Welcome back, Tiger fans. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday season! I’m back with another Rock M Digest, a weekly column where I, Madame Editor, share with you my must-read picks for the Rock M Nation content of the week. These stories made me think (sometimes too much), laugh, smile, cry... you get the picture. Since I have the distinct pleasure of reading everything on this wonderful website — I love reading it all, I swear — I want you, the readers, to know what you should be checking out if you don’t have time to read all the content. For reference, we’ve published 38 stories this week, as well as three live game threads for wrestling, hoops, and the bowl game. Whewwww.
At the bottom, I’ve gathered up my favorite quotes of the week and presented them with no context.
FYI: There are links to the stories in both the recommendations & the quotes so you can reference it if you so choose.
By Brandon Haynes
In this very excellent piece of writing, Brandon takes a look at this year’s team, and how the uninspired bowl loss is really just the latest in what has been another pretty disappointing season in Drinkwitz’s tenure at Missouri. We know it, and Eli knows it, too, and Brandon perfectly captures the emotion of this latest loss.
He goes on to talk about Drink’s extension, and how it was likely related to his recruiting prowess. However, fans have yet to see the fruits of that labor truly pay off in its entirety, as too many other pieces are missing to form a cohesive team that can compete in the SEC. And, to top it all off, they just got beat by a Wake Forest team who have yet to have a top-50 recruiting class but has 5 bowl wins in 7 games.
Really, it’s just a great read about a team that is in must win-now mode. And while you’re at it, also check out Brandon Kiley’s Five Takeaways. He goes into a lot of the game stuff, while also looking at the future. Both just excellent work from B-squared.
By Matt Watkins, with video assist by Matt Harris
In a very entertaining iteration of The Verdict, Matt Watkins sets the scene by going all the way back to December 2, 2019, when the Missouri Tigers last faced the UCF Knights. A time, if you remember, when THE Jordan Geist, the feistiest of all Tigers, launched an off-balance three to force OT. It was glorious. A wonky shot that nobody thought was going in until it did.
While a lot of Tiger fans opine “what could have been” after so many heart-shattering moments through this years, that totally didn’t happen this time! After showing us the shot that left Coach Johnny Dawkins’ jaw on the floor (he’s probably not scheduling the Tigers again, is he?), the one that resulted in Dree Gholston’s near strangulation by his teammates in the dog pile — I’m looking at you, Benny Buckets — Watkins & Harris showed us HOW it happened. Super interesting stuff.
By Brandon Haynes
In this feel-good holiday story, Mizzou and Illinois met on a cold, cold, bone-chillingly COLD night in St. Louis for the Braggin Rights game and the Tigers blew the top off the place. Not many people thought they’d win, including much of our own staff — looking at you, Josh (who marked it as an L in his Revue- SHAME), and the Dive Cuts guys.
If need help recalling the gloriousness of this beatdown and what the team had to say afterwards, check this out. Hell, read it again just for fun because it’s bound to make you well up with happy tears. And while you’re at it, just rewatch the whole damn game. I know I will. Oh, and while you’re at it, also check out Sam’s Study Hall.
By Sam Snelling
In Sam’s Saturday morning Pourover, he discussed the importance of bowl games: playing in them, the results, for data points of younger players, for a measuring stick. A bowl game teaches you many things about your team that you can use going forward. In Mizzou’s case, it reiterated that Drink needs a play caller— someone who can make things creative and allow him to focus on other aspects of the game. With Bush Hamdan out, Drinkwitz retook the reins, and the game plan was predictably stale.
So, into the offseason the Tigers go, without a bowl win (and without one since 2014), and in search of answers. Time to ask Santa for some reinforcements this Christmas.
Out of Context Quotes of the Week:
“When’s the last time you hit a shot from the logo under the pressure of a fading clock? That’s what I thought.” - Josh Matejka, The Revue
“As they say: History has a way of repeating itself.” -Matt Watkins, The Verdict
“‘I’m excited to see who we are and this is the opportunity for us to kind of create our identity,’ Gates said.” - Brandon Haynes, Hoops Presser: Illinois Week
“I’m not sure anyone has ever banked a shot harder than this one. I swear, I heard the echo reverberate in St. Louis. I felt the earth move. The mighty titans awoke from their slumber. I think a few tectonic plates may have shifted.… That mf’er went thud against the backboard.” -Josh Matejka, The Revue (couldn’t pick just one)
“The 6-foot-8 senior levitated into the air and launched a three-point jumper while being fouled and made it. On the floor, Brown pounded his chest in jubilation, as “Kobe” chants rained down upon the court and then he capped the four-point play with a free throw.” - Brandon Haynes, Braggin Rights recap
“Mizzou almost hilariously got crushed on the glass, and it didn’t matter at all.” -Sam Snelling, Study Hall
“Cook’s legs were once again a weapon, but he missed on far too many out routes for my liking. Aaron Murray mentioned it multiple times on the broadcast. He lacks the necessary zip to whip the ball in there on the far hash to sideline throws. He also seemed to miss a few more open targets in this game than he did down the stretch, and I would have liked to see him tuck and run earlier on a few plays where he was waiting for something to open up down the field.” -Brandon Kiley, Five Takeaways
And because it’s Christmas: “We’re all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We’re gonna press on. And we’re gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-dance with Danny F****** Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he’s gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse.” -Clark Griswold, Christmas Vacation