Football Rivals Still Fighting the Civil War

Kansas, Missouri Hold Grudges 150 Years Later
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 24, 2007 7:21 AM CST
Kansas University's Anthony Webb (20) is congratulated by fans following their 43-28 win over Oklahoma State at an NCAA football game in Stillwater, Okla. at Boone Pickens Stadium Saturday, Nov. 10, 2007....   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – Kansas and Missouri play a huge football game today, one that could decide the national champion, and fans on both sides will be fighting a battle that goes back to the Civil War. Look no further than Kansas' nickname, the Jayhawks, which comes from abolitionist guerrillas who killed and raped their way across Missouri in the 1850s. "We hate each other for a reason," a former Missouri player tells the Wall Street Journal.

Meanwhile, Missouri fans have jerseys with the name of William Quantrill, a Confederate leader who in 1863 killed about 150 people in Lawrence, where KU is now located. "I don't think there's anything redeeming to be said about except that it" makes Kansans mad, says one fan. The winner of the clash between the 11-0 Jayhawks and 10-1 Tigers advances to the Big 12 championship game.