This post is sponsored by Labatt Blue, who invites you to visit RefreshmentDuo.com, where you can enter to win a ticket for you and a friend to attend a massive concert and party with the Refreshment Duo and Blue Light girls.
If the folks at Labatt Blue Light are looking around the college sports landscape for a twosome as refreshing as the Blue Light Refreshment Duo, they'll understandably be hit with a veritable list of quarterback/receiver combos, talented basketball backcourts, and everything in between.
But if you're looking for a duo that's truly refreshed the college landscape at the University of Missouri, you need not look solely the athletes. At Mizzou, it all starts at the top with a man in a visor and a man in a suit. I talk, of course, about head coaches Gary Pinkel and Mike Anderson.
Sure, the two coaches could pick from a litter of their own refreshing duos. Pinkel could boast Daniel to Maclin, Rucker and Coffman, or even the offensive minds of Dave Christensen and Dave Yost. One might even go as far as saying that Sonny Riccio to Victor Sesay may have been the most unexpected refreshing moment in Missouri football history in decades.
Make no mistake, Anderson has his choice of recent history, as well. Leo Lyons could have been a refreshing duo unto himself when "Good Leo" and "Bad Leo" both made appearances. Good Leo and DeMarre "Junkyard Dog" Carroll were the most refreshing frontcourt at Mizzou since Arthur Johnson roamed the paint. And when it comes to big shots, tough defense, and all the testicular fortitude you could imagine, how about the duo of Zaire Taylor and J.T. Tiller?
But, no, today is the day we give the men in charge their due. For all of the grief he receives from media and message boarders, Pinkel ranks third on Missouri's all-time coaching wins list with 67. In the last three seasons, Missouri averaged 10 wins and made two Big 12 Championship appearances. The Tigers have ranked no lower than second in the Big 12 North since 2003, as the recent string of solid play has brought Pinkel's winning percentage at Missouri to .593.
For Anderson, the basketball's teams wave of refreshment is still, for a lack of a better word, fresh. Pinkel inherited a team that had trouble on the field; Anderson inherited a team that had trouble everywhere. Just as Anderson's new brand of basketball reinvigorated Mizzou, his commitment to character reinvigorated Columbia's love of basketball and its trust in that program. A new breed of players refreshed the community, and four NCAA tournament wins in two years refreshed the image of Missouri basketball.
Make no mistake, the two coaches have brought a big wave of refreshment for Mizzou athletics. And, for that, we salute them.