Perspective and positivity. Generally speaking, it's what we do.
But right now, they're both pretty damn hard to come by. Yes, it's a young team, but seeing so many mistakes from so many vets is disconcerting.
Much more to come in the next 24 hours.
1. Danario Alexander is turning himself into a pretty high draft pick. What a game he had. Knowing what he's been through to get back to playing at this level, it's just a wonderful thing to see. He now has 71 catches this season for 1,038 yards and 8 touchdowns. Assuming Missouri makes a bowl game (it WILL still happen), Danario has four games remaining. At his season rate, after 13 games he'll have 103 catches, 1,499 yards, and 12 touchdowns. WOW.
2. Great offensive gameplan by Baylor. They thought they could beat us deep when few teams had tried, and after some success on the sideline-to-sideline stuff, they took some chances...and they worked. Mizzou was great against the run, but Baylor just had the secondary in pure react-not-act mode. And when Carl Gettis went out, we once again learned of the all-or-nothing nature of Mr. Robert Steeples. He is a great young athlete who can hit and tackle ... but he's been burned deep multiple times this year (against Nebraska and Oklahoma State for sure, only Jasper Simmons saved him against OSU). Of course, he wasn't alone. Kevin Rutland got burned horribly, and The Carl Gettis Treatment even got burned for a 30-yarder before leaving the game to injury.
Which, of course, brings up another point: losing Jasper Simmons and Gettis KILLED us. Even with Gettis not being as good as we thought he was going to be a couple of years ago, he is still very clearly our #1 corner, and Baylor had the speed and balls to make us pay for our inexperience and/or lack of speed.
And by the way, I cannot overemphasize how great Nick Florence played today. I mentioned during this week's preview that I thought he was pretty decent for such a young QB. Today he was outstanding for any QB of any experience level. He threw about three bad passes all night, and none of those were killers. And mentally, I really can't think of a single thing he did wrong. He was great.
3. There were two main goals for 2009: 1) win the North and 2) make a bowl. Obviously goal #1 is on thin ice to say the very least, but #2 is still not only possible but likely. This game absolutely sucked, but there's still plenty to play for this year. We know this, but a reminder's nice occasionally.
4. Catch the freaking ball. I mean, CATCH THE FREAKING BALL. Man oh man. Drops potentially made the difference against Oklahoma State (among other things, of course), and now they did the same today. After Blaine Gabbert looked shaky in the third quarter, he stepped up his game in the final 15 minutes ... and the WRs did not follow suit. Jared Perry and Jerrell Jackson both had DEVASTATING drops, and then Danario even joined in later on. This is unacceptable. I love the one-handed catch Jackson made last year, and clearly both Danario and Perry had good overall games, but ... this is the ninth game of the year. You know Gabbert throws hard. You should be used to it by now. Gabbert tried to lead, but he still needs guys who are getting a free collegiate education for their ability to catch the ball ... to catch the freaking ball. This is my single biggest concern for 2010: who the hell does Gabbert go to when Mizzou needs to complete a pass?
5. Baylor played wonderfully, but there's still no way they should have won this game. So many defensive mistakes, and another third quarter disappearance by the offense. But you know what? S*** happens. Ask Iowa, Oregon, and Notre Dame fans. And USC fans, for that matter. Teams lose games they should have won. It's frustrating as hell. And for football, where there are only 12 games instead of the 30+ in basketball, one frustrating loss is magnified considerably. It truly is annoying, but ... well, no matter what lessons this Missouri team needed to learn today, the ridiculously self-entitled Missouri fans around me needed to learn a bigger one. These last five years, we have won at a consistently higher level than in any decade of our existence other than the 1960s. But we are not owed anything, and s*** is going to happen to us just like it happens to everybody else. You get frustrated, you drive home, you stick in your 2007 highlight video, you go to bed, and you get up the next morning.
And to the older gentleman sitting behind me at the game ... sweet jesus, if Missouri makes you this miserable, just don't come back. Ever. I beg you. You can have your miserable time at home in front of the television (well, not this game, but you get my point), spending much less money in the process, and you won't ruin my f***ing day worse than the game itself does. Seriously, please never come back. One would think you'd have had enough life experience by this point to realize what is and is not important in life, but clearly not.