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Missouri football team honored at Capitol
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Add another honor for the Missouri Tiger football team.
The Tigers received resounding ovations Wednesday in the Missouri Senate and House as they were recognized for their successful 2007 season.
The Tigers went 12-2, won the Cotton Bowl on New Year's Day and finished No. 4 in the nation. But senators erupted in their largest cheer as an official resolution recounted the Tigers' victory over archrival Kansas in a nationally televised game.
In the House, state Rep. Martin Rucker -- the father of star tight end Martin Rucker -- thanked the team for "energizing the state."
"Let's face it folks, when we have a good football team, we all feel good," said Rucker, D-St. Joseph.
The House then broke into a popular cheer used at home football games, with the Democratic side chanting "M-I-Z!" and the Republican side responding "Z-O-U!"
In the Senate, coach Gary Pinkel and mascot Truman the Tiger were invited up to the dais.
"It's very gratifying to me to see so much pride that has come, not only to the University of Missouri, but the city of Columbia ... and the entire state," Pinkel said.
The team's Cotton Bowl trophy was on display Wednesday at the Capitol. Scores of fans lined the Capitol hall to get an autographed poster from players and to pose for pictures near the trophy.