A Salty Salute


Somewhere shortly before the first quarter ended Saturday, I found myself standing near the mouth of the players' tunnel flanked on both sides by clusters of MU fans and KU fans. Both sides heckled each other with words and gestures while a security guard in a bright yellow jacket repeatedly warned each to keep it clean.

Understanding the sometimes unwavering hatred displayed by either side for their border foes I went to document the exchange and quickly noticed the one-finger salute coming from one particular Mizzou loyalist and pointed back toward the KU side. As I pulled my camera up to document the exchange, that lone finger was staring me dead in the eyes along with the gentleman it was attached to.

What struck me as odd is that whenever cameras and media attention come into play, more often than not bad habits will cease and rather abruptly at that as not to be recorded or "caught in the act." However, this MU fan steadfastly hung the middle finger in my face as if allotting me enough time to finish the job just in case I didn't catch it the first time around.

Now, if my memory serves me correctly, I've covered, at the very least, one game in every Big 12 arena or stadium. Throughout my experience as a photojournalist tossed into the pit between the action and the fans, there haven't been too many expletives I haven't heard rifled over my shoulders at student athletes and within earshot of children no less. I've even seen a dead chicken land onto the court in recent years.

As far as MU fans go, sure they're probably up there among some of the more cantankerous but I've seen plenty of spiteful fans in the other gyms and stadiums too. This exchange, however, was a first for me and I can't really say I'm sore one bit.

So, as I brought the camera down from my face I was already laughing. What else are you gonna do when you're getting hit with a middle finger from a guy who looks to be 30 years your senior and in front of thousands.

My message to this fan? Got it. Thanks.


Kent Wells 11 years, 8 months ago

Freaking awesome, Nick! More photos! Come on and post them. Especially cute hot chicks! Thanks. That is a great photo.

thmdmph 11 years, 8 months ago

I like the guy in the background. he thinks it's hillarious.

This picture demonstrates that people on the other side of the border gets entertained easily. Additionally, unlike the conventional belief that "age comes wisdom", in Missery, standards are low, obscenity/profanity runs rampant, not much wisdom gets passed around.

walkdog262 11 years, 8 months ago

Nick, your blog rules. Keep the posts coming. I am Nick's pics china.

Martin Rosenblum 11 years, 8 months ago

He's probably a student who just can't seem to get enough credits to graduate.

It's a good thing he didn't decide to moon Nick instead!

rgale29 11 years, 8 months ago

Can't be sure but I think that is Prof. Wilber T. Smoot, asst. dean of the college at MU, and distinguished professor of communications. He stands out among MU fans as he still has most of his teeth and his tatoos are more tasteful that commonly found in Mo.

waywardJay 11 years, 8 months ago

You know, I find it interesting that Mizzou fans haven't cried outrage for their new jersey's lack of Flashing Yellow...... I saw the two jerseys and while their new light jersey's are a marvel of technology... i found them to be rather boring.... as if i was watching an old fashion television set..... next to our Red and Blues... which were vibrant and something i hope to see again in the very near future.

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