Bye weeks aren’t supposed to be this stressful.
Regardless of where your team stands going in, the bye week should always be a moment to breathe. Is your team assured a bowl trip? Time to rest those starters and let the competition eat itself and award you better positioning. In the middle of a rebuild? Time to refocus on what the rest of the current season has to offer the future of your program.
But Missouri? Missouri can’t let us have this. Instead of enjoying a week free of worry and angst, Missouri has to give us reason to sweat. And the reason this week is one Luther Burden.
You know the story on Burden by now — consensus blue-chip receiver who decommits from Oklahoma and has a great relationship with Mizzou, friends on the team, etc. Then, all of a sudden, a late charging, ascendant Georgia program sweeps in and lands an official visit the week before his commitment (which has long offered positives omens for the Tigers). Now we’re about 24 hours from an event that could serve as a momentous fulcrum for the rest of the season... in the middle of bye week. Sounds relaxing, no?
At the risk of sounding like I’ve given into the misery that we so often like to avoid here at Rock M Nation... this feels like an, “only Mizzou,” situation if one could ever be drawn up. Mizzou is in need of two things: a win and a rest. And Luther Burden’s commitment assures that, at the very least, Tiger fans will be without the latter. Even the commitment of Burden would send Mizzou Nation into a frenzy, leading to at least a week’s worth of think pieces and very little time to not think about Mizzou Football. That seems to be the best option for all involved. But here we are — on the precipice of either the greatest moment of Mizzou’s 2021 (so far) or possibly the worst.
No room in between euphoria and despair? Must be Missouri!
The (Actual) Revue
Trumanator: Dark Fate
Dir. Eli Drinkwitz
Oh god, another one?
Listen, I understand the desire to throw what you know. Trying new things is risky, especially when you’re working with a product that depends on audience consumption. Tried and true is the surest way at getting the bang for your buck... except when, “tried and true,” has long since worn out its welcome.
In Trumanator: Dark Fate, director Eli Drinkwitz seeks to stem the tide of box office bombs he’s been putting out by returning to familiar intellectual property (you’ll of course remember all the times we reviewed the other Trumantor films) in order to get a struggling box office back on track. Dark Fate sees a familiar cast of characters square up against a deadly foe with the fate of the world at hand. Everything goes to plan, the world is saved, hugs are given and everything is wrapped up just tidily enough, but not so much that another sequel can’t be teased.
But is this really what we want from our movies? Just a series of endless callbacks with the same casts, the same stories, the same outcomes? Not since Trumanator 2 has this franchise successfully worked, yet Mizzou Studios continuously returns to the well, hoping the dry dirt has miraculously sprung a life-giving leak.
So this reviewer asks... when will Mizzou Studios finally spill some new ink? When do we get to see the next wave of young stars shine in something other than a retread of past successes (and failures, it should be noted)? The continuous return to the Trumanator IP is a damning indictment of how the studio’s view the product it releases — as an investment to be returned rather than a creative endeavor to which the fans are given. That may be naive given the way that everything in this world is run like an investment firm, but even the investors have to realize when their cost is sunk.
Consider this an open letter to Eli Drinkwitz and the producers at Mizzou Studios: Try something new. This formula, nostalgic as it may be to see some of our old favorites, isn’t working anymore.
And the M-y Goes To...
Best Original Play
Tyler Badie is destined to win this award by the end of the season... he just keeps gobbling up all the nominations!
Badie’s entry this week wasn’t as explosive as some of his other hits, but this week’s rendition offered something a little more bruising and aggressive to the fold.
It may not be as purely impressive as last week’s bruiser, but gets points for coming against a more formidable foe. Regardless, no one on the cast can touch the amount of wow factor that Badie brings to every production.
Best First Feature
A new category is introduced!
We’ve yet to see many up-and-comers make big impressions (aside from Mekhi Wingo, who may get a nomination here after the fact), but this week saw Dominic Lovett announce himself by showing off his rumored versatility.
Loved this playcall, Dominic Lovett is in for his first collegiate TOUCHDOWN pic.twitter.com/57aZ6ruijX— NCAAF Nation (@NCAAFNation247) October 16, 2021
That man is fast. Hopefully this is just a taste of what’s to come in the long, illustrious career of the Tigers’ prized youngster.