Border War being waged on license plates

May, 16, 2012
5/16/12
2:30
PM ET
The last time we checked in on the Border War -- Kansas and Missouri's century-old blood feud, currently cancelled by conference realignment -- it was just two weeks after Kansas's run to the national title game.

The setting: an elementary school in Lee's Summit, Mo., a suburb of Kansas City. The crime: A school administrator played the Kansas fight song on the day of the national title game. The principal may have thought this was a fun and lighthearted activity designed to lighten the mood at the start of another school day, but that principal thought wrong. Missouri fans -- some of which went so far as to accuse the principal of attempted KU "indoctrination" -- were not happy.

Unfortunately, the latest batch of Mizzou-KU-related hatred is not quite as entertaining as that. But give credit to Kansas City Star writer Rustin Dodd, who opens his story on the matter with a truly tremendous lede:
There’s an old saying in college sports: If one school refuses to play you, then you can be darn sure you don’t let that school have specialized license plates in your state.

Wait, what?

As Dodd explains, "word leaked out" last week that the University of Kansas Alumni Association was attempting to get KU-themed vanity license plates approved by Missouri lawmakers. The horror! Naturally, to prevent this egregious crime against humanity, two brave Missouri state senators took time out of their busy schedules to stand up for the rights of Missouri fans everywhere.
“With the long-standing rivalry between Mizzou and KU, I find it appalling that the creation of this license plate would be conceived in the Show-Me State,” Sen. Stouffer said.

Indeed. To be fair to the Missouri folks, Kansas's alumni association has a history of trolling other states for acceptance of the vanity plate. A few years back, it even tried to get one approved in North Carolina, before finding out the state required a presale of at least 1,300 plates before a new one could be approved. The alumni association's director of alumni programs, Danny Lewis, even admitted to the trolling:
“Our group in North Carolina wanted to annoy the Duke and North Carolina grads by getting KU license plates out there,” Lewis said, adding, “We approach everything state by state.”

KU has plates in Maryland and Texas, if that helps, and it does have a rather large alumni base in Missouri, of course ... but, well, yeah: I'm going to go ahead and assume there aren't many Missouri lawmakers who want to be labeled as backstabbing KU-loving traitors, simply because they approved a license-plate plan.

And so the Border War lives on. Unfortunately, these programs won't continue to settle things the good old-fashioned way: on the court. Instead, their fans will have to continue to find other outlets. Message boards, elementary schools, automotive flair -- really, the options are endless. Even if the series itself isn't.

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