Tailgate and Tradition – The Tiger

This week’s Tailgate and Tradition post takes a closer look at how Mizzou became The Tigers.

Here are the details from MUTigers.com:

The nickname “Tigers,” given to Mizzou’s athletic teams, traces its origin to the Civil War period. At that time, plundering guerilla bands habitually raided small towns, and Columbia people constantly feared an attack. Such organizations as temporary “home guards” and vigilance companies banded together to fight off any possible forays.

The town’s preparedness discouraged any guerilla activity and the protecting organization began to disband in 1854. However, it was rumored that a guerilla band, led by the notorious Bill Anderson, intended to sack the town. Quickly organized was an armed guard of Columbia citizens, who built a blockhouse and fortified the old courthouse in the center of town. This company was called “The Missouri Tigers.”

The marauders never came. The reputation of the intrepid “Tigers” presumably traveled abroad, and Anderson’s gang detoured around Columbia.

Soon after Missouri’s first football team was organized in 1890, the athletic committee adopted the nickname “Tiger” in official recognition of those Civil War defenders. Their spirit is now embodied in the MU mascot – “Truman the Tiger.” In 1984, the Tiger was named Truman after President Harry S. Truman, a Missouri native.

The Tiger spirit is embodied all over campus, from Truman to the MIzzou athletics logo to the Tiger statue at the entrance to Carnahan Quadrangle on the south part of campus. With all this history, Tiger fans bleed black and gold for a reason!

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Gainesville Welcomes Mizzou!

Our friends in Gainesville, FL are thrilled to welcome you if you’re traveling with the Tigers this weekend. Check out more about their great city below!

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We are so excited that you are coming to Gainesville! The competition in the SEC is fierce but our Gator fans are thrilled to have you visit our vibrant college town. Here are a few tips and suggestions so you can truly enjoy your trip to the Swamp.

Like most college football games, getting to campus and finding an awesome tailgating spot can sometimes be an adventure in itself.  If you would like super easy transportation try the GatorAider, provided by RTS, it is practically front door service to the stadium.  For $10 a round trip, the bus will pick you up and bring you back to one of the five convenient locations including the Oaks Mall, Hilton and downtown. Our friends at GatorZone.com and GatorTailgating.com also have some great game day information.  

In Gainesville, like most cities you will find the familiar national chains. What we are really proud of is the locally owned restaurants that have been sprouting up all over.  So much so, that some locals have a list on their refrigerators to make sure they don’t keep going back to the same one or two favorites all the time. In the heart of Downtown Gainesville there are over 25 unique and delicious restaurants to choose from. Our favorites include Emilano’s Café, serving delicious Latin Fusion cuisine with great Sangrias and Mojitos. If you like Asian or sushi try Dragonfly Sushi. Harry’s serves great New Orleans themed menu items.  Amelia’s, behind the Hippodrome Theatre, has been serving some of the finest Italian food in Gainesville for over 20 years. Vello’s Brickstreet Grilloffers a great selection of tasty flat breads and other savory dishes.

The basics of food in any college town is of course, pizza! We’ve got a pretty great selection of pizza including national restaurants and local favorites. These favorites fill up quickly so plan to head over early to claim your seat.  At Satchels, the pizza is only part of the experience.  You’ll enjoy looking around the restaurant’s decorations and art from recycled materials and if you’re lucky you’ll get to eat at the booth inside the 1960’s Volkswagon van. They have a great deep dish and serve a fantastic salad with homemade dressing that you can also purchase to take home. Blue Highway Pizza has a great selection of fresh pizza made to order with thin, Sicilian, and gluten free crusts. They also serve sandwiches, salads and pasta. Piesano’s Stone Fired Pizza has an extreme pizza that will fill anyone’s belly!

If you are looking for exciting nightlife activities – head to Midtown or Downtown Gainesville.  Midtown is a small area across from campus and has several bars and restaurants. The downtown area is also tight-knit grouping of restaurants, bars and shops and is about 13 blocks from the University of Florida campus starting at University Ave and SW 1st Street. You can park on the street or in several of the parking garages that will place you within steps of the entertainment.

If you arrive early enough for the weekend, you can catch a free concert Friday night at 8 pm on the Bo Diddley Community Plaza featuring the 6th Street Rhythm & Blues Review. Or just one block away, the Hippodrome, our professional theatre company housed in an impressive historic building, takes a comedic twist with the stage version of ‘Carrie’ that will have you screaming with laughter.

In downtown, the Main Street Bar & Billiards is a great place for a friendly game of pool. A few doors down Rocky’s Dueling Piano Bar will have you singing to some great tunes. If you are into trying new wines, stop by HalfCork’d. They have sophisticated wine sampling technology that allows you to select from over 250 bottles or 56 types of wine served by the glass.

Gainesville is not only home to great university sports and nightlife but to nature and culture as well.Gainesville has some really great attractions that you are going to want to try and squeeze in. Why not stay an extra night and or take an extra vacation day? You never know what you might find! See VisitGainesville.com for more ideas.

How To Get Here!

If you’re from out of town, and especially if you’ve never headed to Columbia before, this post is for you! Sure you have your tickets, but now you have to make your travel plans. So just how do you get here? We’re glad you asked.

By Land

Columbia is conveniently located right in the center of Missouri. We’re an easy two-hour drive from either St. Louis or Kansas City and the stadium is easily accessible from both Interstate 70 and Highway 63. If you’re flying into St. Louis or Kansas City, it’s easy to rent a car and make the trip! Then, bam….you’re in Tiger country.

In the Air

Columbia Regional Airport is located a fast 10 miles south and has Delta service through both Memphis and Atlanta. Every day it gets easier to fly right into Columbia and get your weekend started!

Of course, you can also fly into St. Louis or Kansas City, both of which are home to international airports. If you’d rather not have to navigate Columbia, MO-X Shuttle will take you from the gate straight to your hotel. These easy options make getting to Columbia a breeze!

By Sea

Ok, so you can’t really get here on the water. But if you want to learn how to navigate the sea of people (see what we did there?) on game day, check back next week for our post on getting around once you’ve arrived. See you then!