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Missouri Tigers News: The legend of the Rock M

Mizzou News for Tuesday, November 26

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Time for some good old-fashioned nostalgia, featuring the Rock M

Late last week, Peter Baugh put out a phenomenal post on my favorite paid subscription site, The Athletic, about the rock M. You know what I’m talking about... that giant block M made up of a bazillion stones — whitewashed each year by members of the freshman class— that is positioned in the (cursed?) north end zone. Did you know that it’s been around since (checks notes)... 1927 when members of the freshman class carved them from stone leftover from Memorial Stadium’s construction? Newsflash- I didn’t. Regardless of if you know how it got there, you know you have a memory of it.

Yeah... this one. Our namesake.
Photo by Scott Kane/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Missouri football might not have the history of a powerhouse program — it’s never won a national championship or boasted a Heisman Trophy winner — but it has a beloved fixture in the end zone. It’s a monument to which fans cling, a constant in a stadium that’s seen plenty of change.

Not only is getting a picture near the Block M a necessity for any fan, young or old, but taking a physical piece of it with you, as the seniors get to do at the end of every season, is a tradition that many hold on to forever. Head Coach Barry Odom (LB, 1996-99) keeps his in his office. Former Missouri Governor Jay Nixon keeps his, which Barry told him to take in 2016, at his Clayton law office.

Former TE Sean Culkin remembers picking a boulder-sized one and then climbing on the shoulders of Paul Adams and Alec Abeln after a comeback win against Arkansas in what was otherwise a disastrous season.

He reflected on the workouts he’d done next to the M. He thought about how much he’d grown since the first time he saw it. In that moment, Culkin wasn’t thinking about the team’s underwhelming record. And when he looks back on his senior year, he thinks of that night — a near-perfect ending.

“I would go as far as to say if we lost that and that didn’t happen, I would look back on my experience at Mizzou completely differently, as crazy as that sounds,” Culkin said. “But it had a huge effect on players that love Mizzou for what Mizzou stands for.”

Despite how disappointing this season turns out, and yes — there’s no denying that feeling we likely all have, just like the one Sean Culkin and his teammates undoubtedly had — I love that those that have given their time and energy to this University (players, band members, cheerleaders, student trainers, etc) get to take a piece of history with them.

You can read this damn delightful piece of nostalgia right in full right here... if you’re a subscriber. As I continue to shout from the mountaintops, if you haven’t tried out The Athletic yet, here’s a link to a seven day free trial— I highly recommend it, and NO, I don’t get a kickback.

On to the links!

(By the way, if you’re wondering why you’re seeing my byline on Tuesday, Josh is on vacation and I’m filling in, so I may not be going quite to the normal Karen levels of extra-ness... semi-apologies)

Yesterday at Rock M

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Well... that didn’t go like anyone was hoping. Dru was great, doing Dru things, but many others that we have come to count on? Let’s not continue those performances, ok? The good news is— they get to play again tonight at 6pm vs Oklahoma! (side note: if Bryce Drew is going to call that game too, can he please learn to say Cuonzo’s name?)

  • Special Olympics participants were guests at the women’s game on Sunday. Love it!

Other Mizzou-related news:

  • Softball: Look good, play good.
  • Cross-Country: Thomas George wrapped up his NCAA season with a 124th place finish in the NCAA Championships. Said his coach, “Thomas battled hard today after a fall off the starting line. He got himself up into the top 50 at 2k. The course conditions were tough for everyone today and hats off to those that beat Thomas...” Read more on
  • If you’re looking to sign up for ESPN+, Rock M Nation now has an affiliate link: click Here for ESPN+ Now! (** RockMNation has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though RockMNation may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links.**)