Chat about 40 years worth of Border Showdowns with Journal-World sports writer Chuck Woodling

November 21, 2007

1963 University of Missouri graduate Chuck Woodling started at the Journal-World in 1968 and has seen many KU-MU football games in that time. Join him for an online chat at 1:30 Wednesday about some of his favorite memories from those games -- and what's to come for Saturday's big matchup. See Chuck's video blog about this weekend's game.

This chat has already taken place. Read the transcript below.


Thanks for joining us today. 6News Director Cody Howard will moderate today's chat. Welcome, Chuck.


So I've always heard this story about the KU marching band member getting hit by a bottle during a MU game, or something like that. Did the media realize that at the time? And if so, how was it covered, if at all?

Chuck Woodling

Hi -

I assume you mean a band member was hit by a bottle at Memorial Stadium in Columbia. I don't remember that incident. I do know, however, that my daughter was hit by an object while she was playing for the KU band at a game in Manhattan.


What is the most exciting KU vs. MU game you've seen?

Chuck Woodling

A whole bunch were pretty exciting, like the 14-13 KU win in 1973 that earned the Jayhawks a berth in the Liberty Bowl. And the win in Columbia in 1968 that gave Kansas a piece of its last conference championship. But I'll never forget that shootout in 1989 when Kansas won 46-44 in Columbia. There were no lights in the stadium and the last 10 minutes or so were played in gathering darkness.


Why call it the Border Showdown? It's the BORDER WAR!! You might as well call it the Border Dispute, or the Border Disagreement. Why has the Journal World joined the ranks of the politically correct?

Chuck Woodling

I agree. It is the Border War. I call it the Border War, which was the original name before KU and MU athletic officials decided to euphemize it.


In 1992 when Tony Sands broke the single game rushing record against Missouri, were you huddled with the masses outside or lounging in the pressbox?

Chuck Woodling

I was yearning to breathe free, but I wasn't among the huddled masses. I was in the press box, eager to chronicle one of the greatest performances in college football history - 58 carries for 396 yards. I'm still amazed.


Earlier in the chat you mentioned some of the games that rank up there in your time covering the Jayhawks. Do you think Saturday's game will be the most important to both teams in the history of the rivalry?

Chuck Woodling

Absolutely. There has never been another one like it, and may never be again. Then again, perhaps next year's game will be just as significant. Or as former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Joaquin Andujar often said: "You never know."


Chuck: Some of our commenters thought you wrote yesterday's probation column simply to be mean, as a consequence of your status as a Missourah alum. Care to respond to these outrageous charges?

Chuck Woodling

Hey, you know me. I'm a teddy bear. I wrote that column to point out what the Jayhawks' wonderful season meant in the big picture, suggesting it means Mark Mangino has supplied himself with enough ammunition to overcome losing three scholarships each of the next two seasons.


Chuck, the consensus among pundits seems to be that KU has the better defense, but that MU has the better offense. Reason would dictate that the two may cancel each other out to some extent, leaving the crucial special teams to perhaps decide it. In your opinion, who has the advantage there? MU boasts Maclin returning kicks and punts, but they've had trouble punting the ball themselves. KU boasts Marcus Herford, who is among the top kickoff returners in the nation, but their punt return unit has, politely, struggled. Who has the advantage, in your mind?

Chuck Woodling

That's what makes this game so intriquing. For every check there seems to be a balance. For every positive there seems to be a negative. For every plus there seems to be a minus. I'm surprised Kansas is rated a two-point favorite. I would call it a toss-up.


Of course, there's more to the Border Showdown than what happens on the field Saturday. A mix of KU and MU fans will fill Arrowhead Stadium -- and it could get interesting in the parking lot before the game and in the stands during the game. What are some of the strangest off-the-field incidents you've seen at KU/MU games?

Chuck Woodling

The strangest off-the-field incident I remember was a couple of years ago when Missouri officials were arresting MU students - mostly males - for tearing down the goalposts. As the media waited outside the KU lockerroom under the southeast stands in Columbia, the police were parading handcuffed students past us on the way to paddy wagons. Unbelievable.


What is your prediction?

Chuck Woodling

I don't have a prediction, other than to say that both programs are already winners. Regardless of who wins, each team has ascended to uncharted territory. Both have established themselves in the national consciousness and it isn't just 15 minutes of fame.


That's all for today's chat. Thanks for your time, Chuck.

Chuck Woodling

You're welcome.


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