Sunday, February 26, 2012

This Bud's for You

Few things are as satisfying as beating your rival.  Doing it when bragging rights are on the line is out of this world.  Kansas accomplished the impossible on Saturday winning an overtime squeaker against Mizzou 87 to 86.  The magic of Allen Field House was loud and clear because the Jayhawks overcame a second half 19 point deficit to seal the deal and clinch the team's 8th straight conference title.

The win is meaningful to me because this may very well be the last time Kansas plays the Tigers at Allen Field House.  Missouri decided to abandon the Big 12 for the SEC.  I understand why the rascals from Columbia did it.  They were tired of Texas dominating the conference with its money, etc;  But now they want it both ways.  Mizzou still wants to play its biggest rival in football and basketball.  Kansas says to hell with you.

The train wreck that has become the Big 12 started coming apart at the seams all because Missouri started making overtures a couple of years ago about jumping ship to the Big 10.  It sent a shock wave through the Big 12 conference and before it all ended Mizzou found itself still on the inside looking out as Nebraska got the coveted Big 10 slot and Colorado headed off to the Pac 12.

Now Mizzou and Texas A&M are leaving for the SEC further weakening the conference which will add TCU and West Virginia.  My guess is the Big 12 will add two to four more schools in another year but the damage is done, all thanks to the Tigers who can't understand why K.U. wants nothing to do with them.

The warm fuzzy from Saturday afternoon brought back a flood of memories from another Saturday win in February over Mizzou at Allen Field House 40 years ago.  That KU team was awful.  Just one year removed from a trip to the Final 4 the 1972-73 Jayhawks had one standout player, All-American Bud Stallworth.  His surrounding cast was pitiful.

The Tigers came to Lawrence that Saturday looking to land a conference title.  K.U. was just trying to stay above .500.  Bud Stallworth lifted the outmanned Jayhawks onto his shoulders dumping an almost effortless 50 points on Mizzou.  Nothing the Tigers tried could stop Stallworth, who hit plenty of long jumpers at a time when there was no three point shot.

It was one of the great games I was actually on hand for at Phog Allen.  It certainly is one of the top three games I ever witnessed in person.  This Kansas crowd stormed the court when the horn sounded.  The pep band played endlessly the commercial jingle for Budweiser beer that was popular at the time.  This Bud was indeed for you.

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