Let’s get this out of the way right off the top: I can’t promise The Revue will actually be improving this year. At least not by the standards of the people who send me hate emails and leave bewildered comments. But hey, I suppose there won’t be as many of the latter now!
I’ve always found The Revue to be a space almost entirely dedicated to a very small amount of people. Those who I know read and enjoy it have never asked me to change anything. I imagine they’re here to see which unholy monster I’ll make in Photoshop. I’ve disrespected Truman in so many ways, I’m not sure God will forgive me. Oh, did you know that God is a Mizzou fan? The entire book of Ecclesiastes — “Everything is meaningless,” and all that — was written after God travelled forward in time to see how the Norfolk State game would end up.
But as much as I enjoy cranking out this weird, niche space every week of football season, I’m always looking for ways to tinker with it. Ultimately, I think this is my way of dealing with the unspeakable horrors of Mizzou fandom. The Tigers have hurt me so many times and in so many ways that I can only think to put my thoughts to digital ink and hope they will then slowly evaporate into the ether of the internet, never to be read by a soul (except Karen, hi Karen.)
Anyway, I hope you enjoy The Revue this year. I’ve decided to introduce a few new features. In fact, all the features are new with the exception of The Actual Revue.
Consistently, the hardest part of this piece is finding out which movie I’m going to compare the game to or superimpose the game onto. And honestly, I’m getting kind of sick of that part of it. So I think I’m going to try something different this year.
Don’t get me wrong, the Photoshop work feeds my creative energy. It’s easily the least productive thing I do any given week, and the fact that it takes me several hours to imagine and develop each one is a special kind of stupid that I believe counteracts any free radicals that may be swimming around my body after 15 years of cell phone use and three decades of fast food. It’s like when my kid puts a blanket on his head and spins around as fast as he can possibly go. You know it’s going to end poorly — like my 2 a.m. Photoshop sessions — but dammit, you’re having fun and the consequences will be what they will be.
Yet it’s the writing that has really taken me out of The Revue. I pride myself on knowing a lot about movies... too much, honestly! But there are only so many times I can call Drinkwitz the Director or the Autear. I’m really stretching myself to say Blake Baker is Director of Cinematography — I think at one point in the past few years, I broke down completely and wrote Director of Defense? How do I still work here? — and talking about performances from top-billed cast and all that... it’s just become a bit stale. The metaphors are funny (to me, at least— me too, says your lone reader) but not when I’m having to force them. I want this to be more than a vehicle for dumb Photoshops. I want the writing work to match the Photoshop work... dumb, but in an intentional way! Or that’s the aspiration at least.
Anyway, I still think there’s a lot to be said about the experience of watching both college football and movies. In both, you’re required to suspend your disbelief — that you’re watching a man named Neo learn kung-fu in a green world made of numbers and love or that you’re watching “amateurs” play football for the joy of sport and a well-earned scholarship. In both, you see some of the dumbest things imaginable (spoilers for Meet Joe Black!) And in both, you find yourself invested despite all of it (not in Meet Joe Black, though, that’s just an unfortunate coincidence in this case.) So I’m going to be writing about the experience of watching Mizzou play football. I anticipate lots of horror movie comparisons? Maybe things will get Lynchian? Or Herzogian? Hmmmm...
[bad German accent] “The man stares down at the football game, knowing his team will not win. It will not be close. In a moment of agony, he affixes his pupils directly to the sun, daring the star to fall on him, to bathe him in the warm, incinerating glow of death. What is a life spent watching this horror, this ‘Mizzou Football’? Can there be meaning within the suffering? Or does the man simply wish to suffer to remind him that he is alive?”
What does any of this have have to do with Tigerland? Nothing. I know it’s set in Louisiana. It’s got the word Tiger in it. Colin Farrell got swapped out for Truman, so I know he’s in it. It’s late here, and I spent a lot of time on the Disrepectful Play Index. I promise, this section will be fleshed out more next time. I’ll give myself one star out of five for spending too much time on the other sections and not this one.
★☆☆☆☆ for my effort, ★★★★☆ for the game
Any time Missouri wins, it’s a watchable game. The only exception I can think of would be Missouri’s 9-6 win over UConn in 2015, and this was far from that hot mess express.
With that said, Missouri’s win over Louisiana Tech did lack a bit of sizzle. Sure, that’s not what you’re looking for from the Week One, especially against a carefully orchestrated blood donor like Louisiana Tech. But after the first quarter, when Louisiana Tech led 3-0, it was all Missouri with no doubt left behind. The game was essentially sealed on Cody Schrader’s touchdown run to kick off the second quarter, which means Mizzou vs. LA Tech was (refreshingly for all of us) drama free.
Now with that said, I’m still going to give this one high marks! After all, who among us wasn’t excited to see the product Missouri put on the field for their first week? Especially after the two highest rated recruiting classes in program history are now on campus. It was a treat to watch some of the youngsters cook and even more of a treat to watch them cook with the host of new faces that recently joined on via the transfer portal. If for reasons of hope alone, Missouri’s win over the Bulldogs was a whole lot of fun. Five bags of Luther Burden Riplets is our score out of a possible five. Another way of putting it? That’s roughly 1,800 calories out of 1,800.
Disrespectful Play Index
Cribbed directly from the ineffable genius of Shea Serrano’s mind, we’re going to introduce the “Disrespect Index,” this season. For those uninitiated, The Disrespect Index is something Serrano created for basketball coverage to accurately determine how disrespectful a dunk is to the person being dunked upon. It’s a good and very funny metric that holds up mathematically and requires little to no scrutiny. Given that it’s a metric created for basketball, we need to make some minor adjustments, including to the ordering of the categories to better reflect the run of play.
The “Disrespectful Play Index” is made of six categories, each scored differently.
- 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)
At the end of the scoring, the total is tallied up to determine just what percentage disrespectful the play was to the opponent. For Week One, the play we’ll be analyzing is a pretty obvious choice.
Let’s break it down.
- Category 1: How difficult/impressive was the play?
The play is a pretty standard setup: Burden goes into motion while Peat receives a fake handoff in order to draw the middle of the defense. It’s clearly designed to get LB3 into space, so let’s break this down into two parts. First, how much space does he have? Second, how many guys are in his way?
Burden is backed up just about 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage, where three defenders are in reasonable range of stopping him short of the goal line, maybe after a one or two yard gain. Five yards is a lot to work with, especially when you’re Burden, but he is at a numbers disadvantage here. Based on that fact, I’m going to award him a 12/20, a score ever so slightly knocked because he’s Luther Burden and you can’t reasonably expect to tackle him if you give him that much operating room.
- Category 2: How hard did the defense try?
Burden broke four tackles on his way to this first career touchdown. Since we’re looking at a final score of 20, I think this can cleanly break into four parts. Part One:
No. 7 back there is firmly in “Ass on the Grass” territory. Luther threw him down quicker than a Joey Chestnut does a hot dog. That’s a full 5/5 if I’ve ever seen one. Part Two, which you can see in action above:
I feel like this isn’t so much a question of effort as it is the defender taking a bad angle against a much more talented player, but he still maintains his balance all the way through the miss. I can’t go above a 3/5 here. Tough, but fair. Parts Three and Four, in tandem:
First of all, you can’t even see the first guy. He’s just a pair of pants. When you face a man down, it’s just your will against his and you reduce him to a pair of pants in frame? That’s disrespect. And I can’t get over how No. 9 looks like he just got dropped out of a very low helicopter. Not so high that it’s going to hurt, but low enough to where he can’t adjust and land on his feet. It’s almost as if he just jumped from a wrestling ring and is about to deliver The People’s Elbow onto the hard turf on Faurot Field. 5/5 and 5/5, respectively, for a total score of 18/20.
- Category 3: How much did his teammates help?
We’re scoring in the inverse here, in the sense that a more helpful teammate will subtract from the overall disrespect score and vice versa. Luckily for Burden, Tyler Stephens is a bit, er, lumbering on this play and doesn’t quite land a hard block. But the guy he’s supposed to be pancaking ends up coming back delivering aforementioned People’s Elbow on the turf, so it worked out well for Burden in the end. 5/5
- Category 4: What did the player do immediately afterward?
Word on the street is that LB3 is a fairly humble guy, so it makes sense that his celebration wouldn’t be over the top. But I have to be honest, I need to see some more flexing here. Dude, you just stunted on four straight men. Please at least reveal a hidden bag of Riplets, or sign some NIL merch in the stands. You’ve earned it! 9/20
- Category 5: How did everyone not involved react?
This is going to be a hard one to gauge because football players are boring as hell. There are no carefully practiced and executed bench mob celebrations. There are no Shakespearean dramatics. It’s just a bunch of guys jumping up and down, slapping other people on the helmet. We’re really going to be relying on nimble camera people who can capture a good crowd shot. But Brady Cook seemed really excited, which is neat I suppose. 7/15
- Category 6: Is there a backstory/context to consider?
It wasn’t Burden’s first touch in the game, which would’ve been nice considering. However, it’s hard to ignore how massive a moment this was for both him and the program. He’s the first bonafide five-star player to come to Missouri since Dorial Green-Beckham. It’s opening night on national TV. It’s a great play for his first touchdown. While not exactly historical in a vacuum, this play has the potential to be one we remember for a long time. 18/20
In total, this play was 69 percent disrespectful to Louisiana Tech and its fans. Nice.
Superlatives and Awards
Most Likely to... Succeed: Luther Burden III. Could it be more obvious?
Most Likely to... House an Entire Shakespeares Pizza Post-Game: Jayden Jernigan. My word, that man is stout.
Most Likely to... Land an NIL Deal with SEGA Sponsoring Future Sonic the Hedgehog Games: Elijah Young. You get it? Because he’s gotta go fast?
Best Photographer: Greg Sankey
Clever cropping there, Gregory!
Most Likely to... Get a Shout Out on ESPN: Us, suck it nerds.
Goodness, Peat engaged that nitro speed— ROCK M NATION (@RockMNation) September 2, 2022