Look, I know what y’all are thinking this morning. Transfer portal this, NIL that.
Don’t bring that energy here, man. I don’t want any of it.
I’m not stupid. I know that things are looking somewhat rough for our Tigers when the portal opens next week. I’ve heard the rumors. I’ve seen the tweets. I’ve put the pieces together. A lot of guys are probably going to leave, and oh god, I’m getting angry again.
This isn’t the space to grieve, though. We have those spaces readily available for you if you’ll just check the home page. Links is a great outlet for your misery. And, hey, we’ll cover the transfer departures and arrivals. But this is the Revue, damn it. You don’t come here to live in the real world. Hell, you watch and are emotionally invested in college football, you’re already too far through the looking glass.
There will be plenty of time to move past the Arkansas game and witness the horrors unfolding before our eyes in the transfer portal. For now, let’s just look at this painstakingly-crafted image of Brady Cook on Bruce Willis’ sweaty body and close this season of The Revue in style.
I’m going to put myself out there and speak the truth that half of this country isn’t ready to hear. Ready, snowflakes? Die Hard isn’t a Christmas movie.
What in god’s name makes you think that Die Hard is a Christmas movie? The fact that Christmas is mentioned? Maybe we can marathon it with other notable Christmas classics like Eyes Wide Shut or In Bruges... though that honestly doesn’t sound like a bad night, to be honest. I digress. Is there anything, any single thing, that makes Die Hard a Christmas movie other than the fact that John McClane is traveling during the holidays... which is totally incidental to the main plot of the film?
You may read those paragraphs and think, “damn he doesn’t like Die Hard, what an ass,” but you’re wrong! I do like Die Hard! I don’t love it, but I respect it a whole lot. It’s really funny and Bruce Willis is insanely weird and lovable in it. I also think it perfectly sums up — emotionally, if not narratively — Mizzou’s season finale against the Razorbacks.
For much of the first act, Die Hard is just kind of boring and OK? Maybe it’s been too long since I’ve revisited, but the set-up feels way too long and dragged out, kind of like any Eli Drinkwitz game script. Just get into the game, man, we’re all waiting for you to do something.
But once it gets going, you immediately understand why it’s an instant classic! No one movie character has ever had the grit of Willis’ McClane. And with every gash Brady Cook punched in the Arkansas defensive line, I could see Bruce Willis’ foot wounds opening up just a bit wider. Maybe trodding on glass in order to salvage an unsalvageable circumstance is a bit on the nose in this case, but it makes sense to me. Brady Cook, brutal as he was for the first part of the season, suffered the gashes of a thousand malicious Mizzou fans — and damn y’all, some of you were really mean to him! — and came out on the other side with a Battle Line trophy and a bowl berth, Mizzou’s third in three years under Eli Drinkwitz.
And let’s not forget the villain — Just a fly in the ointment, Hans! Alan Rickman’s Hans Gruber is a stalwart of charismatic villains, a baddie so charming you almost feel kind of bad when he (spoiler alert) plummets several hundred feet to his death. And maybe it’s not coincidence that the villain in this story, Arkansas’ Jukebox Hero himself, seems like a pretty likable guy to the people who are invested in liking him! I have to say, I buy it. If a big ole boy rumbled up to me, drove my blood pressure up for a football game and then screamed, “YESSSSIRRRRRRRRR,” I might be a little terrified and elated at the same time. Pittman can be annoying, but he’s got the energy that all fans want in their coach. To be frank, it’s the exact same energy Eli Drinkwitz carries with him, only Drink makes passive-aggressive interview comments and jokes about Star Wars or Diet Coke.
So we’ve got a beleaguered hero who ends up saving the day despite the odds stacked against him, a likable villain who you also love to hate and the smallest whiff of Christmas energy? If Die Hard gets to be universally considered a Christmas classic, I’m calling Battle Line the best damn Black Friday rivalry out there.
★★★★★ for the game, ★★★★☆ for Die Hard whose greatest contribution to the world is that it inspired the best episode of Bob’s Burgers
Eli Drinkwitz took, “smokin’ that Hog pack,” to the next level, huh?
Players and coaches smoking cigars after big wins is nothing new, and despite the seeming arrogance of it — I mean, Mizzou is 6-6 and lighting stogies to clinch bowl eligibility now? — I’m honestly OK with it. College football is kind of a farce anyway, so why not treat it like one? Smoke a cigar after every win. Smoke a cigar before every game. Smoke a cigar on the bench while you sit by the heater... sorry, Eli.
But, hey, if the game is a farce, then this was a pretty fun one. I don’t often write from my own perspective when asking, “Who’s Mizzou’s true SEC rival,” in stuff like Pregamin’, but I figure I might as well say it with my chest: I love beating Arkansas, y’all. So damn much.
It’s not that I hate Arkansas as much as some other SEC teams like Tennessee or South Carolina. But hoooooooooooooooooooooooly crap the energy that sizzles off of the Hog fanbase whenever Mizzou cooks them every year is muy delicioso. The annual journey from “we don’t care about Mizzou” to “we can’t beat Mizzou, fire everyone,” is a genuine delight to my soul. It is my oasis in the desert of impending transfer portal doom. I feed off of it like an energy vampire.
Even when the game isn’t good — and golly gee, there have been some stinkers in this series — it’s always good to get the hogs riled up. So anytime Mizzou puts piggie down, it’s gotta be a five out of five. Cigars are the celebratory vice of choice this week, so let’s throw our lungs in the gutter and smoke on that hog pack.
Disrespectful Play Index
A lot of our focus on disrespect this season has zeroed in on the flash, the flair. The pomp and circumstance, if you care to lean into the academia of it all.
But you know what is often the most disrespectful thing to do? To straight up end a fight. To walk up to the person with whom you’ve been trading fisticuffs and give ‘em the ole “one two” right in the kisser (don’t know why I just turned into a vagrant from a 1930’s screwball movie.) To shoot a dude who brought a sword to a gun fight. To hammer a dude with a parking cone when you’ve already put him on the concrete.
What I’m saying is that, for all the noise of Luther Burden’s many end zone scrambles this season, sometimes you just need a haymaker. Enter Mekhi Miller, who will round out season one of the Disrespectful Play Index for the hammer he laid on Arkansas’ defense.
As always, the categories...
Category 1: How difficult/impressive was the play? (0-20)
Category 2: How hard did the defense try? (0-20)
Category 3: How much did his teammates help? (0-5)
Category 4: What did the player do immediately afterward? (0-20)
Category 5: How did everyone not involved react? (0-15)
Category 6: Is there a backstory/context to consider? (0-20)
... and the play in question.
- Category 1: How difficult/impressive was the play?
If you weren’t watching the game and just saw this through highlights, you’d miss the degree of difficulty hidden in the margins here. What appears to be a pretty simple five-yard pitch-and-catch is actually a really great piece of athleticism by Miller.
Brady Cook, despite having maybe his best day in a Mizzou uniform, is still prone to hucking the ball behind his receivers. That’s the case here, as you can see directly after Miller catches the ball. To receive the pass, which is almost a foot behind him, Miller has to twist mid-run and spin to regain his momentum.
Miller plants his left foot for balance and springs off to pick up the key yardage that would help Mizzou eventually flip the field. It’s one thing to catch a ball that’s thrown behind you, and entirely another to catch it and still gain bonus yards. Impressive, Mr. Miller. 19/20
- Category 2: How hard did the defense try?
Hard to tell. Miller has Hudson Clark pretty cleanly beat and has the upper hand in terms of speed, so there’s not much effort Clark could’ve put in that would’ve rectified the play. However, he did hilariously chase after Miller waving his arms Bobby Hill style. I don’t know that he ever touched him, but I appreciate the meager effort.
- Category 3: How much did his teammates help?
Do Eli Drinkwitz or Bush Hamdan count as teammates? Because the play design here is instrumental to- hang on. I’m being informed by countless Arkansas fans that Eli Drinkwitz “doesn’t look like he ever played football” so therefore he doesn’t count, and it also means he’s a nerd. Weird, sounds like something they should work out in therapy.
ANYWAY, Miller does get the needed help from his teammates in trips here. Hoerstkamp is going to drag into the middle and open up some space there, while Miller will follow the outside man (I think it’s Tauskie Dove?) before cutting back to the middle, where he has plenty of space to operate.
Props to his teammates for getting him the necessary working space. However, as noted above, Cook’s throw was well behind Miller, who had to do an Exorcist Twist® to get the ball. That made the play quite a bit more difficult, even if he was set up well to make it. Since we’re grading on the inverse, we’ll go with an even 3/5
- Category 4: What did the player do immediately afterward?
Ah, the pièce de résistance. C’est manifique!
Miller takes a hard spill courtesy of Quincy McAdoo at the end of his run. As you can see from the image above, our man is put in a rather precarious position i.e. one that seems ill-fitting to celebrating in the direct aftermath of one of the game’s most important plays.
So how does Mekhi Miller, that wiley devil, respond to this situation? Tuck and roll, baby.
Miller rolls over his shoulder and lands in a perfectly boastful pose, two fingers pointed forward on a knee. It’s Fernando Rodney’s signature archery celebration mixed with the poise and hubris of a Lewis and Clark statue that you might find in St. Louis
It’s honestly the most quick-witted celebration I’ve seen from a player this season. It’s not as direct or ostentatious as some that we’ve spotlighted, but Miller goes from dome sliding across the turf to posing for a Michelangelo within two seconds. That’s a man ready to disrespect his opponent at the drop of a hat. 20/20
- Category 5: How did everyone not involved react?
It was in the heat of the game, so it’s not like there were many opportunities for major reactions. But Luther Burden did come in and celebrate with Miller, while Armand Membou followed up with his own congratulations. Nothing major, but Mekhi gets the proper attaboys from his teammates given the game circumstance. 9/15
- Category 6: Is there a backstory/context to consider?
Mekhi Miller was sort of the forgotten son of this wide receiver room. Burden III was the great hope. Dominic Lovett was the star who burst onto the scene. Barrett Banister was the heart and soul. Mookie Cooper was the supporting player. Mekhi Miller was simply the new guy who didn’t get a lot of love.
But Friday’s catch represents both Miller’s wealth of contributions and the trajectory of the team wrapped into one neat little package. Miller hasn’t been a world-beater in his freshman season, but he’s contributed in key spots on more than one occasion. It’s somewhat reminiscent of Chance Luper last season — the guy everyone expected to need development who immediately found himself with the role of grabbing big catches in important spots. Miller’s catch all but sealed the game for Missouri, highlighting the many clutch performances he’s had and cementing him as a key cog in the offense for years to come. In the biggest of spots, Miller came up big, just like he’s done all season. 18/20
Mekhi Miller’s fourth-quarter catch was 84 percent disrespectful to Arkansas’ secondary.
Superlatives and Awards
Most Valuable Player: Hats off to Brady Cook, y’all. If you’d have told me that Cook would get Mizzou to 6-6 after the start to the year he had, I’d have laughed so hard I’d have needed new pants.
Most Terminally Online: Eric Beisel, what the hell is up, dude? We haven’t heard from you in a long time and this is how you re-emerge on the scene?
2016 was personal, but it became more than personal when our head coach and “token” linebacker CHOSE to coach at our division rival after sabotaging a program that they inherited at the #Zou. Good guys won today.— Eric Beisel (@ericbeisel) November 26, 2022
My dude came to the timeline with a nuke and said, “I’ve got the codes and I’m declaring war on Michael Scherer.”
Oh you want more?
Scherer get the hell of your burner account before I bring back that video you shared that got our QB1 kicked off the team. #GuiltyByAssociation— Eric Beisel (@ericbeisel) November 26, 2022
Apparently, it was common knowledge that Scherer leaked the Maty Mauk video? I wasn’t aware, but it’s not hard to find the receipts, which Scherer kept asking for for some reason.
Still not satisfied?
Let’s not forget, it took me <2 games to surpass your/his all-time career TFL’s… https://t.co/qqsxpPe2A9— Eric Beisel (@ericbeisel) November 26, 2022
I’m torn between, “Tweet through it,” and, “log the hell off, my guy.” I’ll let him decide.
Least Likely to Be a Tiger Next Year: Currently throwing a dart at the active roster...
Most Likely to Be a Tiger Next Year: Nobody messes with LB3’s money, baby.
I'm now playing with a CHIP on my shoulder in this Bowl Game! Let's Go To Work!!! I'm not going anywhere - Tiger for Life - MIZ!!! Go to Schnucks and grab a bag of LB3 Chips so you can snack like you have a CHIP on your shoulder during the Big Game too!!! #MIZZOU4LIFE pic.twitter.com/oHrZ3j9EoC— luther (@lutherburden3) November 28, 2022
I’m thinking of the Community bit, but with Luther Burden’s chips because they’re that tasty.
Most Likely to Check Indeed This Week:
Barry Odom is COOKING tonight pic.twitter.com/Ea02AGFyfn— Aidsap the Muss Defender (@aidsapev) November 25, 2022
Don’t stop now….Barry Odom and Kendall Briles can pack their bags too https://t.co/pXSYLvpojW— Buddy The Razorback Elf (@Omahawgs16) November 26, 2022
In today's Sunday Sermon, we make good on the first half of a bet from last week's edition. Here we argue why it is time to move on from defensive coordinator Barry Odom. ( ️ by @themaxhoover) https://t.co/qExFG6O0OP— Razorbackers (@RazorbackersFS) November 27, 2022
Honestly, he’ll probably get a better gig. Good luck, BO!