Though we've still got the Women's College World Series to look forward to, we've just about reached the summer doldrums. We can only talk so much about the 2011 football season (and trust us, we'll be talking plenty about that). But in the meantime, let's explore a topic that makes Mizzou fans, Mizzou fans: suffering.
I've said many times that I've grown tired of the "typical Mizzou" attitude that begins to prevail anytime Mizzou loses a big game or suffers an unlucky bounce. It is a crutch of self-pity that needs to be eradicated. But that doesn't mean I think Mizzou fans should ignore the often creatively painful moments that have defined this school's athletic moments. Instead, we should embrace them. They have equipped us to handle the mundane pain that might take down a less-tested bunch and prepared us to more fully appreciate the good moments than just about any other fanbase in college sports. It is our badge of honor.
So let's take the lead from Rocky Top Talk's Vol Villains series. Over the next three days, we'll be taking nominations in three major categories: 1) killer losses, 2) hated opposing players/coaches, and 3) miscellaneous pain. There are spots for 32 nominees in total, and we will announce the official bracket this weekend. From Matt Davison to Matt Painter, from Bert Coan to Billy Tubbs, from Tyus Edney to Tony Van Zant's knee, it's time to celebrate some sublime suffering.
Today, we take nominees in probably the largest category of the bunch: the losses. The stomach punches, the surprises, the tailspins. We could probably create an entire 64-game tournament out of just this list if we wanted to. I'll get the list started with the most obvious of choices, then it's your turn to nominate the rest. I'll update the list throughout the day.
Football: 1960 Mizzou-Kansas
Basketball: 1990 Mizzou-Northern Iowa
Football: 1990 Mizzou-Colorado
Basketball: 1995 Mizzou-UCLA
Football: 1997 Mizzou-Nebraska