SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today took one for the team, made good on his word and issued a proclamation declaring September 6 “University of Missouri Tigers Day” in Illinois after the University of Missouri Tigers beat the University of Illinois Fighting Illini, 52-42, during the 2008 State Farm Arch Rivalry Game last Saturday. The proclamation came as the University of Missouri Tigers prepared for their first home game of the season.
A good sport, Governor Blagojevich took the loss in stride after the Mizzou Tigers upset the Fighting Illini and signed the proclamation honoring the University of Missouri Tigers football team for their football prowess. The Governor then put on his game face and posed for a photograph with the proclamation as a sign of defeat, while vowing redemption during the next match-up between the two teams.
“Even though the scoreboard didn't reflect a win, the Fighting Illini football team continues to win our hearts with their energy and love for the sport season after season. As Vince Lombardi once said, ‘we didn't lose the game; we just ran out of time,’ and this game only helped to prepare the Fighting Illini for the next heated match-up with the Mizzou Tigers,” said Governor Blagojevich. “Next time, time will be on our side and the Mizzou Tigers had better be prepared.”
“The Missouri Tigers are off to roaring start and this season promises to be as good as last year and hopefully even better,” said Governor Blunt. “I can think of no better way to usher in the Tigers’ first home game of the season than with both states celebrating University of Missouri Tigers Day.”
Before the Mizzou Tigers and the Fighting Illini – long time football foes – hit the Astro Turf last Saturday, Governor Blagojevich and his Missouri counterpart, Governor Matt Blunt, hashed out a game plan in the form of a friendly wager. The wager entailed the losing Governor issuing a proclamation in their home state congratulating and honoring the winning team. The end result that the two Midwestern Governors shook on entailed the losing Governor proclaiming a special day in his home state in honor of the winning team.
The game proved to be another wild one for football fans. The Mizzou Tigers held off the Fighting Illini before a sellout crowd of 66,441 at the Edward Jones Dome in the season opener for both teams.
“I would like to congratulate Coach Gary Pinkel and the Mizzou Tigers for bringing a great game and for bringing the football fans to their feet during last weeks Arch Rivalry showdown,” said Governor Blagojevich.