The Antlers Retaining Their Fame as a Mizzou Staple

The Antlers Retaining Their Fame as a Mizzou Staple

By: Lephonse Paige, E23 Reporter

Who knew the overgrown extension of a deer’s skull could be so raunchy? University of Missouri students know!

Have you ever been to a MU Basketball game at Mizzou Arena and noticed a group of guys yelling foul obscenities at the opposing team? Well, those guys are The Antlers and if you haven’t had the chance to see them in action, then you’re missing out on some good old-fashioned heckling.

The Antlers are a group of MU students that formed in 1976 with an excessive dedication to making Mizzou Arena the hardest place to play in America. Their entire purpose is to distract the opposing team so much that they focus more on the Antlers than the actual game, giving Mizzou’s players a much need advantage.

The name “Antlers” has nothing to do with the University of Missouri and it actually stems from a dance that the original members used to do when taunting the opposing team. The members would place their thumbs at the side of their heads, with their fingers outstretched in resemblance of a deer’s antlers and dance around in an effort to distract the other team.

The Antlers doing the Antler pose with MU Head Coach Kim Anderson

The Antlers doing the Antler pose with MU Head Coach Kim Anderson

Since then, the Antlers tactics have become more colorful and offensive, causing them to be kicked out of games on some occasions. Antlers member, Julian Vizitei, says in order to shy away from simply yelling crude things to the opposing team they have become more organized, and do research on their opponents in order to figure out the things that make their victims tick. Their tactics are now strategy based and cause more damage to the opposing players mental state. Vizitei says that though their heckling doesn’t always get the entire opposing team frustrated, there is always 2 or 3 key players who can’t handle the obnoxious badgering of the Antlers.

Over the years, University of Missouri students have been starting to become more supportive of the Antlers and are starting to value them as an asset to MU’s success. Kandice Head, MU student, and friend to a member of the Antlers said, “The antlers are a group of students who show their school spirit in an unconventional and eccentric, but overall, great way.”

Missouri fans and students aren’t the only ones who recognize the Antlers worth. Throughout their existence, they have had articles printed about them in Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News, and in 1980, USA TODAY named the Antlers one of the top five fan groups in the nation. To this day, the Antlers are still doing the Antler dance.