Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Mizzou I Knew

It's interesting hearing about Mizzou from people that didn't go there.

For the longest time, my post-college circle of friends was 90% Mizzou grads. We all had the same fuzzy memories of McNallys, Addisons, and Flatbranch, the house parties, the first time the cops came to our house, the second time the cops came to our house, concerts, Henry Rollins, Halloween, New Years, and good beers.

But now that my friend circle has expanded, I get to hear a lot of outside perspectives, mostly around the drop in enrollment at Mizzou and what caused it. Usually it starts with the sport teams not being able to recruit as well.

Depending on who you talk to it's either because of the Black Lives Matter people or the racism that exists all throughout mid-Missouri.I rarely hear people talk about how dismal the basketball team has been for a decade. They rarely talk about how Gary Pinkle apparently was one of the greatest coaches, punching way above his weight class in the SEC and now that he's gone the weaknesses of our football team are highlighted.

I've heard people say that the Black Lives Matter protests drove off students from wanting to deal with un-necessary drama. Fair enough, if protests scare you, you probably should go to your local community college. From what I remember, protests were constant at most the universities my friends went to, especially during the Bush era and war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I've heard people say that the racism that has existed in the area for centuries has finally started turning people off, especially athletes who tend to skew African American don't want to deal with the media portrayal of red necks and crooked cops in Missouri.

Honestly, I didn't see much of this while I was at Mizzou, but I also curated an incredibly diverse friend group. Honestly, if this was a card collecting game, I was only missing some sort of trans-gendered hologram card.

We had the Pakistani journalist, the Indian engineer, the gay teacher, the Jewish business major, the foreign exchange students from Britain, France, and Australia, all mixed with people from Hannibal, St. Louis, Kansas City, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Louisville. We were a pretty diverse group and were ride of die.

I didn't get exposed to the darker side of Mizzou.

Both types of people will talk about it as if what they are saying is the total truth.

It's not, there's a lot of missteps done by the Mizzou board of governors. Mis-allocated money, alumni donations ear marked for the business school, rising salaries for the administrators while driving away young and determined professors. They thought they would keep adding students forever and direct result is apartment complexes dotting the downtown skyline like blemishes on skin. But now we have a crap football team, continue to have a crap basketball team, have too much empty housing, prices that have continued to go up, and non-stop construction on what could be a beautiful campus if not for all the bulldozers.