One Day Til GameDay

There’s plenty of stuff going on in the sports world like the MLB Playoffs, concussion inducing hits in the NFL (James Harrison is an idiot), and Rick Rypien’s moment of craziness, but really all I can think about is Saturday.  That’s when the College Gameday Crew will descend on Columbia, Missouri for the first time ever.  It won’t be the first time they’ve featured a Mizzou game on their show, but it was always a neutral site or an away game.  This time, they’ll set up the stage in front of The Columns at Jesse Hall during the 99th Homecoming at the place where the Homecoming tradition began.  Apparently the Quad holds up to 24,000 people and school administrators are expecting 15,000-20,000 people.  The record crowd for a College GameDay is 15,808 at a Nebraska Cornhuskers game.

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Danario the Ram!

I try to avoid posting about the NFL as much as possible because Weller has that area covered pretty much all the time.  This one, however, I couldn’t pass on.  One of my favorite players from my alma mater, Mizzou, signed on with my favorite NFL team, the Rams, as an unrestricted free agent…and he should get some playing time.

If you’ve followed this site much, or listened to me talk, I’ve been pushing for the signing of Danario Alexander for a while now.  I figure it’s a low risk-high reward type of move.  Alexander led the NCAA in receiving yards per game last year and was screwed out of passed over for the Biletnikoff Award because he didn’t go to Notre Dame.  About half the people at Mizzou are Rams fans, so this should add some TV sets, as well.

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Friday Night Football

Mizzou's Golden Boy, Blaine Gabbert

Mizzou's Golden Boy, Blaine Gabbert

This is a homer post and I’m going to justify it by saying it was the only game on tonight.  Plus, it’s my blog so I can write what I want.

A quick note here, I have heard from Weller, so after yet another sabbatical, he is on his way back.  Expect more NFL posts later this week.

Now, back to the Mizzou-Nevada game.  As I’ve said several times here before, Mizzou’s new quarterback Blaine Gabbert is insanely good.  Tonight, was the first real road test for Gabbert and the Tigers against a Nevada team that is better than their 0-3 record indicates.  For whatever reason, the Wolfpack decided it would be a good idea to key on the Tigers’ running game which hasn’t found its legs this year and force Gabbert and the Tigers to throw the ball.  They obliged.

Gabbert finished the day with a career high 414 yards and 3 TDs, leading his team to a 31-21 victory.

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My Favorite Things

The other night Weller and I got to sending YouTube clips back and forth about our favorite sports moments(that we remember).  They covered just about every sport from the time I was seven to this past February.  So I figured I would put them all up in one place for everyone to see and discuss and I’m sure there will be much of that.

We’ll start with the easy one:

I could watch that all day.  This is the only proof that I have that the Rams were at one time good.  At the time my Dad and I shared season tickets with some other folks and we had the privilege of being at this game the week before.  Before that 1999 season the Rams had spent four years in St. Louis and were a combined 22-42.  To see our team go from that bad to that good and then win the Super Bowl like that was just awesome.  This is still the most exciting Super Bowl ever, no matter what anyone says.

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Sweet 16 Picks – Day 1

Weller gave his picks for the first two rounds, so now it’s my turn for the Sweet 16.

UConn over Purdue.  I love Purdue, they’re a fun team to watch, but no one is playing better than UConn right now.

Memphis over Mizzou.  If Mizzou can force Tyreke Evans to make bad decisions, they can win this game.   As long as Mizzou doesn’t start out ice cold, as they’re prone to do, this game may be one of the best of the tournament. (I hope I’m wrong here.  Go Mizzou.)

Villanova over Duke.  I love the way Nova is playing right now.  They took a good UCLA team to task and I think their streak continues.

Pittsburgh over Xavier.  I don’t think the Musketeers have enough talent to hang with Pitt for the entire 40 minutes.

Mizzou-Kansas Firsthand

I’ve never been a big basketball fan; just couldn’t get into the sport.  Tonight, I became a little bit more of a fan.

As most of you know, my Missouri Tigers came back to down their hated rivals, the Kansas Jayhawks, 62-60 on a buzzer beater by Zaire Taylor.

I was sitting at the top of the student section for every agonizing second. Continue reading

Big 12 Championship

On Saturday a group of five of us headed up to Kansas City to see the Big 12 Championship Scrimmage.  Most of you probably tuned in for the first half and then turned it off.  I probably would have also, except I was there and couldn’t do that.

picture-179I’m not sure if it showed on TV, but it was about 17 degrees in the stands, which makes a 40 point drubbing even harder to take.  I took two “positives” from the 62-21 loss.  At least we weren’t the only team to get beaten by Oklahoma like that and at least it wasn’t this.  I don’t really feel like talking a whole lot about the game, it wasn’t exactly a bright spot in Mizzou Athletics, but I will mention that the back judge for the game was absolutely terrible.  He missed at least four easy calls both ways.  Of course, none of these calls would have changed the game, but had the game been closer, they might have.  I hope the Big 12 reviews that.

Now, as far as our trip went, we had a great time.  Four of us left from Columbia and met Weller in a Wal-Mart parking lot so we could pick him up and buy a box of hand warmers for the game.  Great idea.

We showed up about 45 minutes before the game, ($22 parking again) and went straight into the stadium.  It was too cold to walk around anywhere else.  The Oklahoma section was full about 30 minutes before kickoff while the Mizzou side filled up just before kickoff.  Maybe that should have been a sign of things to come.  We had a guy behind us who kept yelling, “IN THE FACE!”  at different points in the game, which was odd, but funny at the same time.  Not a whole lot around it, just, “in the face.”

After Chase’s untimely fumble, it was decided that we were not going to win, so we began to try and find the lighter side of some of the fan’s antics.  This brings me to the best part of the whole night.

picture-182After another Oklahoma touchdown an unsuspecting fan comes walking out of the entry ramp with his newly bought nachos and cheese.  I’m not sure what caused this, but he got the very end of the ramp and lost it.  He went headfirst over about five rows of people, spilling nachos and cheese everywhere.  The guy falls in between two rows and disappears for a second, only to poke his head up from the ground to reveal that he got the worst of the cheesing.  He was covered, as were most of the people he had flown over.  It was great.

We left at the start of the third quarter and went to Hooters to watch the rest of the game there.  We were never heckled by any Sooner fans, to their credit.  I guess the 40-point loss was enough.  I hope they crush florida in the Championship Game.

Mizzou at the Olympics

As I alluded to a couple days ago, Mizzou has two athletes competing in the Beijing Olympics: Christian Cantwell and Ben Askren.

A few days ago, Cantwell took the silver medal in the shot put, with a throw of 21.09 meters. After a shocking failure to qualify for the games in Athens four years ago, Cantwell vowed to win gold this time around in Beijing. Several news stories from the local paper in Columbia have him quoted as saying he wouldn’t be happy with a silver or bronze. After seeing him take the silver, he went too his coach and grabbed the American flag and had quite a smile pasted on his face. I’d say he was pretty happy with the silver.

It was just reported on the news that The Diner down on Broadway has a 21.09 meter silver ribbon that fans can come and sign. Maybe I’ll go do that tomorrow after work.

Ben Askren was another first time Olympian, but he was no stranger to high level competition. At Mizzou, Askren became the first Tiger Wrestler to be a National Champion and he did it in back to back years. His senior year, Askren went undefeated and won his second straight Dan Hodge Trophy as the best collegiate wrestler. Askren’s Olympics started with a pin against István Veréb of Hungary. In his round of 16 match, Askren was pitted against Cuba’s Ivan Fundora, the bronze medalist from Athens. Fundora’s experience showed as he beat Askren 3-1 and 4-0. Defending gold medalist Buvaisar Saitiev then defeated Fundora, ending Askren’s hopes at a bronze medal.

In the end, it didn’t actually matter to me how they finished. I really just wanted them to represent the USA and the University of Missouri well. Cliche, I know, but after seeing Usain Bolt’s antics while blowing away the field and after reading about Swedish wrestler Ara Abrahamian’s antics on the medal stand, I didn’t want any sort of similar performance. I was never worried, but it’s always in the back of my mind. Both Ben and Christian made the University of Missouri very proud in their respective events.

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