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Mizzou 25: Harold "Spider" Burke Regional (Quarterfinal #1)

UPDATE: Called after 84 votes. Pig wins, 88%-11%.

It's Mizzou 25, the tournament to decide the best, most influential, most likable Mizzou athlete of the past 25 years! It's like Who's Now or The Greatest Highlight, only, uhh, cool.

Mizzou 25 is set up in four 8-athlete regions: the Norm Stewart Region (basketball), the Larry Smith Region (football), the Joann Rutherford Region (all sports), and the Spider Region (fan favorites). Here's the Mizzou 25 bracket in all its resplendent glory.

One region left, and then it's on to the Sweet 16! Here are the matchups for the Spider Regional...for this regional, vote with your heart, not your head.

3/10: Jed Frost (Basketball) vs Pig Brown (Football)
3/11: Devin West (Football) vs Brian Grawer (Basketball)
3/12: Demontie Cross (Football) vs Christi Myers (Volleyball)
3/13: Mark Atkins (Basketball) vs Matt Pell (Wrestling)

Jed Frost vs Pig Brown




The Boy: Jed Frost represents all the Nick Berardinis, Ryan Kiernans, and Mark Wamplers of the world in this bracket. A vote for Frost is a vote for all the short white guys with no athletic scholarship who put themselves through hell for years just so they can hear their names chanted in blowouts and maybe make a 3-pointer or two. Granted, there's gotta be some benefit in knowing that, if you ever do get into a game and do anything good, it becomes the highlight of the evening. But there's no guarantee that you'll ever get your moment to shine. And if you get too many moments to shine, chances are that a) somebody got suspended and things aren't going too well for your team, b) multiple scholarship players aren't doing enough to earn the scholarship and things aren't going too well for your team, or c) you're playing far too many cupcakes, and things probably won't be going well for your team in the near future. Frost actually played some serious minutes for a squad that averaged 22 wins a year during his career.

Few walk-ons are Tommy Saunders or Colin Brown. Most are Brian Dailey. However, Frost is the representative in the Spider Regional because he earned enough respect from Norm Stewart to actually get some non-blowout minutes for a few decent teams in the early-'90s. For his career, he played 561 minutes in 79 games and scored 136 points, dished 64 assists, grabbed 40 boards, and yoinked 31 steals. None of these totals would be impressive for some three-star recruit, but walk-ons become beloved quickly, and the fact that people still know and remember the name of Jed Frost tells you he did quite a few things right.
Rptgwb: If you were to build a human out of the 2007 football team, it might look something like this: Chase Daniel was the face, Gary Pinkel the brains, Lorenzo Williams the mouth, William Moore the hands, and Martin Rucker/Chase Coffman the "juevos." But only one player was the heart: Pig Brown. Our fair Cornelius may have saved Mizzou's season on several occasions before anyone even knew how special of a season it would turn out to be. Against Illinois, his 100+ yard fumble return was a 14-point swing that completely changed the momentum of that game. Later, his interception iced it and gave Mizzou its signature non-conference win. Once conference play began, Pig was all over the field. Against Nebraska, his thundering (albeit illegal) hit on Maurice Purify helped set the tone in the secondary for the unit to become one of the most punishing in the Big 12. Against Texas Tech, where the physicality of his secondary became VERY apparent, Pig turned the "Air Raid" offense into his personal playground. He finished the day with 14 tackles, 4.5 of them for loss, as well as a pick and two breakups. His injury against Iowa State could have been devastating, but both Pig and the Tigers refused to let "Brian Smith syndrome" kill the momentum they'd built early in the season. His emotional contribution to his team and the program was actually most apparent when Gary Pinkel broke his own rule to allow the injured Pig to travel to road games, helping spur Mizzou to a 55-10 thumping of Colorado in Boulder. Pig may have only been on the field for eight games in only one year with Mizzou, but for a website that loves stats like "points per play," I'd be hard pressed to find someone with more "contribution to the program per appearance" than Pig Brown.