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"SEC Storied: Norm" premieres on SEC Network

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It begins at 8:00 p.m. CT.

The "SEC Storied" series touches on another Mizzou topic this evening when it premieres "Norm" at 8:00 p.m. CT on SEC Network. A public screening at Mizzou Arena on Friday revealed it to be exactly the festival of reminiscence you would hope for from a piece like this.

"When Fritz Mitchell was involved as the director, I was worried that the only thing that might happen is I would damage his career," Stewart said. "I knew he would do a good job. They were in Columbia three times. It went from 30 minutes to an hour. It kind of reminded me of the old joke that some people can’t yawn in 30 minutes." [...]

Stewart’s sense of humor was always the flip side of his cantankerousness. As the film recalls, even when he thought he was on death’s door after collapsing on a flight to Oklahoma in 1989, he told a frightened bench-warmer not to worry, that interim coach Rich Daly wouldn’t be playing him any more than Stewart would have. Also included is an extended remembrance of the unfortunate 1987 rap video "Cats From Ol’ Mizzou," which produces cringes no matter how many times it’s been watched.

Aside from basketball, "Norm" is also a love story about Norm and Virginia Stewart. She describes Norm as a "teddy bear." The film ends with two of the Stewarts’ grandsons playing the piano and singing the song "I’ve Always Known That Now," which Norm wrote for Virginia.

Norm is still clicking right along at age 81, 17 years after his retirement. The past and present for Mizzou Basketball have butted heads of late, with the controversial hire of Kim Anderson and Anderson's subsequent struggles. But maybe that makes this documentary well-timed. Just as Missouri basketball will be good again one day, we get to look back at a time when the Tigers were just that. And we'll get Norm Stories. So many of us have them. That's worth tuning in for.