November 26, 1908


Roaring Their Songs and Cries, They
Made Their Presence Generally
Known -- Good Feeling Pre-
vailed Above All.

College life with the college left out; that's what several thousand Missouri and Kansas students and graduated enjoyed to the limit in Kansas City last night. Such life is interesting even in a college town, but in Kansas City it is real exciting, and the somber goddess of sleep had little work in the downtown districts after nightfall. Then it was that the real fun of the day before began. Hordes of enthusiastic students gathered in the lobbies of the various hotels. Instinct guided them more than anything else, and so it happened that the boys from K. U. assembled in one hostelry and Missouri fans joined hands and voices in another. The noise -- well, it wasn't just exactly noise, it was more like a human roar -- continued in hotels and on the streets until after midnight, and everybody was good natured.

It would be almost impossible to describe the thousands which went to make up the vast crowd of enthusiastic youths. They came to Kansas City, every one of them out of their own world, dressed in the fantastic garb which inhabitants of college walls and college atmosphere are wont to affect. There was the slouch hat with the brim cut closely around the crown; the heavy tan shoes, buckled for extra weight; trousers rolled up two or three times at the bottom, just why no one can guess' the inevitable cigarette and pipe. It was all of a different line than the Kansas Cityan is accustomed to, and he started and wondered and remembered, perhaps, that once he dressed the same way. Then there was that self-bred enthusiasm which gave vent in lusty roars; roars which showed the joy of life for the college man on the day before the great game.


Before leaving their colleges the thousands of students had assembled in mass meeting to engender just such enthusiasm. They heard talks from members of their teams; from the old guard and from heads of the universities, and upon each one of them seemed to rest a certain responsibility for the success of his team in the only real football game of the season. That is college spirit, and that is why the regular boarder couldn't sleep in his usually quiet room at the hotel last night.

At the Savoy the Missouri aggregation of imported college men and yells held full sway. Nothing else was considered and nothing else could have made itself heard. True, there were three or four police officers on duty, but what were they when confronted with a mo b of a thousand husky young men? First there came the Missouri "Tiger," and then, with uncovered heads, the throng sang the grand Missouri song, "Old Missouri." Oh, they were sure of victory, were those fellows, and they were mightily proud of their alma mater. Somehow their songs of victory and triumph and allegiance to "Old Missouri" made the outsider think of the times when the ironclad soldiers of Cromwell went into battle singing, and he couldn't help understanding that the same spirit possessed those seemingly frenzied youths that steeled the heart of soldiers of the commonwealth. Over at the Coates house were the Kansas boys, and they were not to be outdone by their natural rivals, so far as noise and college spirit are concerned. "Rock-chalk; jawhawk; K-a-a-a U-u-u-u" made the second floor of the building seem to tremble from the vast noise sent up from a thousand throats. Pennants and banners of crimson and blue were waved frantically in the air between yells, and it was a pretty sight. Confidence there was in abundance; Kansas could not lose the Thanksgiving game because, well, because she was Kansas. It was knowledge of certain victory that added zest to those ferocious yells and gave them the utmost sincerity. No thought of loss entered the heads of enthusiastic rooters. They had put their faith and their money on Kansas, their alma mater, and she couldn't fail them. And so the songs and yells were songs and yells of the victor, and the Kansans were even more confident than their rivals.


Girls; there were lots of them, and they joined in the singing and noisemaking, too. Of course, they stood a little way off from the surging crowd of youths, chiefly on the stairways of the lobbies, but if one got close enough to them they could hear their shouts of general exuberance. But the girls could not stand the strain on the vocal chords as well as the men, and they began to hunt their rooms after an hour of jubilation on the stairways. In their rooms they could talk with each other of the coming game and the heroes thereof. Anyhow, they were girls, and it wasn't their part to make themselves so very obvious.

Early in the evening the old graduate was in his glory. He made the rounds of all the hotels and met the sons of his college chums. He forgot that he was a prominent lawyer and dignified; he remembered only the outlines of the old university hall; how he and his classmates used to hold jubilees on similar occasions; he forgot the numerous flunks in math and history and remembered only the great game "we played when your father and I were on the team." And did he yell and sing those college songs and yells? There were some of the songs that he had forgotten partly, but his lips moved just the same and his eyes were just as bright as those of his younger college mates. Off came his hat when the university hymn was sung and then when the "locomotive yell" was started he kept time with his headcovering and his arms.


But when "old grad met old grad" then it was interesting. The hearty shake of the hand; the resounding slap on the back and the many, many questions of "where have you been all these years, and what have you been doing?" It was the revival of the good old days when they were young and boys; and the joyousness of the approaching game permeated their systems as it did those more active students of the present class.

Then there were banquets of the secret and Greek letter fraternities. The frat yells and songs filled the banquet rooms during the meals and it was all one big jubilee. But the yells were confined to frat yells for both universities were represented in the gatherings. Nothing really discordant could be allowed to enter into the rejoicing of the night.

Late in the evening, after the too mellow wine and overabundance of beer had begun to get in its work, a group of Kansas students left the Coates house and marched with arms locked to the Savoy hotel, where the Missouri bunch was holding forth. Just after a resounding "Tiger" had risen from the Missouri men, it was answered by a "Rock chalk; Jayhawk; K-a-a-a-a U-u-u-u-u" from the meandering Kansas. Some surprise was occasioned by the yell of the enemy and muttered threats of rushing them were heard. But the Kansas men were standing near the doorway, where they could make a hasty exit in case it was necessary, so the M. S. U. fans contented themselves with overshouting their would-be usurpers.

The theaters were heavily patronized by the "fussers" of the college boys. Many of them h ad chosen to spend the evening with the quieter, but equally fascinating, charm of feminine companionship. That was all right; they could do their yelling at the game and after.

All hotels in the city were crowded to overflowing and many of the boys were willing to sleep four and five in a room in order to get accommodations. The college boys literally took the town last night and they were given preference over all other persons.