LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Out of respect for U.S. troops fighting
overseas, Missouri and Kansas are changing the name of their sports
rivalry from "Border War" to "Border Showdown."
"We feel that in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, and the
ensuing events around the world, it is inappropriate to use the
term 'war' to describe intercollegiate athletics events," Kansas
athletic director Lew Perkins said Monday. "We need to be more
sensitive to the men and women who defend our country for real."
The schools have competed in sports for more than a century.
"Our rivalry with Kansas is a very important thing to many
people, but it certainly pales in comparison with what is taking
place overseas, and this is the right thing to do," Missouri
athletic director Mike Alden said.
Unlike other college rivalries referred to as wars, the
Missouri-Kansas competition actually traces its roots to armed
conflict. In the 1860s, tensions between Missouri, a slave state,
and Kansas, a free state, led to bloody clashes along the border.
In the most celebrated confrontation, Confederate sympathizers
led by William Quantrill sacked Lawrence and burned most of the
town to the ground.
News accounts from earliest football games between the schools
recount fights breaking out in the crowd between descendants of
Union and Confederate soldiers.