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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Method to the madness

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Tradition continues

Most folks who are interested know that the University of Missouri Tigers will be playing the University of North Carolina Tarheels in the Advocare Independence Bowl later this month in Sherveport, La. This isn't the first time the two schools have played each other in football. However, it is the first time in a little over 35 years and Mizzou owes a large part of its tradition to the Tarheels. Or, maybe Ohio State.

Writing on mutigers.com, Kevin Fletcher pointed out the significance.

"As Todd Donaho recounts in his book, 'MizzouRah: Memorable Moments in Missouri Tiger Football History', the Tigers had just wrapped up a stunning, last-minute, 22-21 upset of No. 2 Ohio State. On the bus ride home back to Columbia, several of the cheerleaders discussed the OSU fans' cheers of 'O-HI-O' during the game, and wondered if something similar could be done at Faurot Field.

"There were suggestions of one side of the stadium yelling, 'M,' and the other side responding, 'U.' One side could yell, 'Black,' the other side could yell, 'Gold.' According to [Jess] Bushyhead, it was at that point in the conversation that Mini-Mizzou member Cedric Lemmie chimed in and said, 'How about M-I-Z - Z-O-U?' The idea for a new cheer had been born ...

"The next week, October 2, 1976, at Faurot Field against North Carolina, the band yelled, 'M-I-Z' from its seats in the North end zone, and the cheerleaders replied back ('with their megaphones and P.A. system'), 'Z-O-U.' Because it was the first time ever for the chant, the fans didn't know if they should participate. It took several times before the cheer stuck, but by the end of the season, a new tradition had begun."

Wonder if there are any Mizzou alums around that know, or remember ol' Cedric and his contribution. Looking at the dates my best guess of a local alum who might recall him from Mini-Mizzou days would be Glenn Kilburn.

Several folks have voiced displeasure with the bowl game the Tigers ended up with. One fellow has an interesting take on where they ended up, though. Which schools are going to end up in which bowl is about as interesting a process as where teams will be seeded in the NCAA basketball tournament in March.

Lanny Geary points out that two other bowls with ties to the Big 12, the conference MU is leaving next year, has ties to the Pinstripe Bowl played in New York City and the Holiday Bowl played in San Diego. Both would have meant long trips for fans and therefore probably less fans.

Lanny focused on the location of the bowl game MU ended up with. It's in Louisiana. Another way to say that is that it's in Southeastern Conference territory. That's where Mizzou will be playing next year and where they will be looking to recruit more heavily in coming years. MU head coach Gary Pinkel has already shuffled his recruiting staff around to step up efforts in the southeast and one of his top recruiters is from the Louisiana area.

* * *

Duck fever

Most of us are familiar with "buck fever," a phenomenon that takes place when a deer hunter sees a buck and gets so excited he, or she, can barely hold the gun still enough to get off a shot. I doubt many of you have ever heard of "duck fever" though.

We may have recorded the first ever case of "duck fever" right here in the Bootheel last weekend.

There's a moderately famous duck hunting site located just west of beautiful downtown Kennett that has attracted duck hunters for years. Duck blinds in this particular "hole," as the hunting spots referred to, are tended to better than most homes in the area. The hunters that use that spot have spent untold weekends prior to duck season getting the blinds just so in an effort to fool a duck flying overhead into thinking it would be a lovely place set down for a rest.

Hunters have put just the right amount of brush on top of, in front of, behind and on both sides in an effort to camouflage their hiding place. I don't know firsthand about these particular blinds but I've seen them tricked out with cook stoves, heaters, of course stools or something to sit on, hot and cold running water. Okay maybe not hot water, but there's definitely cold water around.

Why some of these things are fixed up so nice some hunters can hardly wait to get there in the morning. And if ducks are already on the water or flying around, well, it just doesn't get any better than that and I guess that's when "duck fever" set in on Don Collins.

Don's one of those fellows that put a lot of effort into getting ready. Some folks say he even grows his beard a little longer to help with the camouflage effort.

Don arrived at the "hole" backed his truck down the ramp and put the boat in the water. He jumped out and may have even heard a lonesome duck out there calling his name. Don locked the truck up, stuck the keys in his pocket and went back to push his boat into the water (boats are used to get from land out to the duck blinds).

About the time Don got back to his boat he looked up and here came everything, truck, trailer and boat into the water. It wasn't a case of just jumping into the truck and stepping on the brake because he had locked it up. He was frantically (according to the reports I got) trying to dig the keys out of his pocket but he wasn't fast enough.

The truck was in the water. He got in and fortunately it started up right away. He pulled it forward and water just poured out of the inside of the truck.

Don's brother-in-law, Ken Johnson, was standing up on the bank and watched the entire event. Ken said there wasn't anything he could do to stop it. He also said he didn't laugh until Don got the truck back on dry land.

Bud Hunt is regional vice

president, publisher of the

Daily Dunklin Democrat, Daily Statesman, Delta News-Citizen, Missourian-News and

North Stoddard Countian.