As a general rule, I don’t drink while I write. Most of this is because I’m a lightweight, but some of it has to do with the fact that I’m afraid of what I’ll write if I’m tired enough.
On more than one occasion I’ve passed out completing the Monday links or an MV3 post and woken in a stupor two hours later, my laptop still open. I quickly peruse what I’ve read and gasp in horror at the thought of accidentally publishing the mad ramblings of a half-awake midwestern sports blogger. Adding alcohol to the mix doesn’t seem like a good idea.
But after this past week, when I saw the final score of the Mizzou vs. Kansas State game, I started wondering if I should amend that policy. The Revue is a labor of love (as I wrote last week) for a very specific set of people, and I really do enjoy writing it. But since I took it up a few years ago, Mizzou has put on some all-time bombs. Real doozies. Hell, the first Revue got a ton of comments because it was everyone’s first opportunity to moan about the Wyoming loss. And writing about a bad game, even when it gives you the opportunity to do crazy Photoshops and exercise massive amounts of creative liberty, is a hassle. No one wants to read about a game in which their favorite team played like ass, and very few want to actually write about it. Doing something that don’t serve anyone well tends to be pretty miserable. Hence, the thought of amending my drinking-while-writing policy.
But, no. I’m not going to do that to myself, nor you, friend who tuned into one of our site’s most reviled ongoing pieces of content after a 40-12 (should be 6) clobbering. Because after watching a game that miserable, you deserve a modicum of effort. You deserve to have someone think of your interests and say, “You know what? I’m going to try really hard to not suck tonight. For them.” And if you can’t get it on the football field, you can get it here. That’s the Revue guarantee after all: I’ll try really hard to make it not suck. For you.
Is this a safe space? Can I confide in the readership of Rock M Nation a secret? Will you promise not to tell anyone? OK, then I suppose it’s time I unburden myself...
I didn’t watch the game.
I know your first thought might be, “lucky bastard,” but I do harbor some guilt. After all, I have a professional responsibility to keep up with these sorts of things, especially when I’m responsible for a healthy amount of content coming out of each game week. But given that Saturday’s game was so brutal, so fatalistic, so unendingly disastrous, I thought there existed a perfect opportunity to cross promote yet another two-hour disaster that I haven’t seen: M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening.
“But, Josh,” you may ask, “how do you know The Happening is bad if you haven’t seen it?”
Well, my friend, I’ve kind of seen it. Just like I’ve kind of seen this past week’s game. I’ve been over more than a few highlights and did some extensive research into one specific play for the Disrespect Index. Just like I’ve done my fair share of YouTube research into why everyone I know that has watched The Happening can’t stop saying, “What? No!” And I’d like to present my findings to you here.
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe The Happening is good?
Even if it is, I can tell you for certain that The Manhattaning is not. Everything is ill-conceived, from first frame to last. As I watched the highlights, I begged that it may be a jest, a cruel trick which would turn my sorrow to tears of joy as I woke from a fever dream to find out the game hadn’t been played yet or that the lightning had struck me and I was waking from a long coma. My wife and sons would cry and hug me in my hospital bed. They’ve waited for me to wake up for years and years. My sons... they’ve grown. My wife... she’s as beautiful as the last day I saw her. And with my first breath after coma, I pull her in close and tenderly whisper, “What was the score of that Mizzou — Kansas State game?”
But it wasn’t. I was awake, and the horror of Mizzou’s ineptitude was real. But at least I didn’t watch in real time like all you poor suckers!
☆☆☆☆☆ for the game, ★☆☆☆☆ for The Happening which I should definitely see
Watchability is subjective. What is entertaining for you may not be entertaining for me. You may have loved the cinematic stylings of James Cameron in his 1997 blockbuster Titanic whereas I thought it was an unwatchable slog propped up by a healthy budget. Kansas State fans may have enjoyed watching the Wildcats run gangbusters over Mizzou, whereas you and I spent much of the second half contemplating our shared long walk into oblivion.
There was undoubtedly some good football played in Manhattan, Ks., on Saturday. Deuce Vaughn, right? He’s a player. Felix Anudike-Uzomah? It sure was fun to watch that guy rip through Missouri’s offensive line like me going through the soft cheeses on a charcuterie board. Harrison Mevis? Sir, you have my sword.
But for the vast majority of Saturday’s game, Missouri was about as unwatchable as it gets. I didn’t tune into the lightning delay, but I have to imagine whatever emergency programming played was a good bit more entertaining than watching Brady Cook abandon his read .05 seconds into a play or watching the Tigers’ offensive line collectively shout, “Timber!” and topple over like an old mighty oak being felled by a logger. Missouri gets one $5 Mizzou Team Store poncho out of a possible five. Have you ever forgotten to bring a back up poncho? Good luck — those things are porous.
Disrespectful Play Index
Dear reader, did you think when The Revue introduced the “Disrespect Index,” last week that we reserved the right to review Mizzou plays only? Oh ho ho, then you. thought. WRONG.
Earlier this week, my son told someone point blank to their face, with no emotion in his voice, “I don’t like you,” and it was one of the most brutal things I’d ever encountered in my life. Watching this game was like having 1,000 people — men, women, babies, the souls of saints and damned alike — stare you dead in the eye and, completely void of all emotion or justification, say, “I don’t like you.” It was downright hurtful.
But the play that topped it off? That was more than hurtful. That was disrespectful.
As a reminder, here are the six categories we’ll tally to determine how disrespectful the play was.
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)
Here’s the play in question:
- Category 1: How difficult/impressive was the play?
I’m not trying to sound like a homer when I say this, so stay with me. But this play was, uh, not difficult.
When Phillip Brooks first receives Sean Koetting’s punt, there’s one man standing about three yards away from him. Logic tells me that it’s Jaylon Carlies, as there are only two men wearing No. 1 on Mizzou’s roster, and I have a hard time seeing Tauskie Dove out in punt coverage.
But maybe I’m wrong, because No. 1 is barreling toward Brooks with the intensity of a hungry hyena, completely unaware that Brooks is about to Wile E. Coyote his ass by taking one step to the left.
Brutal. But when this is the only man who got fingertips on the returner — more on that in a second — you can’t say with a clear conscience that the play was difficult. 7/20
- Category 2: How hard did the defense try?
Now, I’ve watched this play a few dozen times at this point, and I’m fairly certain no one else gets fingertips on Brooks. There is, however, one valiant attempt.
Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
There’s no definite way to tell if Tyler Jones skims jersey, but if he does it’s not enough to slow Brooks down. That being said, I can only describe the motion of Jones’ arm as “violent” so I’m going to assume some effort went into the attempt (if not the angle). 15/20
- Category 3: How much did his teammates help?
Guy isn’t even blocking. Just running without a care in the world, arms in the air. Phoebe Buffay-ing it from sideline to sideline. But remember, this one is scored on the inverse, so we’ll go with a full 5/5.
- Category 4: What did the player do immediately afterward?
Brooks was pretty winded from his light, unperturbed jog to the end zone, so he simply caught his breath while the rest of his teammates mobbed him. Boring. But he started doling out some signature daps afterward, so we can knock him up to a bang average score. 10/20
- Category 5: How did everyone not involved react?
We’ve got a double-whammy folks. We’re only in week two and I think some bonus points may be in order. First things first, check out Brooks’ teammates when he crosses the 50-yard and 25-yard lines.
Look at these men, shot-calling from halfway up the field. That’s belief right there. That’s respect for your teammate and utter disrespect for those who aren’t. You know those NBA players who rush the court when LeBron James or Steph Curry just carried them to a ring? The guy who hasn’t touched the floor except to pick up the towel that their more famous teammate dropped? That’s the guy in the top left of that second image.
And if that weren’t enough, the nimble cameraman got us some peak audience reaction.
Can’t see it? Let me help you.
There are no guarantees in life. Death doesn’t count because, you know, it’s not life, and even a simple man can evade his taxes for a while. But I’m 98 percent certain that fan is passed out. Stone cold. Iced. Looking back on the replay, I believe his friend on the left may have issued a celebratory knock on the head that did his boy in. While the parties around him celebrate, Purple sweaterman quickly goes limp, propped up his friend in the tinted glasses while the noggin-knocker quickly tries to resuscitate him.
What I’m saying is, Phillip Brooks had teammates calling crazy shots and fans issuing near fatal blows to each other in the stands. 20/15, bonus points for the violence
- Category 6: Is there a backstory/context to consider?
I suppose there is. This is the #UnholyAlliance, so there’s not necessarily a ton of bad blood that exists between Kansas State and Mizzou. That being said, Missouri leaving the Big 12 caused a lot of bad blood between them and their former rivals across the conference, so I have to imagine it feels somewhat nice for the Wildcats to add an SEC pelt that just so happened to come from their old sparring mates in Columbia. We all hate the Jayhawks here, but even allies run afoul of each other from time to time. 16/20
Conclusion: Phillip Brooks punt return for a touchdown was 73 percent disrespectful to Mizzou and its fans.
Superlatives and Awards
Most Likely To... Throw Two Interceptions in a Row: Wow, our first tie of the season! Brady Cook and Jack Abraham, you’re the big winners!
Most Likely To... Forget His Good Playbook at Home:
Eli, it’s your wife on the phone. She’s asking if you want this overnighted to Manhattan.
Most Likely to... Earn His Pension after His Next Start: Adrian Martinez. Congrats, you old fart!
Best Billboard: Damn it...