The Craig Kuligowski Incident (which would be an okay post-punk band name) did not go over well with many Illini fans, which is the least shocking news possible. Illinois football was once more spurned and by a coach from a rival school to boot! And while there were the usual hot takes about how this was all Mike Thomas and Tim Beckman's faults (it wasn't, Kuligowski was successfully using the job offer as leverage for a raise), that somehow wasn't the most annoying thing about the fanbase's reaction. No, that would be having to see Miznoz everywhere.
Miznoz is potentially my least favorite putdown attempt of a rival school ever. As the image at the top of the post shows, it came to be because a young Tigers fan held up their half of a MIZ ZOU sign upside down. I'm not going to pretend it wasn't funny at the time, but it's more one of those things that should have died within a week of that game. Honestly, anytime it's a fan doing something a bit derpy, the lifespan of the joke shouldn't really be much longer than until the next time a team plays.
Maybe I don't take as much joy out of the Miznoz insult/joke because I generally don't view Missouri as an actual rival. I know they technically are, but unless you live downstate or in the St. Louis metro area you probably feel similarly about them. It also probably doesn't help that I'm much more of a football fan than a basketball one. The football teams have played each other a whopping 24 times with six of those coming in the past 20 years. And while the basketball teams play every winter, it's not really much of a rivalry when one of the teams (us) has won 64% of the games.
But I think my main problem with Miznoz is that it just isn't clever or funny and it just won't die. It's akin to people using IlLOLnois for us or scUM for Michigan. They aren't creative. They aren't witty. They're just lowest common denominator fluff. Junk food insults at best.
I'm not saying don't rip on other schools. I'd never take that away from people and I'd be a massive hypocrite to suggest such an action. But I am asking our fanbase to at least be more creative about it. We're one of the best academic schools in the conference. We can do better with our insults.
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