Last Saturday Nebraska pounded unbeaten Missouri 31-17 and a Missouri correspondent was not at all pleased with the winning tradition of the Big Red.
Mike DeArmond is the longtime Missouri football and basketball beat reporter for the KANSAS CITY STAR. He’s also an alumnus of Mizzou, class of ‘72.
Saturday DeArmond appeared on a Kansas City TV pregame show for the Missouri-Nebraska football game to give his opinion on something that can be a sore subject for more Kansas Citians than you know.
That is, dealing with local Nebraska football fans, Kansas Jayhawks hoops fans and St. Louis Cardinals baseball fans. During his TV appearance, DeArmond originally was asked what he thought of Nebraska football fans, whom he proceeded to lump together with KU and Cardinal fans:
“There are Cardinal baseball fans, there are Kansas basketball fans and there are Nebraska football fans. They were all born of the same parents. They’re all inbred, separated a birth because they’re all just impossible to handle.
"They think the world revolves around them. They think that no one should possibly question their moral superiority and therefore anytime anybody beats Nebraska it’s a good day.
“When Missouri beats them, because I happen to cover Missouri, it’s easier to write a story when Missouri beats Nebraska because it’s impossible to write a story when Nebraska beats Missouri.”
Mike DeArmond Talks about Missouri-Nebraska Rivalry.
For a more balanced story and perhaps the reason the reporter is biased against Nebraska here is an excerpt from a story on Nebraska that appeared on the Bleacher Report blog by writer Lake Cruise on October 28, 2010.
The two programs have, in fact, played in the second-oldest rivalry in the Big 12.
Mizzou-Kansas is the oldest by about one year and 100 days.
Nebraska-Mizzou has been played on the gridiron 103-105 times.
According to multiple sources including the University of Nebraska football program’s official site, Cornhuskers football began playing opponents in 1890.
A whopping total of two games were played that year. Get this—the first game was against the Omaha YMCA, a game that took place the day after Thanksgiving.
Nebraska won 10-0.
In 1891, Iowa became Big Red’s first major college opponent. Illinois, Missouri and Kansas, in that order, were next.
All the way back to November 5, 1892: That is how far back Mizzou-Nebraska goes.
That was the first scheduled meeting, and it was supposed to happen in Omaha, but it was a forfeit in favor of Nebraska.
George A. Flippin was the quarterback of that team; he was also the first African-American to play for Nebraska. According to the University of Nebraska, Mizzou refused to play the 1892 game because of Flippin’s presence.
He was also the fifth African-American to play for a predominantly white university. (Google Frank Kinney Holbrook and Archie Alphonso Alexander.)
Both teams played in the Western Interstate University Football Association (WIUFA) from 1892-1897 along with Iowa and Kansas.
In 1893, Mizzou won the first actual meeting, 30-18. They also won the second meeting.
Nebraska won by a score of 41-0 in 1897, and they have not looked back since.
The Huskers were originally nicknamed the Grasshoppers, and the football program had several nicknames in the early years: Tree Planters, Rattlesnake Boys, Bugeaters, Antelopes and Old Gold Knights, to name a few.
The team was first called Cornhuskers in 1899, and the school’s colors were changed to red and cream around 1900.
Sports editor Charles “Sy” Sherman is credited with giving the nickname, and he was known as “father of the Cornhuskers.”
From 1903-1910, they did not play Mizzou at all. After that, the matchup was discontinued until 1922.
Nebraska joined Mizzou in the Missouri Valley Conference, before they moved to the Big Eight.
Since 1927, the winner has gotten the engraved Victory Bell Trophy.
Mizzou was ranked No. 5 in the nation at one point, after an 8-4 season under Warren Powers in 1978 that ended with a 35-31 victory over Nebraska.
The rivalry was within five games until 1979, before Nebraska ran off 24 wins in a row.
On November 3, 1979, Tom Osborne defeated Powers in Columbia, 23-20, in front of 74,000. Nebraska was ranked No. 2, and Mizzou was not ranked.
Jarvis Redwine, Dave Rimington, Russel Gary, Andra Franklin and Bill Barnett played big roles on that 'Huskers roster.
Leo Lewis, Kellen Winslow and Phil Bradley played in the Veer offense. James Wilder, Eric Wright, Kevin Potter and Wendell Ray were also Missouri standouts.
Tom Osborne was seven and 10 in 1979. That is, he was head coaching the team for his seventh season, and he was in his tenth season as the offensive coordinator.
Nebraska finished at (10-2, 6-0-1). A dominant Oklahoma team (11-1, 7-0) won the Big Eight under Barry Switzer, who was in his seventh season as head coach.
Billy Simms and George Cumby were All-American Sooners, and JC Watts was a capable wishbone-triple option quarterback.
OU had won seven straight Big Eight titles under Switzer, with four undefeated conference records in those seven seasons.
I have published articles in many seasoned markets, in all of the major genres. And I believe that the best fans, not just college football, but in sports—period—belong to Huskers Nation.
Astonishing in their sportsmanship and in their knowledge of the game, Nebraska football fans are the superlative in the country, in my opinion.