Tuesday, January 17, 2006

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."

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