "frat boys" at Mizzou don't fit the stereotype of in the south. It's harder to distinguish. Although, I don't really think there are many "townie bars" in the downtown area..... If there's a lot of young people it's a college bar. They're a lot more stringent about fake IDs and such up here. There are definitely townie bars scattered throughout the city just not as close to the university.

The Blue Note does ok booking bands, but it's not spectacular.... Also very dirty.

Columbia does have a really high crime rate for it's size, so keep that in mind if roadtripping (gas stations tend to get robbed a lot).

Also, it is true that football isn't as big of a deal here, but basketball really isn't either. The past few years both programs have had a surge in talent which is drawing attention to them. There just hasn't been a history of success. I have no idea about the media markets, but I live in St. Louis and we already get all the sec games. Not sure how much we produce recruiting wise either...

Brad Pitt, Walter Kronkite, John Hamm and a lot of other famous people have attend Mizzou, and they started homecoming....their claim to fame.

Overall there are worse places to go see the Dawgs play.

Tyler Dawgden said...

I've been in summer and during the school year.

Keep the local intel coming. Good stuff.

Anonymous said...

Homecoming was invented at Mizzou. This year was its 100th anniversary.

Columbia is a very nice college town with everything one would expect to find in a college town.

If you are looking for things to do, there are an amazing number of wineries along the Missouri river valley between Columbia and St. Louis.

Corrections -- tailgates do have food, liquid refreshments, music, etc. If you want to see tailgates raised to an art form, visit Kansas City.

The Greek organizations do sit together at Faurot field.

If you watched the World Series you would have noticed Missourian's are passionate about their sports, they are NOT mean spirited and will respect great play from both teams on the field.

Anonymous said...

Fraternity members may sit together, but they don't get block tickets because there isn't that much room in the student section. My boyfriend was a phi delt, so unless they've changed things since 09 that use to be the policy. At uga you got actual blocks of tickets in the 300 level. It's not a big deal, because I doubt anyone reading this blog cares to sit with drunken fear boys from an opposing school.

I wasn't being literal about the food part, but the stadium isn't in the middle of campus so most tailgates are set up in parking lots and are mostly for drinking. I'm just saying they're not like southern tailgates where people make full on meals (i was comparing it to ole miss in my mind). Mizzou is a dry campus and only certain areas are allowed to have alcohol on game days.

As I said I grew up outside Columbia, I went to uga for undergrad, I attended numerous games at mizzou both football and basketball because I had friends that went there and friends on the team. One awesome thing is they occasionally let you rush the field.

Also they'll be nice enough, but don't expect southern hospitality. Columbia isn't in the uh "southern" part of the state, and a majority of the students are coming from KC and STL. My only experience with people being flat out rude to other teams was at a very rainy Nebraska game where everyone was already in a bad mood, and some ou fans last year at one of the bars.

Anonymous said...

UGA fan here. I'm currently working in Columbia,Mo.It's not Athens but a nice town with nice people.It lacks an identity.This move to the SEC should help.Went to several Mizzou games this year(when I wasn't flying back to watch my DAWGS).It wasn't as bad as you may think but they have a LOT of catching up to do.They are curious and trying here.Dawg fans see you Sept.8th.They are going to be shocked but willing to learn.In time they will "get it".

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