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Fan groups help freshmen acclimate to MU sports

The groups allow fans to be more than just spectators.


Students involved in VolleyZou cheer on the Tigers against the Jayhawks on Oct. 16, 2008 at the Hearnes Center. VolleyZou, Tiger's Lair and Zou Crew are sports fan groups students can get involved in as a way to meet other sports fans and improve their experience as spectators.

Maneater File Photo

July 8, 2009

At the start of each fall semester, freshmen are given a bounty of opportunities to get involved with others via clubs, Freshman Interest Groups, intramural sports and many more student organizations. Among these are Tiger's Lair, Zou Crew and VolleyZou.

Executive Director of Mizzou Spirit Brad Fischer said he strongly encourages incoming freshmen to join any of these spirit organizations. Fischer is a former Maneater staff member.

"It is really a good way for people to get to know other people with similar interests, as well as a way for friends to sit together in the best seats and have a good time," Fischer said. "There is no better place to enjoy Mizzou's gameday atmosphere."

These organizations smooth the transition from living at home to residence hall and college life. Fischer noted how they helped him get to know MU better.

"Mizzou Spirit really helped me understand Mizzou's traditions, like the fight song and the Alma Mater," he said.

"Tiger's Lair is a great way to show your support for Mizzou Football, meet new people, get some face time on TV and have fun," Tiger's Lair director Alexa Larsen said.

Although similar in the mission of promoting school spirit, Tiger's Lair, Zou Crew and VolleyZou differ slightly. Each is designated to a specific Missouri sport.

Fischer said Tiger's Lair was created in 1995 to support the football team, Zou Crew began cheering for the basketball team in 1998 and in 2005 VolleyZou was born to root for the volleyball team.

Membership into any of these is relatively inexpensive. Fischer said Tiger's Lair and Zou Crew both cost $10 and VolleyZou is free.

Signups for Tiger's Lair and Zou Crew are done in the fall, and VolleyZou signup can be completed online.

There is unlimited space for membership either in VolleyZou or Zou Crew.

Tiger's Lair is more selective in its membership.

"There will be a limited number of spots in Tiger's Lair, and it will be first-come, first-served," Fischer said.

Last year, Tiger's Lair had 1,500 members. Zou Crew had 850.

"In order to sign up for Tiger's Lair, you must have purchased season tickets," Larsen said. "Signups will likely be the first week of class."

Other than being a way to make new friends, Fischer also cited examples of the multitude of perks packaged in with the membership into any of the three.

"We organize special members-only events with the team," Fischer said. "Last year, we organized road trips to the Iowa State football and basketball games."

Incoming freshmen Adam Singer expressed interest in both Tiger's Lair and ZouCrew.

"I'm definitely thinking about joining both ZouCrew and Tiger's Lair if I don't end up doing Marching Mizzou," Singer said. "I'd love to be a part of these because I loved going to high school football and basketball games and screaming my face off and rooting for my team. These organizations would give me the opportunity to show spirit and team pride on a much larger stage and more fun level than in high school."

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