Missouri faithful flock to Tuscaloosa to see No. 1 Alabama

The Tigers will play the No.1 Alabama Crimson Tide Saturday night at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Signage for Crawford's Corner in Tuscaloosa, Alabama before Missouri's matchup with the No. 1 Crimson Tide on Saturday, Oct. 13.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Over 600 miles southeast of Columbia, Missouri, the Tigers are playing far from their home turf this weekend, taking on the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Missouri will be competing in one of the toughest road environments in the country, but amidst a sea of crimson and white will be a sparkle of black and gold.

“It’s an away game and it will be another 12 years before we come back [to Alabama],” Missouri fan Dwayne Washington said. “We usually go to two away games.”

Set up in a large tent with a flat screen television and a generous spread of food, Washington made certain the Alabama faithful knew where he was coming from. In addition, surrounding Washington's large tent was an inflatable Truman the Tiger.

“We brought it with us on the plane,” Washington said. “We have to represent Missouri. Might have paid a little extra for it in luggage, but it was well worth it.”

While Washington’s group flew from Kansas City, others opted to drive nine hours to support the Tigers.

Columbia native Rob Wilson made the trip down by car. While he went to college elsewhere, his mom went to MU and he grew up rooting for the team. He began attending away games when Missouri moved to the Southeastern Conference in 2012.

“I thought it would be interesting to make it to all the SEC [schools],” Wilson said. “I’ve made it to 10 so far.”

Andre Richards and nine of his friends rented an RV and road tripped down for the game. He and his friends pick an away game to attend each year. They’re already looking ahead, as they’re planning to be at the Kentucky game in 2019.

“You get to see how it’s done,” Richards said. “Mizzou is still building. [Alabama fans] have it set up better, but we’re getting there.”

Despite being vastly outnumbered by Alabama’s fans, the Missouri faithful have been greeted well. Wilson attributed the the Crimson Tide’s friendliness to southern hospitality and a curiosity to meet what he called, “Missour-uh folk.” Richards thinks that it’s just part of the experience.

“It’s just about comradery,” Richards said. “That’s why we do it. We’re just here to get away and have a good time. It’s for football, but it’s also for the experience. Tailgating is a culture, you can see it here.”

Edited by Adam Cole | acole@themaneater.com

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