The Ultimate Fan
Norma Kinder, 82, has had football season tickets since 1975.
About seven times a year each fall, Norma Kinder hosts a family reunion. The matriarch of the family, Kinder is in charge of securing the location, her son‐in‐law the transportation, her son and two daughters the menu, and her grandchildren the games. Mizzou football provides the entertainment.
The 38‐year season ticket holder hosts the shindig in Lot P behind Mizzou Arena. Her son‐in‐law Brad Barnhart, MS ’76, drives his 2000 GMC M‐I‐Z B‐U‐S in from Lake Lotawana, Mo. Her son Paul Kinder, BS Ed ’76, M Ed ’78, EdSp ’79, EdD ’82, and daughters Cindy Kinder Barnhart, BS Ed ’80, and Sara Kinder, BA ’87, bring the hamburgers and hotdogs. Her grandchildren set up washers and toss the football. Nothing could feel more like home to Kinder.
“Living in Columbia, you can’t help but become a Tiger fan,” says Kinder, who went to her first game at Memorial Stadium in 1962.
For Kinder, tailgating is just as much about catching up with her loved ones as it is about cheering on her Tigers. Kinder is in her seat before the national anthem starts and doesn’t leave until the alma mater is sung.
“We’ve been attending games with her for the past 30 years,” Brad says. “She’s the type of person that if you’re going to the game, you stay until the last buzzer. She doesn’t care if it’s 100 to nothing, whether Mizzou is winning or losing.”
Kinder has high expectations for the 2013 Tigers as they play Florida in their first SEC home game this season Saturday at 11:21 a.m.
“I’m worried about [senior defensive back] E.J. Gaines and [senior quarterback] James Franklin,” says Kinder, referring to Gaines’ quad strain and Franklin’s separated shoulder, both injuries sustained in last week’s game against Georgia. “We sure will miss them, but our offense has been great, and our defense has stepped it up. It probably won’t be a high‐scoring game because Florida has a really good defense.”
“Some people like to travel, but I don’t care to,” says Kinder, who still works as a realtor for Prudential Vision Properties. “I’m a big sports fan, so that’s what I do for entertainment.”
The 82‐year‐old is the ultimate fan.
“She makes you believe more than most,” Brad says. “She really brings it out in the whole family.”