-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?...