Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Quin Snyder is a tease...

By Born-a-Tiger
Before this season, I told myself I wouldn't let it happen. I wouldn't let Missouri basketball tease me with its potential, with its talent. I wouldn't let myself think of the team playing to its ability, achieving what it could and should have achieved. Because if there is one constant in the Quin Snyder era, it is the inconsistent product on the court. An inconsistent team is the most certain sign of a poorly coached team. Quin's legacy will be underachieving and playing to the level of his opponents. But, like the $5 hooker tempting me from down the street, Quin did it again. He sucked me in, made me believe. As always, that was a mistake.
If Quin was as good at getting his team up as he is at getting himself up (if you know what I mean. Ask Linas Kleiza, or even better, Kleiza's ex-girlfriend, or any member of the Golden Girls), MU would be a national power. His team has to get itself up, and that only happens for big games. Let's take a look at Quin's teams, shall we?

Year One: 1999-2000
This probably is the only Quin Snyder team that DIDN'T underachieve. Great shooting, great guards, no size. If there had been a decent power forward, this team could have made some noise. As it was, getting to the NCAA Tourney was a nice accomplishment. But the credit does not go to Quin Snyder... because this team had the one thing he has been unable to find in all his time as the Tigers' coach—a point guard. Two of them, actually—Keyon Dooling and Brian Grawer. Ah, it was nice.
Year Two: 2000-2001
A promising freshman class that included two good big men (well... maybe one and a half) joined budding star Kareem Rush, star shooter Clarence Gilbert and old reliable, Brian Grawer. Another team that probably got to the level it should have—a second-round drubbing by Duke in the NCAA tournament—but it was wildly inconsistent through the season... hmm... a sign of things to come? Still, MU looked like a team on the rise...
Year Three: 2001-2002
How sad is it that Quin's best year as MU's head coach was a season that saw Mizzou climb to No. 2 in the polls, fall out of them, earn a No. 12 seed in the tournament, then race to the Elite 8 (where, but for a terrible shooting day by Clarence Gilbert and a few very questionable calls that went OU's way, Mizzou might have earned its first Final Four appearance)? It tells the story of his coaching career... MU had top 5 talent... except at point guard. That lack of talent prevented the team from reaching its potential. Quin is rewarded for his inconsistent, uneven season with a fat contract extension.
Year Four: 2002-2003
Enter the Clemons. Kareem's out, lil' Ricky is in. Crazy threes, crazy girlfriends. Hitting big shots... hitting his girlfriend. Missouri again is wildly inconsistent—A.J. becomes a star, but the guards can't get him the ball. The season ends in typical fashion—great performances by Ricky Paulding—who outplayed Dwyane Wade, yes that Dwyane Wade—and A.J. are wasted by disappearing acts from Travon Bryant and Clemons. The worst moment: watching Kevin Young forget that Marquette's Steve Novak is a really, really, really, good shooter. Watching Young continually let Novak get wide-open looks from 3 in the OT... all of which Novak drains, sending MU's season into the toilet.
Year Five: 2003-2004
Kick the Clemons out. With lil' Ricky the distraction out and new pass-first point guard Randy Pulley, high-scoring transfer Jason Conley and freshman studs Linas Kleiza and Thomas Gardner in, Missouri again was a preseason Top 10. What's not to like: a high-scoring, experienced inside-outside combo in Arthur Johnson and Ricky Paulding. Two talented, versatile four men. A strong defender and ball distributor at point guard. Instant offense off the bench in the former NCAA scoring leader. I'll tell you what's not to like: One freshman stud (Kleiza) who can't get along with his teammates and is a BIT of a ball hog. A point guard who may be able to dribble but is such a bad shooter, he makes Doug Gottlieb look good. And the usual wildly inconsistent, poorly coached effort. Nice work, Quin. Way to miss the NCAA tournament for the first time despite having your most talented roster to date.
Year Six: 2004-2005
The wheels fall off. I won't spend much time here. You know the theme by now: flashes of brilliance shattered by shards of mediocrity. Playing to the level of the opponent. Inconsistency. Schtlupping your best player's girlfriend and getting caught. Losing to freakin' DePaul in the freakin' NIT.
Year Seven: 2005-2006
The nail in the coffin. Damn you Quin, damn you. This season hurts more than any other. Why? Because for the first time since Year Two, I started to believe that MAYBE you had actually developed coaching ability. The way you righted the team after the debacle in St. Louis had me thinking that you had it figured out. Your team was listening to you. The players were playing hard and with heart. The comeback against kU showed tenacity and fight and never-say-die, things not always seen from your squads. But like the second verse in a bad song or trilogy, it all came crashing down. Inconsistency reared its ugly head in the form of THREE straight ugly, ugly, ugly Big 12 losses.

So f*** you, Quin. Take your sleazy, sweet-talking, players-girlfriend-humping, underachieving, can't-coach act somewhere else. Take that piece of teflon-coated sh*t Mike Alden with you, too. Please. Go back to Washington. Go back to Duke. Hell, go spend the rest of your life practicing law. That's what you seem best suited for... God knows you aren't suited to be a basketball coach. Many list their accomplishments when they go—I'm going to do a quick list of your failures

Jimmy McKinney—He's the best example of your inability to develop a player's natural ability. He had all the tools to be an all Big 12, high-scoring guard. But you couldn't get him over the hump; he has showed very little improvement under your tutelage. Other players I could have mentioned: Travon Bryant, Ricky Paulding, Linas Kleiza, Jeffrey Ferguson, Najeeb Echols and many more.

Running a program on the cusp of joining the elite back into mediocrity

Taking not one, but two, preseason Top 10 teams and managing one measly Elite Eight run from them. Blowing the overload of talent because you can't get your teams to play hard, disciplined basketball on a consistent basis.

Off-court. You've ruined our reputation. And for all the acclaim you receive as a recruiter, you sure don't get very talented players in here...

Sunday, January 29, 2006

A Red weekend

By S. Scott
Playing off Bryan's discussion/diatribe/vent about the beatdown of the men's basketball team... Nebraska stuck it to us on more than the basketball court.

The gymnastics team, ranked No. 10 in the nation, posted a season-high point total, but the No. 12 Cornhuskers outdid it, 196.350-195.950. To wit, a Tigers' victory would have represented a momentous occasion, for the Cornhuskers have won 58 straight home meets. Tiger freshman Adrianne Perry placed second in the all-around competition with 39.3 points, a career high.

Also on Sunday, the Tigers' wrestling team, ranked 12th, dropped a dual meet for the second time this year. The No. 5 Cornhuskers won 21-18. Both teams won five matches, but the Cornhuskers had more bonus points to get the win. Ben Askren continued his roll, winning by fall in 4 minutes, 29 seconds against Jacob Klein at 174 pounds. Top-ranked Askren is 33-0 while Klein was ranked third. Askren was the only Tiger to will by fall. Matt Pell improved to 25-2 at 165 with a 3-1 decision against Marc Harwood.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Why it's frustrating to watch the Tigers

By Tiger Fan
After watching today's debacle against Nebraska, I figured out why it makes me so mad to watch the Tigers continue down the path of mediocrity. If our players were just bad, I could handle that. There are times when you are just overmatched. But that's often not the case and it certainly was not the case today. Mizzou had better talent at every position, but Nebraska was smarter, cleaner and more fundamentally sound (and that was in a game where Nebraska didn't even play that well). We got technicals... we missed layups... we took bad shots. This probably won't come as a surprise to anyone, but these are all signs of a poorly coach team. When Big XII play started, it looked like Quin had finally figured things out. The last three games show that's clearly not the case. It's time for him to go... the sooner the better.

But, we know that won't happen until the end of the season. So in the mean time, here's some advice on what Quin should tell his players if he wants to go out in style -- and maybe even win some games:

Jimmy McKinney: This isn't a pick-up game. If you want to drive against four defenders or hoist fade-away jumpers on every possession, go to the rec center. Go the local Y. Go find a street game somewhere. But as long as you are playing Division I NCAA basketball, you have to pass the ball... and more importantly, move WITHOUT the ball.

Kevin Young: Would you catch the ball if I told you it was a cheeseburger? If so, that's what it is. A cheeseburger. If that doesn't do the trick, figure something else out. All the post position in the world is worthless if you can't catch the ball.

Jason Horton: Are you mad at the ball? Then stop pounding it into the floor and look around. And just for the heck of it, try playing with the same defensive intensity against 5'8" guards from Nebraska as you do against Dee Brown. Humor me.

Thomas Gardner: It's hard to criticize the only consistent player on the team...

Kalen Grimes: Get control of your emotions! Your little outburst singlehandedly turned the momentum and let the Nebraska fans back into the game.

Marshall Brown: Ditto on the emotions. Plus... REBOUND!

Matt Lawrence: Nice job today. Way to take a charge.

Glen Dandridge: We all know you have a good 3-point shot. But that doesn't mean you have to take one when you are 5 feet behind the line just because no one is in your face.

Leo Lyons & Marcus Watkins: Um... I know I saw you guys out there...

Rest of the bench: Good cheering and high-fiving today.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Weekly report

Tiger notes...
-Last week at this time, Mizzou fans were optimistic about the basketball team. Mizzou beat kU and crazy things were said... Quin Snyder was a genius. The Tigers were going back to the NCAA Tournament. Thomas Gardner might jump to the NBA after this season. I wasn't quite ready for any of those assertions, but I was excited about the team again. Since then? The loss to K-State was bad, but winning on the road in the Big XII is never easy. The telling moment came on Wednesday. Mizzou's loss to Iowa State was the worst home loss for Mizzou since 1961... so much for the home-court advantage I was so pleased with. Unfortunately, it doesn't get much easier from here. The Tigers should be able to win at Nebraksa, but you never know. Then, Texas comes calling in Columbia. Ouch.

-The only good news for the Tiger men this week was that Jimmy McKinney etched his name in the Mizzou record book during Wednesday's game by scoring his 1,000th point. He needs just 22 more rebounds to become only the fifth player in Mizzou history to tally 1,000 points, 400 rebounds and 300 assists. Although I've always liked McKinney, I have to say that these stats probably have more to do with being on the court for four years than they do with him really showing his talent. When I saw Voshon play Desmet in the Missouri state title game McKinney's senior year of high school, I expected him to be a superstar. He has played well at times, but he has never been consistent and I think that kept him from reaching his full potential.

-Not that it made a difference in the game, but I'm told the officiating against in the Iowa State game was terrible. One call stood out and I could tell from the reaction on the RADIO that it was bad. With about 14 minutes to play, McKinney drove for a layup and it looked like he was going to get a chance to cut ISU's lead to 9 by converting the 3-point play. Instead, the basket was waived off and a charge was called. ISU quickly converted on the other end and the game was effectively over.

-If you're like me, you were counting on the women's basketball team to be the bright spot for Mizzou. Instead, they were handed a 20-point loss at Texas A&M in which LaToya Bond scored a season-low six points. Still, I encourage everyone to head to Mizzou Arena on Saturday to "Pack the Zou" as the ladies take on Texas Tech on national television.

-Speaking of full houses, props to the 2,128 fans who set a new attendance record for Mizzou wrestling on Sunday, breaking the old record by nearly 700. The No. 11 Tigers were not able to beat defending national champions Oklahoma State, but Ben Askren did record his 32nd straight win and the team deserves the exposure.

-For years, fans endured bad football seasons, looking forward to basketball. Now, fans enduring a bad basketball season can look forward to baseball. The Tiger baseball team is ranked as high as No. 10 (Baseball America) in the national polls and is picked to finish third in the always competitive Big XII. Also, the softball team is ranked No. 18 in the preseason polls.

-This year's football season extended into January for some Tigers. Brad Smith and Marcus King both played in the Hula Bowl to showcase their talents for NFL scouts. Although Brad was named the West MVP, he was just 4 of 12 for 58 yards. I get the feeling he won the award by default because he scored the West's only touchdown (on the ground). I still think Brad's best bet is to try out in the NFL as a wide receiver. King played well off the bench, snagging an interception in the second half. I wouldn't be surprised if he gets some draft attention, given that he turned a lot of heads with his 99-yard Independence Bowl interception return.

Quick-hit non-Mizzou thoughts...
Does anyone think Hammas is really committed to a peaceful resolution in the Middle East? I'm not an expert on these matters, but this doesn't look good to me. I hope I'm wrong... Speaking of things that don't look good to me: Anything involving Ron Artest. This guy might actually be insane. His role in the brawl is well-documented, but look at what he has done this year. He shows up ready to play, then demands to be traded, then turns down a trade when a team is finally stupid enough to take him, then changes his mind the next day. If you are the Kings, why do you want this guy... Same question for the Broncos (or anyone else) and T.O... and while we're on the topic: Please Chad Johnson. PLEASE don't pull a T.O. on the Bengals. Please! Not only would it be bad for you and the team, but I would have a completely useless jersey in my closet... Theo Epstein is back, which begs the question, was he ever really gone? Why did he even leave to begin with? Given that the White Sox are the current defending champions, why do we even care? Oh, that's right. Boston is a tortured sports city. Give me a break... The Super Bowl match-up is set. Everyone other than Steve Largent is picking Pittsburgh. Sounds like a nice time to be a Seahawk... I read a headline this week that Bush was visiting "super-secret spies." If they are so "super-secret," why does the media know about them?... Good movie note: Batman Begins is a solid film if you like comic-booky movies. Fannette does not, so she might disagree... Bad movie note: How do bad movies keep getting sequels made of them? (See: Big Mama's House, Deuce Bigalow, The Transporter, Cheaper By The Dozen) I don't get it. Is Hollywood really that desperate for story lines?...

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Vocabulary Lesson

In recent weeks – and even days – I have noticed a variety of words from the world of sports and entertainment have crept into the daily conversations I have with my roommate and other friends. Without any formal discussion, we began sprinkling these terms into conversation and immediately knew what they stood for. Ah, the strange world of being a sports fan.

n. (hunj) - 100 points, usually in a game of NCAA '06 for Playstation Orig. Unknown
Use: "I saw that you beat kansas." --> "Yeah, I layed the hunge"

Brad n. (brad) - a football play in which the player makes a miraculous escape, at times looking like he morphed from one side of the pile to the other. Orig. Brad Smith
Use: "How did Reggie Bush get that first down?" --> "He pulled a Brad"

Lofa Tatupu v. (lo-fah ta-too-poo) - to "go" No. 2 Orig. Unknown
Use: "Where are you going, the commercial's almost over" --> "Man, I have to Lofa Tatupu"

Brokeback adj. (broke-back) - effeminate Orig. Brokeback Mountain
Use: "Does this shirt go with my skin tone? It's all about skin tone." --> "Nah, it's a little brokeback for my tastes"

Moody adj. (mooooooooooo-dy) - 1. Prone to choking, 2. Prone to missing wide-open shots Orig. Christian Moody
Use: "I can't believe you missed that jump shot. You were wide open" --> "I know, I had a Moody moment"

Kobe n. (ko-bee) - a sum of 81 or more points Orig. Kobe Bryant
Use: "Did you get to the hunge?" --> "No, but I did drop a Kobe on them

Vanderjagt v. (vander-jack) - completely choke under pressure Orig. Mike Vanderjagt
Use: "How did Christian Moody miss TWO free throws?" --> "He Vanderjagt-ed, plain and simple"

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Weekly report

Tiger notes...
-Brad Smith will play in the Hula Bowl this Saturday at 6 p.m. central. Look for him wearing his usual No. 16, but lining up some of the time at wide receiver...

-There's no place like home for the MU basketball teams. The Tiger women are 10-0 at Mizzou Arena and the men are 9-2 with the two losses coming on 3s at the buzzer...

-Has a player ever gone from the doghouse to the starting lineup as quickly as Glen Dandridge? In November, his transfer seemed imminent, if you believe the rumors. This week, he was in the starting line-up against kU. Amazing...

-With Monday's win, the Tigers pulled to within three points of kU in the Border War standings. The total is now 8.5 to 5.5...

-The Mizzou gymnastics team is now ranked No. 11 in the country...

-The most underappreciated Tiger on the men's basketball team this year is Kevin Young. He is averaged 8.5 points and 7.9 rebounds a game, but that doesn't tell the story. I used to laugh when people said he was a handful underneath, but its true. Sasha Kaun and Julian Wright couldn't handle him. Kevin Bookout and Taj Gray couldn't handle him. And oh, those free throws he was always so bad at? He's shooting 73 percent, good enough for second on the team...

-From the ridiculous world of state politics: House bill 1402, which "Requires every university in this state participating in an NCAA Division I sport to schedule one contest a year with every other university in this state in the same sport at the same level." Give me a break. Guess which city that congressman is from?

Quick-hit Non-Mizzou Thoughts...
How is Jason Marquis getting paid more than Chris Carpenter?... And how is Matt Millen getting paid at all?... I think if I were a large athlete and someone was threatening my wife, I'd run into the stands too... For no apparent reason, I'm predicting a Broncos/Panthers Super Bowl... The difference between Kobe and LeBron isn't killer instinct, it's that Mamba is a better shooter... On that note, who does Sasha Pavlovic think he is?... Now that Shaq and Kobe have worked things out, I think it's time for Hillary Duff and Lindsay Lohan to bury the hatchet... Certainly Duke is Duke... Is the hockey season even still going on? Anyone? Anyone?... From the department of "Sure, that's what I would have done": The player failed to make a football move and the ball was knocked loose while his second knee was still on the ground, therefore meaning... WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!?!?!?!... Thanks, Pete... If Osama bin Laden is the voice on that new tape, I'm Bob Sagat. Seriously, the guy HAS to be dead by now. Men with kidney problems just don't survive in caves... Has anyone heard of these new NFL coaches? Seriously, I think I might get an interview for the Raiders job at this point... I don't know about you, but I am waiting with bated breath for the NASA probe to reach Pluto 9 years from now. I can't wait...

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Two years in a row!

Game recap from Tiger Fan

Note to readers: I'll try to do a recap like this after every Mizzou game I attend. The headings will be standard, as I try to give some insight beyond what you can get on the news.

On the Court
-Thomas Gardner's 40-point effort has been well-documented, but his best play of the night was a pass. In overtime, Gardner drove to the hoop and was met by multiple kU defenders. He stopped, pump-faked the chickenhawks into the air and dished to Marshall Brown for an easy dunk. Huge play.

-Jimmy McKinney was hit or miss all game long, but he stepped up with two huge hustle plays. First, he came from out of nowhere to foul Moody and keep the Tigers in the game. If you watch the replay, McKinney is at the top of the key when Moody gets the ball but he still manages to block the shot. Then, in overtime, Gardner airballed a 3, only to have McKinney catch it and deliver a perfect pass back to Gardner in the lane while falling out of bounds. Gardner was then fouled.

-It has been covered, but the clock started late on the final play of regulation. About a second late. Chalmers dribbled the ball twice before the clock started. If Moody had converted a free throw, this would be a huge controversy. Luckily, it's not.

Crazed Mizzou Fan Notes

-The Antlers were top-notch on Monday, circling the entire upper deck section before the game to lead fans in "Rock Chalk ChickenHawk Screw K U"

-The entire student body should be applauded for Monday's performance. Particularly when Moody was on the free throw line, it was as loud as I have ever heard at a Mizzou game. It reminded me of the Hearnes Center. Let's just hope they show the same support in the coming months.

-The entire crowd stood of the duration of overtime. Even the old folks and the high rollers. Impressive.

Seen and Heard in the Stands
-The following exchange took place between me and Tiger Fannette literally seconds before Gardner tossed a ridiculous alley-oop to Brown:

Me: Horton needs to dribble less, he is a turnover waiting to happen.
Fannette: I miss Wesley Stokes.
Me: Why? Stokes was TERRIBLE.
Fannette: But he had cool hair.
Me: That's true... and he sure could throw an alley-oop. That's one thing this team doesn't have is someone who can throw a good alley-oop.
Fannette: You mean like that one?

-Another classic prophesy from our chatter in the stands. Mizzou ties up the ball for the first time in the last minute of game, prompting this exchange:

Fannette: I don't understand why that was a good play. kU gets to keep the ball.
Me: Well yeah. But now, if we tie it up again, we'll get the ball.
Fannette: Riiiight, like that will happen.

-I saw this live, but you can also see it on a TV replay. When Moody is shooting free throws, one of the ball kids is frantically waiving his arms behind the basket. After he misses, the ball kid at the other end is going crazy. Also, Gary Link is standing triumphantly behind Quin with his arms raised. Classic.

-Best heckle of the night. MU down seven with 50 seconds to play: "kU beats the homeless." Turns out this is actually true. A CNN story last week listed Lawrence as the second meanest city in the country when it comes to the homeless.

-A close runner up. Brandon Rush at the free throw line: "Four high schools, still can't read" from the Antlers. Priceless.

-It's all over? The kU fans around me began chanting this with less than a minute to play. I chastised them, saying its never over until the final horn sounds. They point out that some of our "fans" are leaving. I inform them that I will be right here until the clock reads 0.0 and they can tell me then that it is over. When the horn did sound -- and the screaming died down -- a kU fan turned to me and said, "Okay, you win this round."

Irritating/pleasant Athletic Department Decisions
-Irritating: Random celebrity appearance. It was great to see Anthony Peeler in the house for the first time since 1994. I'm sure that fired everybody up. But Jared from the Subway commercials? You've got to be kidding me. Why was he even there?

-Pleasant: MU PA announcer recognizes the distinguised career of kU broadcast legend Max Falkenstien in what is likely his last trip to Columbia as an announcer. Tiger fans give him a standing ovations. Very classy and points to the mutual respect that is the foundation of the rivalry.

-Irritating: The athletic department sells off student tickets, then allows students to pick up their all-sports tickets anyway. The shocking result? The student section isn't big enough. Their brilliant solution? They tell the overflow students to "go down front and try to find a seat." Here's my point: I'm glad there were tons of students there. But the folks sitting down front either waited hours in the cold for their seats or earned them by coming to games all year. It's patently unfair to make those students scoot over and squeeze together to accomodate fans who showed up at the last minute and didn't even pick up their tickets until the day of the game.

-Pleasant: Great decision to bring out the women's basketball team. They finally received the ovation they have deserved all season.

-Irritating: Throughout the game, cheerleaders were throwing t-shirts into the crowd. I generally favor that. But not while play is going on! I guess the idea is to get fans loud by having them cheer for shirts. In reality, one of two things happen. 1) People are distracted by the t-shirts and miss something important (and consequently, cheer at the wrong time) or 2) People are actually **gasp** watching the game and are hit in the head with a t-shirt. This is just dumb.

Probably Being Heard Around the Water Cooler This Morning...
-MU fan to kU fan: "You okay this morning? You look a little Moody... Oh, I understand. You were up all night missing free throws."

Monday, January 16, 2006


Oh snap.

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- Thomas Gardner scored a career-high 40 points, including two free throws with 1:01 left in overtime that put Missouri ahead for good in a stunning 89-86 victory over Kansas.
The Tigers (10-5, 3-1 Big 12) trailed by seven points before outscoring Kansas 10-3 over the final 30 seconds of regulation. Gardner's 3-pointer with 5.6 seconds left tied the game.
Kansas (10-6, 1-2) had a chance to win it when Christian Moody was fouled as he went up for a dunk with 0.4 seconds left in regulation, but he missed both free throws.
The lead changed hands six times in overtime.
Missouri was up 88-86 after Gardner made one free throw with 29 seconds left. The Jayhawks committed a turnover with 2 seconds left when Darnell Jackson couldn't handle a pass from Brandon Rush.
Missouri's Jimmy McKinney added another free throw, and a desperation length-of-the-court shot fell well short, prompting hundreds of yellow-and-black-clad Missouri fans to spill onto the floor.
The Tigers are 3-1 in the Big 12 for the first time since the 2000-01 season. Kansas is 1-2 in the Big 12 for the first time since the conference expanded in 1997.
Gardner entered the game leading the conference in scoring at 20.4 points per game. He scored 30 points in consecutive games earlier this season against Davidson and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
McKinney scored 19 points for Missouri, while Kevin Young had 14 and Marshall Brown 12.
Mario Chalmers led Kansas with 22, while Rush had 14, Moody 13 and Russell Robinson 12. The Jayhawks outrebounded Missouri 42-32.
The lead changed hands 22 times.
Missouri built a 59-53 lead on McKinney's 3-pointer with 9:30 to play. But the Tigers wouldn't make another field goal for more than 8 1/2 minutes as the Jayhawks took a 72-63 lead when Chalmers scored with 1:52 to play.
The rivalry, one of the oldest in college basketball, has been one-sided in recent years, with Kansas winning nine of the last 11. But Missouri has won two straight, helping coach Quin Snyder improve his record against Kansas to 5-10.
Kansas has lost consecutive games to rivals, falling at home to Kansas State last Saturday to end the Jayhawks' 31-game winning streak over the Wildcats.
The game marked the first time since 1991 in which neither team was ranked.

Thanks to Jim Salter, loyal St. Louis AP scribe

kU countdown

With the big game now just hours away, I thought I would share some of the anti-kU vitriol that has been passed on by friends in the last 24 hours:

4:47 a.m.
If Kareem Rush was a true Tiger he would call his own mom tonight and make fun of Brandon. Get the net hats out... MIZ- F*** KU

4:55 a.m.
Stream of profanity about kU that I shall not repeat in this forum.

9:29 a.m.
It's 9:29 a.m. CT and kansas still SUCKS!!

9:35 a.m.
"Our Web orders have picked up greatly," said Doris McLain, supervisor at the Bucknell Bookstore. "We're doing shipping all over the country, but we're really busy sending shirts to Missouri. I don't know what the situation is out there, but whatever it is, it's good for us."
...priceless...Kuck Fansas

10:05 a.m.
You can't spell sucks without kU

12:15 p.m.
Confuscious say: Those who show-off get shown up in showdown. kansas is going DOWN!!!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

It's almost game time Tiger fans... Burn kU!

Guy on the bench

I've finally gotten to the bottom of the "Who is the guy on the bench in street clothes?" question, so I will share the answer so that we can all move on with our lives.

His name is Demetrius Williamson. He used to be on the track team and is a walk-on that is red-shirting this year. Apparently, he helps out the team in practice. Nick Berardini (this year's 12th man on the bench) did the same thing last year.

Tough day all around

Tiger men lose at the buzzer.

No. 24 Tiger women lose in Austin.

No. 9 Tiger wrestlers lose to Iowa, finish in eighth place at dual nationals.

Only good news: wins for the men's and women's swim teams against SMS (yes, for future reference, this blog will continue to refer to them by that name).

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Infamous Big 12 Referees

High praise tonight (Jan. 14) for the Big 12 officials after the Tigers' 74-71 loss to the Colorado. First, the referees FORGET that Marshall Brown is at the foul line shooting a 1-and-1 situation. Brown misses the free throw, but no one moves, including the refs. Brown has time to grab the rebound then miss an 8-foot jumper before anyone realizes what's happening. Then somehow, Missouri retains possession of the ball. Surely, my confusion about how Missouri got the ball had to do with the fact I couldn't hear the TV announcers, but the point remains.

Then the referees made a deplorable travelling call on Thomas Gardner with about 8 seconds left. They somehow ruled Gardner lost his footing when replays (and live action, I might add) showed he began to dribble before his foot came off the ground. The turnover allowed Colorado a final possession, and Chris Copeland drilled a 3-pointer for Colorado, giving the Buffaloes a cheap and undeserved road win. I can't say we should be 3-0 because we missed enough free throws to build a house. In addition, other than Kevin Young, los Tigres can't grab rebounds on consecutive possessions. Oh well, I think the loss to Sam Houston was more of an aberration, and we're better off than we thought.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Born and bred to hate Chickenhawks

By Born-a-Tiger

Since it's 9:30 and I'm at work and have nothing to do, I thought I'd share my Mizzou story... so here's a little about Shawn's love of the black and gold and his incessant hatred for all things crimson and blue (by the way, way to steal your colors from Harvard and Yale. morons):

1) We'll start at the beginning. My grandma went to MU. My great-uncle went to MU. My dad and two of my uncles went to MU. It's kind of in the blood.
2) Six-year old Shawn is picked up from grandpa's house by Dad (Don) on a beautiful March day. Mom being gone, Dad is in charge of dinner. As we pull into the driveway, Dad hands me a bag of oranges. We go inside. Dad turns on the TV and puts it on CBS. I ask what's for dinner. He says I'm holding it. When I ask why we're eating oranges (I was six and didn't particularly like them), Dad says, "Because the MU basketball team is playing Syracuse tonight in the NCAA tournament, and they're the ORangemen, so we hate them." Unfortunately, Rony Seikaly and Derrick Coleman prove too much for the heroic Tigers to handle.
3) 1990-91 season: Missouri has the finest team in the land. Doug Smith is an unstoppable beast, and a lefty from KC—Anthony Peeler—rains 3s upon the Tigers' helpless opponents. Missori wins the Big 8 tourney, crushing a Chickenhawks team that later would go to the Final Four along the way. After that game, I hear Rock... Chalk... Chickenhawk... Screw kU for the first time. Thanks, Dad. Unfortunately, because of violations by insidious former assistant Rich Daly, Missouri is precluded from NCAA tournament play. Then my dad and I have to watch the obviously inferior Chickenhawks race through the tourney. Dammit!
4) 1993-94 season: I'm listening in Orscheln Farm and Home when Missouri beats Coppin State or some equally crappy schoool on a last second 3 by Lamont Frazier. Little did I know it would trigger a 14-0 Big 8 season, followed by an Elite 8 title run. That included two dominant victories against the hated Chickenhawks.
5) 1994-95: Tyus Edney will be condemned to the 9th circle of hell for beating Missouri on that shot. As will the CBS people who put it in their tourney highlights, and Jason Sutherland for forgetting how to play defense for those cursed 4.8 seconds. By the way, UCLA crushes every other team they play. Missouri is the only school that gives them a REAL contest. Dammit.
6) 1996-97: kU, seemingly on it's way to an undefeated season, is defeated in Columbia by one of the worst teams of the Norm Stewart era in 2 OTs. Hahahahahahaha. That March, Mom Reid becomes very angry when, on a routine trip to K Mart, my dad and I watch the entire kU-Arizona game as Arizona exposes the Chickenhawks for the soft, overrated prima donnas they are. Much laughter ensues, until we get to the car. My six-year-old sister gets her first taste of chickenhawk hatred. It sticks.
7) 1998-99: Keyon Dooling dunks over a reeling, scared, running away chickenhawk named Ashante Johnson. Ridiculously, the moronic ref calls an offensive foul against Dooling. kU takes a big lead while Dooling sits, and MU is unable to recover. I curse in front of my father for the first time (f-ing chickenhawks). He just looks at me and smiles.
8) My college era: this already has been covered, so I'll just recap. Hinrich, Miles, Padgett. Things that haven't been covered: Travon Bryant's follow-dunk over All-American Nick Collison in the Big 12 Tournament, followed by a fist pump and a "Bitch." at a now-sprawled-on-the-ground Collison; Cheering violently for Syracuse (even though I've hated them since that first game) in the NCAA title game, and laughing hysterically when kU loses. Cursing in front of my mom for the first time after seeing MU get run by kU in the Big 12 tourney with their NCAA hopes on the line. Shouting, "Go to hell, J.R. Giddens, you cocky bastard." Seeing MU beat kU in the last game I watched in person as a student. Finally, some smiles.

A few closing thoughts... when my dad found out I was dating a girl from Kansas City, his first question was: "They're not kU fans, are they?"... the first time my dad went to said girlfriend's house and saw an MU mailbox proudly adorning the driveway, he said, "This is my kind of place." Nothing can describe the pride I feel when I hear my sister expound on her hatred of the stinking chickenhawks. And finally... I'm Tiger born and Tiger bred, and when I die, I'll be Tiger dead.

Reason for optimism?

Compare Mizzou's record through the first two conference games over the last five years:

9-6 (1-1), went on to lose three straight... finish with NIT loss

6-5 (1-1), went on to lose 4 of next 8... finish with NIT loss

10-3 (1-1), no obvious trend... finish with second round NCAA loss

11-3 (1-1), went on to win 6 of next 8... advanced to the Elite Eight

So far this year, the Tigers are 9-4 (2-0) and the upcoming schedule (CU, kU, @ KSU, ISU, @ NU, UT, @ TT, @ BU) indicates that they should be able win at least four or five of the next eight games. If they play like they did against OU, it's probably more like 6 of the next 8.

To be fair, our schedule this year has been weak and OU may turn out to be vastly overrated. I wouldn't be at all surprised if we see this team suddenly tank like it did in '04 or '03. Still, there is a chance that this team could surprise people. Frankly, I think it all depends on the kU game. If we win that, it will propel the team forward. If not, it could be a long season.

Ah yes, who can forget kU's famous loss to Bucknell? I certainly can't, but I thought I'd remind everyone. We'll be sure to remind the Beakers when they roll into Columbia on Monday.

Thoughts on a Rival

This was sent to me last year by one of my friends -- a former Columbia Missourian reporter and big-time Tiger fan -- shortly before the final kU game of our college years. I've updated some of the information in parentheses, but I think most of it still holds true and serves as a good call to arms with kU coming up on Monday (I'll be there, by the way).

Fellow Chickenhawk haters... It's kU Week.

It's kU Week. It's hard to say how long I've waited for this. I guess you could say it's the culmination of my four years at Missouri, the culmination of four years of bitter hatred for a rival. When I arrived at college, I only had a minor disregard for that school. By contrast, I've been looking forward to this game since November. When I arrived at college, I wasn't a hateful person. This week, my anger and abhorrence have reached a fever pitch.

It's kU Week. In the literature version of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the characters refuse to say the name of Sauron, the ultimate evil of Middle Earth. I hold the name of that state in the same regard, and such will be the consistent tendency for this diatribe, in which I will try to use every euphemism for evil, exhausting my repertoire of angry words. Frankly, they deserve it. Inhabitants and fans of that other school lack all morality and decency.

It's kU Week. It has been next to impossible to pay attention in class this week. Instead of recalling the lecture on Bismarck's rise to power in Germany, all I heard in my head was, "Rock, Chalk, Chickenhawk, Screw kU." But it doesn't stop there. The clever (or not so) sayings about them flowed like water: "M-I-Z, SCREW-k-U" or "Burn kU" or "Can't spell `sucks' without kU." I would look down at my watch, and I heard in my head, "It's (time) and that state still sucks." There are more, I assure you, but decency forbids me from reproducing them in this forum. Of all the fans I've encountered in the past two years, Missouri fans are likely the most nasty and ferocious, wishing nothing but heinous ruin on its opponents. Multiply that anger and outrage by 100,000 this week. Personally, I could go on for days, but again decency and time constraints hinder me.

It's kU Week. The Antlers, probably the most vicious of Missouri fans, took it a step further last year. In the middle of Speaker's Circle, a central location and gathering area on our campus, they proudly paraded and boasted their extreme disgust for that state. A petition circled the area, asking the federal government to remove that state from the Union. They also prominently displayed deprecating signs, such as "Bomb kansas" and "Leave Iraq, Occupy kansas." I'm sure they'll find something equally outrageous to do this week.

It's kU Week. How do you a kU grad of your porch? You pay him for the pizza, and oh yeah, they also forgot the recipe for ice.

It's kU Week. I can be more specific, more direct with my corrosive language; they are certain villains who deserve a larger dose of detestation. They are my Minions of Malevolence...

10. Mark Mangino, head football coach...At the end of the 2004 football season, the Missourian football writers composed an All- Opponent team. Because of his efforts against Missouri on Nov. 20, Mangino was named the All-Opponent coach, and a picture of his bulbous mass of flesh pacing the sideline accompanied the story. More poignantly, though, the jump word of the article was "Terrors," placed just to the left of his photo with a colon after the word. It is certainly a horrific sight, and his presence on the Earth will forever muddy our existence.

9. Roy Williams, former Chickenhawk basketball coach... I couldn't give Roy a higher position on the list. I'm too afraid he'd choke on it. (But it was certainly nice to see Williams stick it to kU by winning his first national title last year at UNC… one year too late)

8. David Padgett, former Chickenhawk center... Dude sent a crushing blow to Missouri two years ago, for he made the winning shot in the game at Missouri, but he showed his true character shortly thereafter. Weeks after that game, he announced his intent to transfer to UNLV. In response to the phrase, "If you can't stand the fire, get out," dude bolted with his stupid little chicken tail between his legs. (I figure he finally just came to his senses…)

7. Christian Moody, Chickenhawk center... Every team's walk-on has a special story; you're no different. No one cares. In addition, Moody missed time last year because of a staph infection on his knee? On his knee? If ESPN is going to tell your story every eight minutes, suck it up and play through some pain.

6. Jeff Graves, former Chickenhawk goon... Graves committed what many consider the cardinal sin in terms of college basketball in the Midwest. A native of Missouri, Graves flew the coup and signed on with Roy and the Chokers. His story got better because of off- court "issues." (In 2003, he was suspended indefinitely for "irresponsibility and lack of respect for the basketball program and his teammates.") Well, he looks like a thug and acts like a thug.

5. Bill Self, Chickenhawk coach... Self went from bad to worse. Self, a known sniveling money-grubbing traitor (the folks at Tulsa will tell you about that), left his post as coach at Illinois to become the head Chickenhawk. That school will be his dream job until some other school ponies up the brass ring. (The best part is, things seem to be falling apart at kU under Self's watch while his old school challenges for the national title.)

4. Drew Gooden, former Chickenhawk guard... Pompous, overrated and an underdeveloped inside scorer, Gooden never did anything more than thump his chest and flap his gums. Seriously, dude, can you show us how strong you are one more time by hanging on the rim?

3. J.R. Giddens, Chickenhawk guard... Riding the stellar game of his teammate Wayne Simien, Giddens spent the majority of the 2004 Big 12 Tournament game against Missouri telling Josh Kroenke he was on the team only because of his dad. Ten dollars says Josh ends life as a more successful person than Giddens, and not because of his father. What a jerk, but I'm not alone on this one. Earlier this season during an atrocious shooting night, Giddens received a rude reception from his home fans. Fed up with his glorified, arrogant play, kU fans booed Giddens and made obscene gestures at him. This guy is a serious waste of precious oxygen. (Little did we know, the best was yet to come. Over the summer, Giddens was stabbed in bar fight and eventually transferred to New Mexico. This was supposed to be his breakout year… some even thought he would enter the NBA Draft. Now, he sits.)

2. Aaron Miles, Chickenhawk guard... Miles is guilty for twice ripping my heart out in home games. He first did it sophomore year, making a desperation 3-pointer with about 1 minute, 30 seconds and the shot clock expiring. Why do I have a contention with this? He wasn't freaking looking at the basket. It got knocked away from him. He tracked it down about 30 feet away, turned and pushed the ugliest shot I've ever seen, and it went in. UNBELIEVABLE! Then last year, he hit a more conventional 3-pointer with about the same amount of time. It came from the left wing, directly in front of where I was sitting on press row. If my shoe were off, I would have thrown it at him.

1. Kirk Hinrich, former Chickenhawk guard… Words can not convey the animosity felt toward him. Neither can derogatory nicknames, many as there are. Page after page would fail to comprehensively summarize Harry Potter's debauchery toward Missouri. I will highlight the most egregious ones. Final seconds of the game in 2002, Hinrich, with Rickey Paulding in his grill, hit the winning 3- pointer as the shot clock expired. Damn. Tough cookies. I can deal with that. It was a great shot; it was what he did next that forever soiled him in the eyes of Missouri fans. He went to center court and held up his jersey to accentuate that school's name. He continued to move his jersey in and out as he skipped (like a girl) off the court right by our cheering section. In addition, I'd like to see him to play defense without holding. I bet you Paulding still has scratches on his arms from where that little wiener grabbed at him... Again, I could on for a long time about him. The transgressions run together. Too many foul memories pollute my recollections.

Let this serve as a call to arms, a call to cheer, a call to support, a call to amplify the hate of our rival. Invest yourself completely in the game. Yell until you can yell no more. Clap until your hands hurt. Heckle until it causes them to come into the stands and hit you. Make this a memorable moment. Make this an unforgettable week. It's kU Week. It's kU Week

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Thomas Gardner injured

Back on topic...

The KC Star is reporting that Thomas Gardner could miss Saturday's game against Colorado because of a mild concussion he suffered in practice. Gardner apparently collided with Marshall Brown in practice while reaching for a loose ball. Gardner leads the team -- and the Big XII, for that matter -- in scoring with 20.2 points a game. Needless to say, the Tigers are likely to struggle without him.

Can't the Bengals catch a break?

I don't mean to go completely off topic, but I have to comment on my hometown Cincinnati Bengals. What will it take for these guys to catch a break? Does the universe hate them?

In case you've been living in a hole, star quarterback Carson Palmer was injured last Sunday on the Bengal's second offensive play of the game. After a 15-year playoff drought, the excitement for Bengals fans lasted less than a quarter. When Palmer was carted off the field, you knew the Bengals were done. Sure enough, the Steelers went on to win.

The more crushing news came today. After surgery, Palmer's doctor said the damage to the knee was worse that he first suspected, calling it a "potentially career-ending injury". The doctor went on to say that he was confident Palmer -- the face of the new Bengals -- could make a full recovery.

But let's be honest here... these are still the Cincinnati Bengals. This is the team that drafted David Klingler, Akili Smith, Ki-Jana Carter and Dan Wilkson with top five picks. This is the team that let Joe Montana drive 90 yards to win the Super Bowl. This is the team that until recently was the laughingstock of professional sports. With such a terrible history, are you really expecting a full recovery for Palmer?

I hope the doctors are right. I really believe Marvin Lewis has the Bengals headed in the right direction and Carson Palmer (if healthy) has the potential to be a franchise quarterback. Maybe he will come back and play even better next season. But fair warning... if he doesn't, it might be a long time before the Bengals make another playoff appearance.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

About this blog

Let me start off by saying that I am a diehard Mizzou fan. I show up at football games in time to watch Marching Mizzou perform the nation's best pregame show, and I stick around Mizzou Arena to sing Old Missouri after the game, even when the Tigers lose. I've traveled all over the Midwest to watch the Tigers play, and I've never left a game early. It's not just about revenue sports: baseball, volleyball, women's basketball, gymnastics, soccer, softball... I've attended all of them in my day. And the good news is, things have started looking up over the last month or two.

But at the end of the day, we all know that being a Mizzou fan is about coming up just short. It's about ALMOST winning the big game. It's about ALMOST scoring when it matters most. It's about an athletic department that ALMOST makes the right decisions. It's about ALMOST getting the refs to be on our side... just once... maybe. Anyone who follows Mizzou sports knows what I am talking about:

-Tyus Edney
-The Fifth Down
-The Flea Kicker
-Steve Young
-Scott Padgett
-Oklahoma's fake field goal
-Ricky Clemons
-Paige Laurie
-Dooling's phantom charge

The list seems to go on forever. So, this blog will attempt to follow the trials and tribulations of being a Mizzou fan. I'll probably also throw in some commentary about other things going on in the world of sports as the mood strikes me. In the end, I will hope one of the Tiger teams proves me wrong. I will hope that Mizzou can bring home a conference or national championship. I will hope that Mizzou will live up to its potential. And I will hope to someday watch a Tiger victory with confidence, not constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. Wishful thinking? Maybe. But I believe it will happen... someday.

The content of this site is primarily written by five recent graduates of the MU School of Journalism and administered by me -- aka Tiger Fan. Thanks for stopping by. Your feedback is always welcome.