We begin with an e-mail I received from Atch yesterday:
I’ll be chaperoning a group of fourth graders on a trip to the state capitol during tomorrow’s roundtable, so I offer a few thoughts:
I can’t remember a basketball program ever having two commitments from high school sophomores without a single commitment from a junior or senior (or transfer). I also can’t recall the last time Mizzou had a commitment from a sophomore. Getting those two guys really helps Haith. You can see the path from here to there now.
I have no thoughts on Gabbert leaving other than that it happens, especially when there’s depth and competition at a position.
I think our readers ought to rise to this challenge.
And, finally, how Chris Jones met his wife.
With this e-mail in mind, here are today's roundtable questions:
1. What is more difficult to build: quality depth at defensive tackle (because of the general lack of big-time tackles) or quarterback (because there's a good chance a quality backup will think he should be a starter and transfer)?
2. What do you think will do more to earn goodwill from Missouri fans: Frank Haith throwing together an incredible recruiting class for 2012, or Haith leading a solid (i.e. NCAA Tournament bid and, say, Round of 32 exit) season on the court in 2011-12?
3. Blaine Gabbert, Jeremy Maclin, Sean Weatherspoon, Aldon Smith: One will be a Hall of Famer, one will be an all-Pro, one will be an ok player, and one will be a bust, choose who and why!
4. So what is the drunkest photo ever taken of you? You don't (necessarily) have to produce evidence of it -- just describe it.
The Beef: 1 - Clearly Mizzou has done well at both positions as of late, but I would guess it is actually QB. I think DT’s can be developed, making the pool of them slightly larger. Conversely, while QB’s develop, they look for other opportunities. DT’s develop into players. QB’s develop into transfers. At least that is how it seemed to work out here.
2 - Due to the short-sited’ness of some fans…it would be the first, and then the second. But I think it has to be the first. Even people who are still vehemently against this move recognize (on some level) that Haith’s strength may be his recruiting. However, he has a team on which every member has been to the NCAA’s every season they have been a Tiger. It should not really take too much for this team to get back there next season, but if they do not, I think it will be a long December (or summer I suppose) for Haith next year…and Alden as well.
3 - Tough one…I guess I will go with Spoon as the HOF’er because Maclin seems to have settled into a great role as a very strong #2. I don’t think Aldon revolutionizes the rush end at all, and I think Blaine could be OK when he eventually sees the field. So I will go with Spoon, Gabbert, Maclin (better than an OK player, but I don’t see him making All-Pro) and Aldon.
4 - Since I don’t think pics exist of me from my 21st or while I was in Shreveport in 2003, I will go with a story from my first week of school. Went to a party with a friend…he meets a girl there. Girl is pretty good looking, has a friend who is not. The four of us leave the party, head back to good looking girl’s dorm room in Mark Twain. From there, we head to buddy’s room at McDavid, where I am kicked out of the room to wander back to Wolpers, leaving buddy with good looking girl, and not so good looking girl. Needless to say, nothing happens for my buddy.
Anyway, fast forward to 2000-2001 when I work for the AD. Football player comes into my office…we are chatting…he says he thinks he has seen a picture of me somewhere before. He swears it is not Tiger’s Lair related, and he will bring it in to prove it to me. Next day, brings in the picture. My buddy and I with some makeup on with the two girls from that night…one of which was his girlfriend (and I believe now wife). Had no memory capture of that until I saw the picture. Good stuff.
Bill C.: 1. My intuition is that it's still more difficult to build DT depth, but quarterback is certainly more visible. When Blaine Gabbert got hurt in 2009, and Mizzou didn't have any backups they trusted, it was very, very visible and noticeable on virtually every offensive snap. When Dominique Hamilton got hurt last year, the impact was almost as strong, but we noticed it more in occasional "Well, Opponent A sure has been hurting us on those up-the-middle runs a bit, haven't they..." sentiments. We randomly remembered that Hamilton was hurt; we always remembered that Gabbert was hurt.
2. The recruiting will happen first, for the most part, so how he does in that regard will have some overreaction associated with it; but in the end, people will react most strongly to the product on the court. I crafted the question so that it was basically "exceeding recruiting expectations" versus "exactly meeting on-court expectations," but in the end this first year will still be most strongly judged by how Mizzou does. They don't have to make the Final Four or anything, but they'll certainly need to at least meet expectations. And in what is looking like an extremely down Big 12 in 2011-12, "meeting expectations" will include finishing quite well in conference.
3. I have not been able to lock down my answer yet, and I've been thinking about this way too long. I think Maclin could absolutely be an all-pro, but he's not an HoF'er unless he starts returning kicks, I don't think (and Desean Jackson's doing a perfectly fine job of that right now). I think Spoon could be an All-Pro, but I think HoF'ers do more in their rookie season than he did (injuries aside). I think Gabbert is honestly the most likely HoF'er (because of his abilities and the position he plays) and the most likely bust (because of his instincts and the position he plays). And I have no idea what to think about Aldon's potential. So we'll say....
HoF'er: Gabbert (since he's the only one with a shot, I think)
In five minutes, I will change my mind on all of those.
4. I don't know, Beef, did you take any pictures of me when I was passing out in the cab in Pittsburgh or puking backwards in St. Paul?
The Beef: In fact, I did not…but good to know I was there (and potential cause) for both such instances.
Bill C.: You have long perfected the devil-on-the-shoulder routine. (I also like, by the way, that almost all of my truly ridiculous drunk stories come away from Columbia, where I have spent the vast majority of the last 14 years.)
Doug: 1 - You can get big kids that are conceivably not the most skilled tackles, but who can still take up blockers and play well enough in college since there is the such a dilution of talent. Plus, you can rotate more kids onto the field more often than quarterback, obviously.
2 - Isn't he putting together a class of 2013 right now? I think Seth is right. Fans are totally short-sighted. If he can finish in the the top 4 of the Big 12 and get to the second weekend of the Tournament, then his stock will rise considerably. The reality, he is coming in with a very experience team, however, they are still woefully undersized in the Big 12, and he will have to make that work.
3 - That's too much thinking and reasoning for 7:30 in the morning.
4 - A website like the one Atch found is precisely why I do not get drunk enough to be in pictures like that.
The Beef: Both days were pretty intense FULL days of drinking. In the end, I was (and certainly remain) just bigger than you.
ZouDave: 1 – Defensive Tackle, no question. Depth at QB only takes 3 players spread out across 5 years, in theory, and you’ve got quality depth at the position. And if everything goes well you only need 1, MAYBE 2, ever week. Depth at DT takes 4 players who can legitimately play every week, and there’s not that many 290+ lbs guys to go around to everyone. Yeah, there’s a chance a good quality backup will transfer (case in point, right?) but it doesn’t always happen and there’s lots of good QBs out there. Missouri is still going to have 3 quality QBs this year in Franklin, Glaser and Berkstresser. If we get to the point where Berkstresser is playing, well, then we’ll see I guess. But here’s an alphabetical list of starting QBs who’ve been replaced due to injury in the past like 15 years at Mizzou:
2 – Oooh, excellent question. Honestly, I think a recruiting class for 2012 just because the team we have coming back is talented enough that it should be able to make the tourney and beat a team almost on its own. It will be VERY nice to see Haith do that in his first year, but everyone will still be saying "Yeah, but he did it with ALL Anderson players." If he can go out and snag us a couple of Top 100 players for 2012, knowing we already have a couple of Top 100 players for 2013, then yeah people will people will be showering in Haith Faith.
3 – Maclin will be the Hall of Famer, because I think he’s the most talented of the 4 and will be able to play and contribute for many years. Spoon will be the All Pro, because he’s a beast and will anchor a number of good defenses in his career. Smith will be the OK player, I think it will take him a year or two to acclimate to the NFL and he’s going to have to rely on playing in 3-4 schemes his whole career so he’ll be good not great (sort of like Justin Smith has been, only maybe not quite as good due to a lack of versatility). Gabbert will be the bust, because he’s a QB and it’s pretty much sink or swim at that position.
4 – Well, the drunkest I’ve ever been while being photographed was at my bachelor party. We’d been out for at least 8 or 9 hours and I’d been drinking heavily the entire time (we have a rule amongst us that on special occasions like that, be it bachelor party or milestone birthday or whatever, the guest of honor cannot refuse a drink handed to him as long as the person handing it to him is also drinking the same drink). So when we were finally piling back into the van to go home from the strip club, I couldn’t walk or talk. I remember being poured into the front seat and having the seat belt clicked onto me, and I remember someone saying take his picture. So I looked up and did my best to smile, and the result was my eyes were approximately 3mm open and it was a smile made for jack-o-lanterns. Ugh. Just thinking about that night gives me a hangover.
SleepyFloyd7: 1. Which position can you win more games without a top shelf player? DT. I know it's probably an oversimplification, but without a solid Dos at QB, your entire offense is decimated if Uno goes down.
2. Win now, baby. Send this great class out winners, prove to the fan base that you can coach (because THAT is the biggest concern of the naysayers coming in to the Haith era). Most fans are relatively impressed with the recruiters on the staff, but if they aren't able to take what's here and win now, the dark clouds will remain.
3. Shot at HOF: Gabbert
Shot at Pro Bowl: Gabbert, Maclin, Spoon, Smith (and Ziggy who could be there first)
Shot at OK player: Gabbert, Maclin, Spoon, Smith
Shot at Bust: Gabbert, Aldon
So I have to say Gabbert (HOF), Maclin (Pro Bowl), Spoon (OK), Aldon (Bust)
4. I went to Atlanta several years ago to see a cousin when the Super Bowl was in town. He took me out to some bars, then more bars, then a burrito place, then more bars, then lost me (pre-cellphone days). Through a series of fortunate turns and some drunken divination, I managed to walk my way back to his place 7 miles away. I passed out in his car-park next to his lawnmower. There is a picture.
By the by, happy 23rd birthdays to both JT Tiller and Jeremy Maclin!
ghtd36: Coming to you live from Crunch Time Central at my office -- our mag goes to press at the end of the month -- it's me!
1- I think it's definitely more difficult to build quality depth at the DT spot, since that position is a lot more likely to get its depth exposed. You can survive with a star QB and a mediocre backup; you could be in trouble if you have a star DT and a mediocre backup. And to be real honest, if we're talking about Missouri's system, having a star at the QB spot is a luxury but not a necessity. Look at Chase Daniel, for example: not a tip-top prospect coming out of high school, but turned out OK at Mizzou. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe Brad Smith was the nation's No. 1 (or No. 2...or No. 3...) QB coming out of high school. My point is that if you give me the choice between the nation's top DT and the nation's top QB -- unless this is the next coming of Peyton Manning or something -- give me the DT; the QB spot will manage itself.
2- The problem with hiring Frank Haith instead of Matt Painter or someone with a history of success is that fans are going to demand visible immediate success. If Mizzou had hired Mike Krzyzewski and the Tigers went 15-16 in the first year, Mizzou fans would likely sigh and say, "Alright, but the success is coming." But it's not the case with Haith; Mizzou fans, fair or not, are going to demand wins right off the bat. That said, he's already won me over with his recruiting, but then again, who the hell am I?
3- Jeez, this is a tough one. What the hell, Bill? Usually you give us these layup questions; it's too early to actually think.
As crazy as it might sounds, I think Spoon has the best chance of hitting the Hall of Fame. He's got all the tools to be a dominant linebacker in the league for a 4-5 year stretch, and that's all it takes to get in the Hall. It's a whole lot tougher to get in at QB or WR. So, let's go with this:
4- This is going to sound strange...but I really don't get drunk very much. Like, ever. In fact, I've been living with my brother for two years, and I don't think he's ever seen me drunk. It just doesn't happen anymore; I'm not against it, but when I get to that tipsy point, something in my brain kicks in and says, "Now, sweetie, is this something you really want to deal with for the remainder of the night and tomorrow?" I don't know. It's weird. In any case, I probably haven't been truly drunk in three years or so, but I'm sure I'm in my fraternity's photo album doing something stupid.
The Beef: I believe the last time I was real drunk was Sat of Thanksgiving weekend in 2009 after the Ressel game winner. I was drinking Schlafly Oktoberfest two at a time out of a huge mug…had 8 of those mugs BEFORE going out to the bar….
Before that…it was probably Vegas (with some help from the dried meat)
It might be one more time in there before getting back to Shreveport in 2003…so yeah…4 times in about 7 and a half years. Hell…I barely caught a buzz at the Derby this past weekend, and that was with access to the open bar that accompanies a $750 per ticket evening.
ZouDave: Oh, and it takes something a little more than 4-5 years of dominance to make the Hall of Fame. Derrick Thomas was a dominant linebacker for the majority of a decade and BARELY got in.
Modern Era linebackers in the Hall (guys who played even parts of their careers in the 1980s or after):
Jack Lambert – 9-time Pro Bowler, 6-time All-Pro
Lawrence Taylor – 10-time Pro Bowler, 8-time All-Pro
Jack Ham – 8-time Pro Bowler, 6-time All-Pro
Ted Hendricks – 8-time Pro Bowler, 4-time All-Pro
Mike Singletary – 10-time Pro Bowler, 7-time All-Pro
Derrick Thomas – 9-time Pro Bowler, 2-time All-Pro
Spoon is going to have to be among the class at his position for the better part of a decade to be a Hall of Famer.
SleepyFloyd7: Greg’s song dedication to Haith:
ghtd36: Funny you mention this...does anyone else's significant other have a thing for Sassy Girl Rock (the genre, not some band you've never heard of)? Seriously, it doesn't matter who sings it, if it's about female empowerment, my girlfriend loves it. Carrie Underwood? Alanis? Lisa Loeb? Miranda Lambert? She's absolutely, positively in on all of them.
The Beef: I don’t know if you’ve spent a LOT of time around the Tailgate Queen, but does she strike you as a Sassy Girl Rock kinda woman?
ZouDave: Below is a picture of my significant other:
SleepyFloyd7: If there was one artist whose work I could completely eradicate from the earth, it would be, without a shred of doubt, Alanis Morrisette.
I'm sure she's a very nice woman, and I enjoyed her guest spot on Weeds. But the music has to go.
The Beef: You just hate the thought of her going down on Dave Coulier……in a theatre……
ZouDave: My list would probably start with Hootie and the Blowfish.
ghtd36: Oh, this is a fun game. I think I'd get rid of The Beatles.
OK, OK. For real, I know who I'd eradicate: the Black Eyed Peas. Simply an affront to music.
Bill C.: You went from the person I hate the most in this world to the person of whom I most approve in two sentences.
ZouDave: The main redeeming quality I can come up with for the Black Eyed Peas is that their music gets hot girls onto the dance floor. I know other artists do this, too, but for that reason alone I will let them live. Hootie doesn’t get that same pass.
SleepyFloyd7: But I think the hot girls that have disdain for the Black Eyed Peas are the ones you want. Am I wroong?
ZouDave: Eye Candy is Eye Candy. Not saying I want to marry a chick that dances or has danced to BEP, just saying they’re fun to watch.
Just on Eye Candy probability alone, would you rather choose to watch a girl dance who will rock out to BEP or a girl who is choosing to rock out to Melissa Ethridge? Just sayin’
Doug: Isn't the Insane Clown Posse still "producing" "music"?
ghtd36: I don't count them as a thing.
ghtd36: In-N-Out Burger opens in Dallas today (well, the Metroplex). So the city's going nuts.
And yet...and yet...
/Blasphemy Train pulls into the station
...and yet, I don't think In-N-Out is even the best fast food burger out there.
Bill C.: You just went back to being my least favorite person in the world.
The Beef: And Tepper has lost Bill C. again….
ZouDave: Fine, I’ll bite: Greg, what IS the best fast food burger out there?
ghtd36: OH HAI
People get all bent out of shape about In-N-Out because it comes with a certain aura and mystique because of the secret menu and the fact that it's not available everywhere. And look, I love In-N-Out; it's delicious. But let's not act like this is the greatest thing mankind has ever created, because it's not even unanimously the best burger in the fast food category.
Bill C.: And Hank Aaron wasn't unanimously voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. That doesn't mean it's not the best.
ZouDave: Yeah, best basically just means 1st place. If it has to be unanimous, then there’s no such thing as a best.
ghtd36: Hank Aaron wasn't the best baseball player of all time, but that sounds like it's besides the point.
I just think In-N-Out is a top three fast food burger as opposed to OMG DEFINITELY THE BEST.
ZouDave: I will agree, Hank Aaron wasn’t the best baseball player of all time.
Bill C.: George Brett also wasn't unanimous. So there.
ghtd36: Now you're just being silly.
ZouDave: That’s so weird.
Not even 5 minutes ago, hell not even 3 minutes ago, my friend at work and I were discussing George Brett and were both jokingly saying "best baseball player ever, hands down." It led us to briefly discussing the most accomplished professional KC athletes ever (briefly because you have no other choice).
1 – George Brett
Tied for 2nd – Len Dawson and Derrick Thomas
No other names really matter
ghtd36: Len Dawson or Len Bias?
ZouDave: As long as it’s not Lin Elliot
SleepyFloyd7: Off topic here (have we even been on topic?)
Roots & Blues & BBQ festival is coming back this September 9-10 in Columbia (that's the week of the game at Arizona State). The lineup is pretty great: Taj Mahal, Dr. Ralph Stanley, Robert Cray, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Fitz & The Tantrums, Sam Bush, The Flatlanders, Mavis Staples, and just announced today (one of my favorite bands in the world) these guys:
If you are in town, do yourself a favor and get out to this festival.
ghtd36: A friend of mine (from Mizzou, also lives in Dallas) was back up in Columbia last weekend. I want to punch my friend in the throat.
Bill C.: And oh by the way, Taj Mahal is amazing.
ZouDave: I’ve heard of exactly 0 of those bands.
(Two hours later...)
SleepyFloyd7: I bet your sister has. I hear she gets around...aurally.
The Beef: Wow…out of NOWHERE with the haymaker…
(An hour later...)
ZouDave: It took me an hour to get off the canvas from that one, apparently.
The Beef: Seriously…you got Ricky Hatton’ed
ZouDave: Here’s a funny story for you. It’s not so much funny as it is true, and not as much a story as it is me rambling, but nevertheless.
My sister and her husband just moved into a new home over the weekend. The home they were in was absolutely beautiful, because she and her husband (read: her husband) have a ton of money. It was a very, very nice house it just wasn’t overly big. Now that their kids are 5 and will be starting school soon, they decided they needed a bigger house.
Well they’ve accomplished that.
The house they moved into is over 6000 sqft, 5 bedrooms, 7 bath, has a theater with a 8’ screen in it, has 9 plasma TVs mounted throughout the home (they were included in the purchase) plus it has a huge pool out back with a cabana that features a full bar, kegerators already built in, another big screen TV in the cabana, and its own sand volleyball court. All of this sits on 2.5 acres in southern California (Westlake Village, to be exact).
I’ve seen pictures, and I go to visit in July. Can’t wait.
So the funny part is when she told me what the previous owner did for a living. I can’t remember his name, but he is one of the more lucrative and successful pornography movie producers in North America. They’re moving out of the house because he and his wife no longer need that big a house, since his 3 daughters are all now in college or beyond. I figure it’s karma giving him 3 daughters. My brother-in-law has dubbed it "The House that Porn Built". My sister said she was having the entire house professionally cleaned at least 3 times before they moved in, because the majority of the furniture and other furnishings were included in the sale price.
So…there you go. My sister now lives in a house once owned by a porn maker. Why on earth did I just tell everyone that?
ghtd36: End the roundtable. It's over. The Internet will implode if we start trying to make all of the jokes applicable to this one.
Bill C.: "I can't remember his name, but he is one of the more lucrative and successful pornography movie producers..."
Don't lie, Dave. You remember his name.
ZouDave: Lol, I really don’t. I mean, why would I know the producer’s name?
If she’d bought Jenna Haze’s house or something…yeah, different story.
Doug: You did tell her we're all coming to visit, right Dave?
I'm thinking the first ever Rock M Nation Road Trip.
ZouDave: I did tell her that I plan on watching the entirety of 2012 March Madness from the Cabana next year, and that my friends were coming with me. All she said was "Well, that’s what it’s there for."
So I think that’s a yes.
The Beef: I believe the 2012 Vegas reunion tour has been moved to CA….
ghtd36: Am I invited?
The Beef: Since only one person here was actually on the original 2007 Vegas Tour, I see no reason not to blow out the invite list.
Doug: Oooo... that does look nice.
ZouDave: And here’s where I say:
"I said ‘friends’, guys."
And Doug and Greg can argue about which one I’m talking about.
ghtd36: Oh, no, I know you're talking about me.
ZouDave: I want to invite the corn dip from the Homecoming tailgate.
The Beef: Well..that means Ross’s mom and my wife get an invite!
ghtd36: I'm going to distance from this, as Ross' mom is a saint.
The Beef: And my wife?......
Bill C.: This just got awkward.
ghtd36: So many ways to attack this one, but let's take the best way:
If we were ranking members of your family, it'd be a tie at the top between your wife and your lovely daughter.
ZouDave: Why are you talking about his wife and daughter like that?