Here we go with our 4th installment in the series. One intended to look back at some of the great games against our Big 12 counterparts, and give a chance for fans to pay respects to those we've played what seems like forever.
Missouri would be one of those.
A lot of folks have a distaste for Mizzou. I guess I never really understood that, as I haven't run into nearly as many annoying Tiger fans as I have Texas, Oklahoma, or Iowa State fans. Maybe I've been lucky.
As it stands, this will be the last conference game versus one of the original members of the Big 6 conference. A rivalry that dates back to the 1800s, and one that has seen it's share of memorable games. This series is as old as dust folks, and I'm really starting to hate that we aren't able to keep these guys on our slate. One of the reasons is the history, but also because of the game I am picking this week as my favorite Missouri-Big 12 memory.
Feel free to add your most memorable Big 12 game, and why it stands out for you. Don't forget to add any players that you couldn't stand, or had a slight man-crush on. Don't worry...we won't judge you.
Jump in to read mine...
I was 21, and as with many kids that age..I didn't really see my dad all that much. I was too busy foolin around with friends and trying to figure out what the hell I was going to do with my life. He worked his ass off at the small public relations agency he created, and once in a while we'd be able to eat dinner together on Sundays at my folks house in Omaha.
Dad's partner in the P.R. venture was a Missouri graduate, and season ticket holder. Once in a while, he'd get busy and hand his tickets over to a friend or family member. So on a boring Friday in November, I got a call from Dad asking if I wanted to head down to Columbia along with my younger brother with the free tickets. With nothing else planned, I figured "why the hell not?" and we were on the road the next morning. I'll admit that I wasn't too excited, and not exactly aware of whether or not Missouri had a chance in hell to beat us. I just knew that we were national title contenders again, and that we should crush the Tigers and be home in time to catch the highlights. We arrived shortly before game time (Dad wasn't a tailgater type. All business. He showed up for the game and the game only), and I remember thinking "Damn, there are a lot of trees here" as the colors were in fall mode.
What we didn't know, was that we were about to witness one of the greatest endings in college football history. One that will go down in Husker lore. One with it's own nickname. (Google "flea kicker" and see what comes up)
November 8th, 1997. Nebraska 45 - Missouri 38 OT
As the game wore on, I started to wonder why we couldn't stop Corby Jones, and why Scott Frost was our starting QB. I wondered why it was so damn cold, and why we couldn't just beat these guys so I could warm my ass and get something to eat. We were sitting in the north end-zone, so everything that was transpiring in the final seconds was just a big blurry mess. First, confusion and despair....and then pure elation. You all know how this turned out:
Davison and Frost became household names that night, and we listened to the AM radio post-game coverage on the dark car ride home. One thing I remember was high-fiving and hugging my Dad, draped in rain gear, amidst the chaos. We didn't hug. Ever.
If I would have known that I'd never see another Husker game with him, I'd have taken a picture or something. Asked someone take a picture to commemorate the moment. Instead, all I have is the ticket stub tucked away in my cigar box at home and the memory of those last few rollercoaster minutes of sheer pain and joy. Someday, when I get my Husker basement / mancave built....this ticket will be the first thing framed and hung over the mantle.
Nebraska won the title that year. Dad passed away a few years later from heart failure. I wonder sometimes how gut-wrenching it would be if I had missed the chance to see that game with him. (I wonder if that poor bastard who gave up the tickets wishes he could've been there) Instead, I am able to say that he and I gave each other a once in a lifetime father-son experience. All those games we went to in the 80s and early 90s against the likes of Colorado State or Pacific were fun and all, but this one beat them all put together...and it taught me a valuable life lesson.
Always take free tickets.
My most respected player has to be either Corby Jones or Jeremy Maclin. My most hated? Chase Daniel a thousand times over. I wouldn't piss on him to put out a fire...
Your thoughts? Sad that Nebraska v. Mizzou is coming to an end? What was your favorite moment between these two?