‘Couldn’t help myself.’ Missouri lawmakers poke fun at KU ahead of games at Arrowhead

The Border War is alive and well at the Missouri Capitol.

Missouri lawmakers on Monday poked fun at the University of Kansas for having to cross state for their home football games this year at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, the home of the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Missouri House unanimously approved a resolution that expresses support for Kansans “spending in Missouri and their ability to relive Border War memories when they cross the border to attend 2024 University of Kansas football games at Arrowhead Stadium.”

The resolution, filed by Rep. Kurtis Gregory, a Marshall Republican, issues several jabs at KU, which it refers to as “the team named after an imaginary blue chicken.” It also encourages Kansas players to visit the end zone where Mizzou sacked KU quarterback Todd Reesing in 2007.

“It’s about kind of keeping the rivalry alive,” said Gregory, a former Mizzou offensive lineman. “I just couldn’t help myself.”

Due to ongoing renovations at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, KU will play all four of its Big 12 Conference home games in Kansas City, Missouri this season.

The Missouri resolution serves as a tourism guide of sorts for Kansas fans visiting Kansas City. It encourages Kansans to “spend money in our state” and visit spots such as the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, the National WWI Museum, “the best BBQ in the country,” and the American Jazz Museum.

Missouri lawmakers, the resolution said, “therefore ask that the play surface and facilities are returned to the pristine shape to which the two-time consecutive Super Bowl MVP quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, and Taylor Swift’s boyfriend, Travis Kelce, are accustomed.”

While tongue-in-cheek, Monday’s vote also comes amid a more intense border war over the Chiefs’ future in Missouri. Kansas lawmakers recently weighed economic incentives to lure the team across state lines after Jackson County voters rejected a stadiums sales tax in early April.

The Kansas Legislature adjourned its session without passing the incentives but the attempt has caught the attention of Missouri lawmakers.

Gregory emphasized in an interview that he filed his resolution before the stadium tax vote had sparked a bidding war for the Chiefs. But he said that, in hindsight, it could stoke those tensions as lawmakers “take a long hard look at all scenarios.”

“This has absolutely nothing to do with that,” he said of sending a potential message to Kansas regarding the Chiefs. “This is just a little old college rivalry.”

That rivalry is personal for Gregory who previously played against Kansas at Arrowhead. After the game in 2009, he said Kansas fans told him to “go back to your state.”

“We were at Arrowhead Stadium in Missouri,” he said. “When I saw that they’re gonna play some of their games there, it was one of those, like, I just can’t pass this opportunity up.”