Jeremy Harper: Give Us Missouri At Home


It makes no economical sense. In fact, doing so would leave millions of bucks on the table. Anyone with a business degree from DeVry could give you a hundred reasons why it cannot, should not, and probably will not happen.

But, damnitt, we deserve Missouri in Jonesboro.

Listen, we’ve taken our punches in Eugene and Lincoln and Auburn. Took them like a man.

We walked into those joints knowing how heavily the odds were stacked against us. We endured the taunts of opposing fans, the indignity of home-cooked officiating, and the condescension of national media outlets for a miniscule chance at victory and a guaranteed paycheck.

We’re owed Missouri in Jonesboro.

Just hear me out, man. It’s not about the money. It can’t be! When you talk to a fan of an SEC school, where does the conversation usually lead? That’s right. Cash. They brag about it. Measure themselves against it. Do pretty things with it. Rub it in your face as if they weren’t the ones being fleeced. We don’t want to be that.

We recognize the embarrassing waste of a waterfall in a weight room, right?

We have the right to Missouri in Jonesboro.

Think of the fans. Yes, those poor slobs that endured Ray Perkins and the Hollis Era. The ones that surrendered their Indian identity and adopted the Red Wolves. The people from which you demand Pack Pride. The loyalists who resist the tide from the Northwest corner of the state to rename a boulevard for you.

We want Missouri in Jonesboro.

Yes, the payout from moving the game to St. Louis would likely fund our athletic program into the next decade. Indoor facilities and enormous scoreboards don’t pay for themselves. I get it, man! Sure, we lose a game today. But tomorrow maybe we add stadium seating to the cheap seats. Or buy a blimp. I don’t know! But how many of these games do we get, y’all?

If we yield to Missouri, what stops us from yielding on the same deal with Miami? Or Iowa State, for that matter? How many promises can be broken to our fans before we begin to realize that big home games are for other schools, not us?

We have to have Missouri in Jonesboro.

You say, “We have to keep up. These recruits want that waterfall. They want that locker the size of a Manhattan apartment. They want the facilities that are more like day spas.” Okay, I know, but we’re the Frankenstein’s that created that monster. Instead of instructing, we indulged. That’s not being responsible adults. That’s taking advantage of naive kids who believe this ride never ends.

And besides, you know what else recruits want? Respect. Fame and glory. The opportunity to win big games. We deny them that by surrendering advantages to privileged opponents. Are we in this to win or not?

Give us Missouri in Jonesboro.

Not because we’re entitled to it (although we are). Give this game to us because you promised we could have it.

Remember the headline? A-State Inks Home-and-Home with Missouri. You inspired the fans! What a coup! We believed Missouri agreed to the deal because we had earned their notice, a distinction we have yet to gain from a certain school in our own state. You made us feel good about ourselves. Don’t take that away.

You take Missouri from us and you prove our naysayers right. They say we’re too small, too unsophisticated, and too undeserving to host a high-profile foe. We should be honored just to bask in Missouri’s shadow. It’s ridiculous to even entertain the idea that an SEC team would stoop low enough to darken Jonesboro’s door. Wasn’t Ole Miss enough?

Bring on Missouri, and bring them on in Jonesboro.

We have it coming.


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