Back at the beginning of the season, I wrote about how I wanted to freshen up The Revue, which had mostly become me trying to find ways to explain how a football game was actually like a movie in 750 words or more. It was an unenviable task that I mostly enjoyed doing, but was starting to feel a little stale.
I introduced the concept of awards shows because (a) it’s my column and I do what I want here, and (b) they’re a fun conduit for creativity and further Photoshop possibilities. However, I wish I would have planned things out better: maybe set out a distinct set of categories that would have nominations each week. Some of that worked out as you’ll see below, and I had quite a few options to choose from for at least two categories.
However, I mostly wanted to introduce this awards show feature because it felt like a fun way to honor the best players and moments of the season without the typical sports-related fanfare (“who was your most valuable player?” “who was the breakout player” “most disappointing” etc.) Again, I think the concept is still growing, and I could see it really taking off next season. Maybe I’ll make these things into cards that I can mail to the team. Maybe I’ll turn them into NFTs and sell them for $50,000?
Regardless, here are the winners for this year’s “M”y’s. Thanks to everyone who read the Revue this season. I’ll see you after the bowl game.
And the “M”y Goes To...
Best Player in a Leading Role: Tyler Badie
Was there ever any doubt? Tyler Badie was the M-y leading prize winner from Day One, torching Central Michigan for the first of five 200+ rushing yard performances. Even when Badie wasn’t racking up gaudy yard totals, he was finding the end zone at an astounding clip. Through the air or the turf — how it happened didn’t matter. Tyler Badie was the premier weapon of Missouri’s offense in 2021, even long after the passing game eroded away. That he got stronger as the season progressed — mirroring his impressive late game results — was only a testament to how much he carried the team in its lowest moments.
Best Player in a Supporting Role: Harrison Mevis
What does it say about a program that your second billed cast member is a kicker? Probably more if your name wasn’t Harrison Mevis. The Thiccer brought extraordinarily high expectations into his sophomore year and eclipsed nearly all of them. He was once again perfect on PATs and only missed two field goals on the season, both from 40+ yards. He was a perfect 3 for 3 from 50+ yards, including a walk-off 56-yard behemoth that extended Mizzou’s chances at a non-conference road win for about 10 additional minutes. He’s not a Lou Groza finalist, but now Mevis gets to take some hardware home in the form of this M-y!
Best Original Play: The Walkoff
It feels impossible that this would go to anything but a Tyler Badie play, but recency bias played a big role in the voter’s (emphasis on the singular) judgment here. Considering this was the last time Daniel Parker, Jr. stepped foot on Faurot Field, it feels even more special. Utilizing Tyler Badie’s dominance to create misdirection, Drinkwitz drew up a play that saw DPJ fade into the end zone untouched as Connor Bazelak lobbed him a can of corn that would end Dan Mullen’s Florida career and grant Mizzou bowl eligibility at the same time. That’s a winner if I’ve ever seen one. Also, if you want a more creative winner, maybe bribe the judge next time. I hear he takes movie tickets and/or gift cards.
Best Director: Eli Drinkwitz
There probably wasn’t another option to choose from (though Steve Wilks certainly made a compelling half-season case), so Drinkwitz gets the award by default. It wasn’t a perfect second year at Mizzou Studios for Drink, who displayed some misplaced loyalty to underperforming cast members and directed a series of flops that alienated his fan base. But credit where it’s due, Drinkwitz continued to drum up excitement for his future release slate by acquiring highly sought-after talent and putting out just enough crowd pleasers to keep things entertaining. If this is as bad as it gets with Drinkwitz in the director’s chair, things could be alright!
The (Actual) Revue
Babe (dir. Eli Drinkwitz)
Whoever said pigs were cute or that you had to be nice to them? That’s dumb.
In his final production to close out the 2021 season at Mizzou Studios, Eli Drinkwitz opts to go for something old-fashioned and classic: a good old fashioned family drama surrounding a whole hog roast. Audiences will be shocked to find out that the pig, in fact, is not the entree in this story. He’s the main character! He’s a good guy! And he’s kind of cute? Disgusting. I won’t have it.
In all seriousness, Babe struggles due to its saccharine loyalty to sentiment over something a little more grounded in reality. You can see Drinkwitz working the same pieces into the plot over and over again, hoping that they’ll be revitalized or find their old spark. But what he ends up getting is something that gets continuously stale, one that relies too heavily on past formulas and not enough on innovation.
Still, even the sweetest of movies have something to take away that is... well, sweet, to put it flatly. While Babe never finds the necessary plot driver to get fans invested, it is a pleasure to see Tyler Badie turn in his final performance at Mizzou Studios. It’s been a treat to watch him work in his final year under Drinkwitz, and he’ll be a missed presence on the screen moving forward. It was also nice to see Assistant Director Steve Wilks continue his recent successes with his unit. While it took some time for him to adapt to his new role, it feels significant to have a director who can add some real quality to any picture, even when Drinkwitz’s vision is struggling to break free of its narrative grips.
It’s no fun to end this season of Mizzou productions on a low note, but they can’t all be winners. At the very least, this arduous task of a feature features some bright takeaways and the hope that Drinkwitz won’t have to rely on sentiment when a flock of new talent comes in this winter.