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Mizzou's V-shaped formation

Half of Mizzou's v-shaped formation lines up against Washington University in 1900. Post-Dispatch photo

Missouri Tiger football fans have endured Fifth Down, Woody's Wagon, the Flea-kicker, the Norman Conquest and worse.

Recent embarrassing losses as to Vanderbilt and Kentucky could also become part of that litany of infamy.

But the Dark Days for the program go all the way back to 1900. 

On Oct. 31 of that year, the Tigers returned from a two-game winning trip. But a 6-5 victory over a vastly inferior Washington University team left the players indignant. 

The school's best players were being prohibited from participating because of poor grades. A new official at the University enforcing that policy seemed hell-bent on ruining the team's season.

The Mizzou players responded by threatening to strike. The Post-Dispatch reported that half the team refused to sit at the training table  and that prospects for settlement were poor.

Here's the original Post-Dispatch coverage:

The Tigers would return to the practice field, complete their schedule and finish with a 4-4-1 record in 1900, including a season-ending tie with Kansas. That was a dropoff  from the 9-2 record the previous season.

The Tigers had fallen on such hard times that even smaller schools - like the Osteopaths of Kirksville - were making claims of superiority.