It’s during weeks like this that I feel bad for our neighbors and friends who could care less about the University of Missouri and its football team. Because that is all you will hear about – on Facebook, at the bars, in the checkout line and on Twitter – for at least the rest of this week. God help you if Mizzou wins Saturday.
The reason we feel this strongly – and are overcome with the need to discuss the backup linebacker situation, Aldon Smith’s leg, Blaine Gabbert’s psyche – is because for decades our football team sucked, and no little amount. Know that team from Texas the Tigers kicked the snot out of last weekend? In 1993 that team beat Mizzou by 73 points. 73 to ZERO. I’d hoped the Tigers would exact some measure of revenge on an ex-girlfriend/A&M fan. Instead, I got a 73-0 pasting. Other than shame, the only thing I remember is MU safety DeMonte Cross showboating after making the team’s first tackle of the game (in the fourth quarter). Mizzou was so bad that A&M only jumped TWO SPOTS in the polls after nuking us from orbit (“it’s the only way to be sure“).
So give us this week, will ya?
We had a week like this three years ago. Mizzou was #3 and awful, hated Kansas was #2 going into the showdown at Arrowhead Stadium. While MU dominated throughout, the game wasn’t truly over until approximately 17 defensive lineman wearing black and gold corkscrewed Little Todd Reesing* down to bedrock. The image of Reesing walking off the field with a gopher in his facemask will warm every Mizzou fan’s heart forever. The victory made MU the #1 team in the nation for the first time since 1960 and naturally, it all went to shit the next weekend against Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game (Mrs. SMEs and I doubled down on this one, hopping all over the alumni association’s chartered flight/hotel package down in San Antonio. Aside from the game, it was a great trip to a great city.).
Anyway, every team has their sob story. Everyone feels overlooked or underrated, disrespected. It’s a fact of sports as much as human nature – we’re all victims, right? But once in a while things go your way. All of a sudden a mediocre in-state rival destroys Kansas, former Mizzou players light up the NFL and ESPN College GameDay’s coming to Columbia – all in a single week. It may last only this one week, so try to put up with us around the water cooler, eh?
Now I just need some help with those signs.
* – Reesing proved a valiant and worthy adversary year after year. He was hard to hate, but I managed…