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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What the Fudge?: Harpo's goal post tradition

Nov. 1, 2002

Every few years, the football team does something that causes its fans to reach levels of hysteria high enough to rip out the goalposts. The most recent example came this past weekend.

And in every case of the exponential hysteria-level increase since 1971, the goalposts end up at Harpo's Bar and Grill, 29 S. Tenth St.

What the Fudge?

According to Todd Coleman, executive director of the MU Alumni Association, the tradition isn't really a tradition.

"Harpo's used to be the spot for alumni to return to, especially after the football games," Coleman said. "Most likely, some alumni suggested the idea in 1971, and that's why the goalposts have been going there since then."

Harpo's, he said, also has been the most consistent restaurant in the area. Ownership has been constant, and the restaurant has yet to change names.

Pedro Montalvo, a bartender at Harpo's, has a different view of the tradition.

"Harpo's has been the students' main bar and still is," Montalvo said. "Besides, they've been doing this for years."

Does the bar profit from the tradition?

"Yes," Montalvo said. "I was at the upstairs bar working until one in the morning on Friday, and I didn't get a break all night. I must have made 300 drinks."

The inspiration for tearing down the goalposts was MU's 36-12 victory over Kansas and the football players' encouragement and involvement. According to visiting professor of physics Angela Speck, this is close to the ideal way to tear down the goalposts.

"Seeing as how football players tend to be a bit heavier, the best way to tear down the goalposts would be to get a few of them on top of the goalposts and have them start shaking the goalposts back and forth," Speck said.

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