Back in October, during the GameDay run-up, I wrote a positive little thing that seemed to garner some praise and sparked some decent discussion. A couple of other times later on in the football schedule I sat down to do it again, and never felt comfortable with where I was going with it, or the sentiment contained within. Ctrl A. Delete.
So, as a kind of post mortem for 2010, I humbly submit another attempt.So, it happened. I try to avoid it as much as possible, and my job allows me plenty of distractions to keep me un-focused on any particular sports-chump-of-the-moment. But it was halftime of the Insight Bowl and I wasn't behind the bar, and a guy at the table near where I was sitting was absolutely skewering Gabbert & Pinkel with all the naive, conventional wisdom, banal group-think that RMN struggles valiantly to avoid.
The INT in the end zone. Down a touchdown. Pinkel can't win a bowl game. Gabbert sucks, why, even Brad Smith was better, maybe even, what was that guy's name, Kobe, Corby, yeah he was better, too. Obviously Chase was the best. Typical Missouri. What a sucky bowl. I hope Gabbert leaves, but he's not getting drafted. Defense can't stop anybody.
With my best Clint Eastwood stare-into-the-sun-even-though-its-not-in-my-eyes look, I slowly turned and summoned my inner RMN Jedi. I destroyed this kid. Slowly. Methodically. Point by painful point. Logically. I walked him through the program, the ups and downs. The stats, the lineups, no fullback, Darius Outlaw, Kirk Farmer, the competition,. Pinkel and Christensen's fateful no-hudddle, we're running the spread, damn-the-torpedos decision. The recruiting. The draft picks, what it takes to succeed on Sundays, and Chase vs. Brad vs. Blaine. The wins. (And yes, the losses, too.) Why "this next guy after Gabbert" shouldn't have started at Tech. Every answer I coaxed out of him was contradictory to his previous ranting at the table. He conceded, and I pounced. He conceded, and I moved on to the next wrongful assumption. He conceded and back-tracked some more.
I felt good. I was positive and my fanhood was shiny and purring. The Tiger-ness was staggering.That INT should have been a TD after a successful drive. Iowa is not a second half team. Yost learned from last year, and it showed on that last drive: Take what they're giving you. The defense will hawk the ball, given the chance. They have no depth, we'll wear 'em down. Let's go, Tigers.
However. Everyone at the table was staring at me, and the kid seemed pretty embarrassed. Some other tables nearby had leaned over to listen and gape. Silence. More silence.
I realized that I had become the OTHER tail of the bell-curve. The lunatic fringe of sanity. So prepared, and so rational as to be the killjoy. One of his friends said, "Well, I guess he pretty much just showed you." Even more silence. Damn. I sighed and turned back to the TV for the second half.
All of this was followed up with the tedious hour of discussing the "BS" dropped pass replay reversal. Sure, it stinks. But with the help of some RMN-author/contributor tweets, I even deflected and managed to instill some sanity into that (albeit, drunken) discussion. The sober, rational killjoy.
Every fanbase is hungry. I get it. Every fanbase wants their team to succeed. And every fanbase has their favorite (and not so favorite) memories and former players.I get that, too. But now, I backtrack. I concede my point. The Mizzou fanbase, while seemingly admirable in the glaring spotlight of national GameDay exposure, has reverted and regressed. There are no shades of gray. There is no articulate debate. Its "ether we win a national championship this year, or fire the coach, they're all bums". We can't be "just successful ENOUGH" for the general populous of Mizzou fans to be happy.
And now, I feel like that kid. Missouri fans: Thanks. "I guess you pretty much just showed me."
p.s. The first living breathing human being to even stray in this same direction in regards to the Tiger Basketball program or CMA, will lose two of those adjectives. RMN Sith Lord.
p.p.s. I'm sorry to that table. I doubt (based on your preconceived notions and lack of introspection about the program you call yourselves fans of) that any of you come here, but in general, throwing it out to the fates and the powers that be: I'm sorry.
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