05 December 2011

Origin of a Tradition

North Carolina shares history with Missouri
by Mizzou Matt via mutigers.com
The North Carolina Tar Heels and the Missouri Tigers have met on the football field before. Twice, actually. The first time in 1973 (27-14 MU win) and most recently in 1976 (24-3 MU win). You may have already known that, but what you probably didn't know is that one of Mizzou's most revered traditions, the "M-I-Z---Z-O-U!" chant originated at the 1976 meeting.

Following a historic 22-21 upset of then no. 2 Ohio State, the members of the band and cheerleading squad were riding on their bus back to Columbia. They wanted to start a cheer similar to the Buckeyes' "O-H-I-O" cheer. One student recommended that one side of the stadium says "M" and the other responds with "U". Another had the idea of one side saying "Black" and the other replies with "Gold". One student of Mini Mizzou, Cedric Lemmie, tossed the idea out of "How about 'M-I-Z--Z-O-U'?"

During the game against UNC, the band started yelling "M-I-Z--!". The cheerleaders, armed with megaphones and the stadium's PA system, responded with "Z-O-U!" The chant was so new, the fans didn't know if they were supposed to partake. It took several attempts, but by the end of the season, one of the most notable college traditions had stuck and became a common place among True Mizzou Sons/Daughters. Go anywhere in Columbia, yell out "M-I-Z-!" and the response you get is more than likely going to be "Z-O-U!"

So as the Tigers take the field in Shreveport to face the Tar Heels for the first time since that historic game, one notable change will be noticed by the older UNC fans- the "M-I-Z--Z-O-U!" chant is a heck of a lot louder today than it was in 1976.

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