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“I couldn’t help it.” Missouri lawmakers joke about KU ahead of games in Arrowhead

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The border war is alive and well in the Missouri Capitol.

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

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

The resolution, introduced by Rep. Kurtis Gregory, a Marshall Republican, takes several jabs at KU, which has been referred 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 keeping the rivalry alive,” said Gregory, a former Mizzou offensive lineman. “I just couldn’t help it.”

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

The Missouri Resolution serves as a tourist guide of sorts for Kansas fans visiting Kansas City. It encourages Kansans to “spend money in our state” and visit places like 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 request that the playing surface and facilities be returned to the pristine shape to which two-time consecutive Super Bowl MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Taylor Swift’s boyfriend Travis Kelce are accustomed. ”

While ironic, Monday’s vote also comes amid an intensifying 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 sales tax for stadiums in early April.

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

Kansas Rep. John Carmichael, a Wichita Democrat, pointed out the push to sign the Chiefs in a text message to The Star on Monday evening.

“The Missouri House should be more concerned about where the Chiefs play permanently than where the Jayhawks play temporarily,” he said.

Gregory emphasized that he introduced his resolution before the stadium tax vote had sparked a bidding war for the Chiefs. But he said that, in retrospect, it could fuel these tensions if lawmakers “look closely at all scenarios.”

“This has absolutely nothing to do with that,” he said of sending a possible message to Kansas about the Chiefs. “This is just some good old-fashioned 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 were going to play some of their games there, it was one of those: I just can’t pass up this opportunity.”