My Missouri friends whom I tailgate with when I get back to Mizzou games have made it into the local newspaper in Columbia. I told you it was a big deal! :-)
It’s not just families in the RV lot, either. On the other end of the lot, the “Big Old Bounders” have set up shop. Led by Brad Perry, a former Tiger quarterback from 1981-83, and Craig Franklin, a professor from the Veterinary School, the group has turned the southwest corner of the lot into a party zone unlike any other, at least in their opinion.
“It’s the best party in Columbia,” Franklin says confidently through a long cigar. “Absolutely.”
If it’s not the best, it’s likely the most meticulously planned. The Bounders hold weekly planning meetings where they decide what to cook, what games to play and even try their hand at poetry.
Craig's emails the week before the game are excellent. The article gives an example of one.
“Come one, come all and join the bounder crew./Don’t forget to bring a dish and a bev or two.
"Sign the tent to document your stay/And join in on all the games to play.
"Eleven o’clock start; breakfast wraps at nine/Post game will bring lots more food oh so fine.
"Be bold and wear lots of gold/Definitely put the pink and green on hold,” the last four stanzas of this season’s opening salvo read.
They bring boards for cornhole and even glowing Frisbees to toss once the sun goes down. Ladder golf and washers equipment are also on hand in case anyone wants to play. They have customized plastic cups. There’s a binder where Franklin takes T-shirt orders. They are convinced they have the best tailgate.
“You can ask people in St. Louis,” Franklin says. “They know about it.”
There are even people in Minnesota who know about it, and the Bounders do it up right. Do you think I drive the 7.5 hours from Kato to Columbia for the game alone?