Rivalry game renamed 'Border Showdown'

Updated: October 4, 2004, 8:12 PM ET
Associated Press

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.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press