By Tiger Fan
After a wild weekend of baseball, Mizzou is still alive in the
Both games went down to the wire as I listened intently on my computer. Friday night, Trevor Helms was robbed of the game-tying RBI in the ninth when the Pepperdine second baseman made a diving stop and threw him out by inches. A painful loss. Saturday, J.C. Field chugged home for the go-ahead run in the 14th and the Tigers sealed the victory with double play in the bottom of the inning. A thrilling victory.
Most fans have experienced both of these sensations and that’s what makes sports so great. You never know what is going to happen. Yes, it seems like Mizzou fans often get the agony more than thrill (see: Tyus Edney, the Fifth Down, the Kicked Ball… all before my time as a tiger fan), but we’ve had our thrilling moments too. It’s hard to say at this point where this weekend’s games fall in my history as a sports fan, but below are my 10 most thrilling moments (sometimes a moment, sometimes a whole game) and my 10 most agonizing losses. I’m sure some of the Tiger fans out there have shared these moments. Check out my list and feel free to discuss your own memories in the comments section.
Thrill of Victory:
- Mizzou-Nebraska – October 11, 2003
It had been 25 years since Mizzou beat
- Mizzou-kU basketball – March 6, 2005
As a senior at Mizzou, I had endured four long years without ever being on hand to see the Tiger beat kU. After years of seeing talented Tiger teams fall apart against the beakers, I wasn’t optimistic when the highly ranked gayhawks came calling against the NIT-bound Tigers. But then Jimmy McKinney got hot. So did Thomas Gardner. Mizzou got out to a big lead and withstood a late kU rally for the 72-68. Yellow Suit Guy, The Nethead, Tiger Fannette and I helped lead the charge as the students rushed the floor. Truly an amazing way to finish up my college career.
- Texas A&M beats Kansas State for the Big XII title – December 5, 1998
The No. 10 Aggies (who I’ve cheered for since birth) trailed No. 1 by 15 as the fourth quarter began, but the Aggies tied it at 27 with just over a minute to play. The Aggies dragged down a K-State receiver at the two-yard line as time expired, sending the game to overtime. On third-and-17 in the second overtime, Aggie running back Sirr Parker caught a quick slant, eluded a tackle and raced 32 yards for the game-winning touchdown. I went crazy with my parents in my living room. Our dog was even jumping around. After that, all I remember is running through my neighborhood with a Texas A&M flag. It was bedlam.
- Mizzou-kU basketball – January 16, 2006
In the midst of another mediocre season, Tiger Fannette and I returned to
- Reds sweep the A’s to win the World Series – October 20, 1990
If I had been more than seven years old, this would probably be higher up on the list. The Reds weren’t supposed to have a chance, but they won four straight games instead. I remember that my grandparents were staying with me and I was allowed to stay up late to see the game, which was being played in
Bowl – December 30, 2005 Independence
Anyone who saw this game knows that it started out as an “agony of defeat” story. As I sat at my home in
- Mizzou-Oklahoma State basketball – February 24, 2004
In the midst of a disappointing season, I actually thought about not going to this game. I had to work at the Missourian all day, so I wasn’t able to get there in time to secure my usual front row Zou Crew seat. In fact, I got there right before tip off and watched my first and only game from the
- Mizzou-SEMO baseball – April 30, 2003
This isn’t a game many people remember (mainly because there weren’t many people there – the official attendance was 619, but that seems hard to believe), but it’s one of my favorite Mizzou memories. The Tigers trailed SEMO 10-6 going to the bottom of the ninth and most of the fans who did show up started filing out early. But I stayed put with three of my friends and we were handsomely rewarded. The Tigers clawed their way back into it and Ryan Rallo hit a game-winning two-run homer into the left field bullpen with two strikes and two outs to give Mizzou an 11-10 win. We went crazy, running up and down the bleachers and screaming like crazy. The win was made even sweeter by the fact that the SEMO fans in front of us had been giving us a hard time all game long. Truly a great moment.
- Mizzou-SLU basketball – December 3, 2001
This was my first – and best – experience watching a Mizzou road game at a
- Albert Pujols steals the soul of Brad Lidge – October 17, 2005
I’m not going to pretend to be a Cardinals fan. But I watching last year’s NLCS at Mike Duffy’s Sports Bar in
-Honorable mention: Reggie McNeal completes a Hail Mary touchdown at the end of the first half against Oklahoma State, my alma mater Lakota East beats West at basketball for the first time in school history, MU beats kU in the 2003 Big XII Tourney, Mizzou makes the Elite Eight by beating UCLA
Agony of Defeat:
- “A dagger in the heart of everyone” – January 8, 2006
The Bengals hadn’t been in the playoffs in more than a decade, but Carson Palmer and Chad Johnson led a high-powered offense that had
- The last game at
– March 7, 2004 Hearnes Center
The scene was set for a story-book farewell. The Tigers were playing the archrival beakers. Mizzou was saying good-bye to four great seniors (Rickey Paulding, Arthur Johnson, Josh Kroenke and Travon Bryant). We needed the win to make the NCAA tournament. It should have been a perfect ending to the decades of basketball at the
- Kirk (bleepin’) Hinrich – March 9, 2003
The AP recap of the game begins like this “
- Super Bowl XXIII – January 22, 1989
Again, if I was more than five years old, this might be a more traumatic moment for me. As it is, Joe Montana’s game-winning 92-yard drive with 3:02 to play against the Bengals is one of my earlier memories. To be fair, I don’t actually remember the game (although I’ve seen the highlights) but I remember three things: a) My favorite player at the time, Tim Krumrie, got hurt, 2) The Bengals lost, 3) Everybody we were watching the game with (I believe a church gathering) was really bummed. Now I understand why. The only thing I could think of that would be worse is if the franchise quarterback had his knee blown out on a freak play… oh wait…
- The Fake – October 5, 2002
It was Brad Smith’s coming out party. He carried the ball 26 times for 213 yards and two touchdowns while adding 178 yards and another score through the air. Mizzou trailed
- The Unlucky Block – January 20, 2004
Let’s set the stage: Mizzou leads No. 14 Texas 61-58 in
- MU-kU football – November 20, 2004
Mizzou had everything to play for: a shot in the Big XII championship game, Senior Day, a rivalry game against the beakers, and a chance to overcome the embarrassment of blowing a 21-0 lead against KSU two weeks before. On a personal note, it was the last home football game of my college career. As usual, I braved the cold and stood shirtless in the front row of Tiger’s Lair despite the cold. Unfortunately, the Tigers failed to grasp the importance of this game. In fact, they pretty much didn’t show up. The Tigers trailed 21-0 at halftime and ended up losing 31-14. We took out our frustrations on small plastic megaphones that had been given out to the student section. When Rocky Mountain Tiger stopped by to see us near the end of the game, there was a graveyard of megaphones that had been crushed on the brick wall above Dan Devine’s name. Buried with them was Mizzou’s chance at a bowl game.
- MU-Iowa basketball
This one also requires the scene to be set: Mizzou entered the game 9-0 and ranked No. 2 in the country. So many students stuck around
- MU-kU baseball – May 27, 2006
This one is only a week old. Playing for a spot in the Big XII title game – and presumably with their season hanging in the balance – Mizzou battled back to tie the game at 3, only to blow it in the ninth. The Tigers gave up the winning run without the ball ever leaving the infield. He reached on a walk and advanced to second on a bunt. Then, with two outs, he reached third on an error at third base by Zane Taylor (who was only in the game because Brock Bond had been thrown out after starting a bench-clearing brawl). Then, the unthinkable. On a routine groundball, Tiger shortstop Gary Arndt tripped over his shoelaces and the throw to first was (arguably) late as the winning run scored. The Tigers went quietly in the bottom of the inning. I was at home in
- 2006 NCAA Championship – January 4, 2006
This may seem like an odd choice, but I hate texas so much that seeing them win in one of the greatest college football games ever played drove me crazy. I was watching the game alone at Fannette’s apartment (she had gone to bed) and I really had to bite my tongue to keep from waking her up. Pillows were thrown. The floor was pounded. What had started out as a casual night of sitting on the couch watching football ended up with me six inches from the TV, living and dying with every possession. I can’t imagine what it must have been like to be a USC fan that night. Of course, I guess they do have another national title to fall back on… something I can’t say I have ever experienced.