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♫ Just left Faurot Field, dressin’ up formal ♫

I wonder what Mizzou will do for its much publicized Gold Out? Maybe all gold?


Gotta be honest, I don’t know what’s going on here. The gold helmet on black shirt and pant is a winner. But the oval Tiger outline? That’s a swing and a miss for me. Why not go all gold? Another missed opportunity.

In Case You Missed It...

  • In this week’s edition of “famous alumni,” we’ve got a lot of notable athletes who’ve graduated as Wildcats, too many to list here. There are some C-list pop culture celebs here as well, like noted Royals and Chiefs fan Eric Stonestreet of Modern Family fame and the late Kirstie Alley.

Famed record producer Jerry Wexler is also a graduate. If you’re a fan of R&B, Led Zeppelin or Bob Dylan’s “born again” albums, thank Mr. Wexler. He’s credited with coining the term “rhythm and blues,” signing LZ to Atlantic and producing the first of Dylan’s infamous Christian rock albums.

  • Kansas State has had the upper hand in the last two Tiger vs. Wildcat matchups, but don’t be fooled: this is traditionally a Mizzou-leaning battle. The Tigers have an all-time record of 60-33-5 against the Wildcats and own just about every head-to-head advantage except for the number of consensus All-Americans produced.
  • Manhattan has self-described “Hollywood-style letters” that mark the entrance to the town, supposedly placed there by Kansas State. In one notable review, a visitor remarks:

No need to slow down for this one.

They’re not even propped up, what the hell is this

Rock M-ixology

If you ever share a drink with me and want me to like you, here’s your cheat code: order me a Manhattan. It is, without fail, my go-to cocktail anytime I’m questioning what I want to drink. If you mess up an old fashioned, I’ll shrug my shoulders and move on. If you mess up a Manhattan? I’m never drinking at your bar again. It’s so difficult to mess up, it’s got a wonderful combination of ingredients and is a wonderful digestif!

However, I can’t be that simple here, even if our opponent makes it justifiable. Like any basic three-ingredient cocktail, there’s a lot of room for riffing on this recipe. And in all honesty, I kind of wanted something purple. Because, you know, Kansas State. After pulling up a lot of recipes — some spun off the Manhattan, others not so much — I finally landed on perhaps the simplest riff possible: the Reverse Manhattan.

2 oz sweet vermouth, 1 oz rye whiskey, 2 dashes aromatic bitters or bitters of choice

Add ingredients to shaker with ice. Shake until chilled. Pour into chilled coupe. Garnish with brandied cherry or lemon peel.

Purple color: Achieved!

I’ll start right off the top by saying this isn’t anywhere near as good as a regular Manhattan. The spice from the rye isn’t coming through nearly as much as I’d want it to and, in a Mizzou offensive line inspired self-own, I used chocolate bitters instead of Angostura. Not sure why, I think I just wanted to try something out. If I make this again in the future, I’d probably go back to standard.

However, I’m generally a fan of this! I love some sweet vermouth, and it’s (clearly) very forward in this drink. It’s sweet and smooth, with the chocolate coming through toward the end of the glass and enough of a whiskey bite on the back end to let me know it’s there. I also added a cherry this time, though I’d also probably swap that for a lemon peel in the future.

Bonus: It’s the reverse Manhattan, so it’s like the anti-Manhattan and, therefore, the anti-Kansas State drink, right? Right?

Close wins against middling teams always feel bad in the moment. With a few days of decompression time, are you still feeling gross about Mizzou’s 23-19 win over Middle Tennessee State?

Josh Matejka, Deputy Manager: I always find that a few days brings much-needed context, and that’s the case here. For all intents and purposes, Mizzou has played about as bad as it could have through the first two games, uninspiring performances against blood donor opponents. Mizzou should have lost to Middle Tennessee State and did just about everything to hand the game over. But they didn’t, and they held on. It didn’t feel good, but it’s a lot easier to identify problems and fix them from the perspective of 2-0 than 1-1.

Parker Gillam, Beat Writer: Yes, although when you really look at it, the Blue Raiders hung around in that game due to Nick Vattiato’s running ability and Mizzou’s inability to pick up MTSU’s blitzes. Outside of that, this game was largely dominated by the Tigers.

Still, that doesn’t make anybody feel much better. This team does not seem like it is remotely ready for the schedule to increase in difficulty, yet here we are.

Quentin Corpuel, Staff Writer: The Blue Raiders deserve credit for punching above their weight once again, and Mizzou’s defense came to play per usual, but it still feels like a game the Tigers should’ve won by more than four. While Kirby Moore very well might be in his Playboi Carti era by not releasing his best work, the offense’s underwhelming performance against a physically inferior defense was still concerning.

Karen Steger, Madame Editor, Etc: Yes, I still feel bad. I even wrote a very un-Karen-like Links post this week talking about how pissed I was at Drink. I blame Nate & BK’s podcast for continuing my ire. They taught me it was okay to express negativity at times, and so I did. There are plenty of concerns, but maybe they’ll play UP to the competition and actually have a good game against the Cats. Wouldn’t be the weirdest thing the Tigers have done.

Sammy Stava, Staff Writer: Let me be the first to say that Middle Tennessee State is a respectable G5 program. Of course, they beat Mizzou in 2016 — and they beat Miami last season on the road by double digits. Was it a bad performance? Yes. Are there plenty of concerns? Yes. But let’s not forget that Kentucky looked sloppy against EKU and Arkansas didn’t exactly blow out Kent State, either. The bright side is Mizzou is 2-0 and the game can be forgotten if they somehow find a way to beat Kansas State.

Eli Drinkwitz has been thoroughly raked over the coals for his punting decisions last week, but let’s be diplomatic here. If you had one shot to convince him he needs to be more progressive in his 4th down decision-making, what would you say?

Josh Matejka: Drink, you’re telling me you don’t trust your offensive line or Cody Schrader or Brady Cook to pick up 1 or 2 yards in plus territory? Then (a) you’ve got some major problems to address on offense and (b) your defense isn’t as stout as you claim. If you really feel good about where your team is at, walk the talk.

Parker Gillam: Your defense isn’t invincible. The unit is certainly elite, but it will not survive with its back against the wall for 60 minutes. Having a mobile quarterback makes 4th and short calls that much more unpredictable, and Drinkwitz has to take advantage.

Quentin Corpuel: Explain the perils of constantly punting using, you guessed it, hockey.

The end of Game 1 of the 2022 NHL Eastern Conference Semifinals between the New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes is a perfect example. The Rangers are up 1-0 in the third period and, despite their offense dominating all game, went into protection mode and cleared the puck out of their zone (the hockey version of a punt) almost every time they gained possession. This put a ton of pressure on their defense, and although they had the best goalie in the league that year, the dam eventually broke when Carolina scored late in the period and eventually won in overtime.

This is a roundabout way of agreeing with Parker. Playing defense is a lot more difficult when more defense has to be played. While the Tigers boast one of the sturdier units in the country, they can’t be the bail-out option every time the offense runs into 4th down.

Karen Steger: To take a page outta the Brandon Kiley handbook, “Drink, listen. By being overly conservative in your 4th down calls, you’re showing that you are just trying not to lose, not that you’re actively trying to win. It’s like the great Marty Schottenheimer used to say, ‘You gotta punch ‘em in the f————- mouth.’ Additionally, you trust Brady Cook to date your child but you don’t trust him enough to get you a yard or two?! As if.”

Sammy Stava: In the words of Herm Edwards: “YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME!”

We all know kansas is the scourge of the United States, a blighted wasteland that the pantheon of gods has abandoned and cursed. Is there anything redeeming about that state land?

Josh Matejka: I may face a witch’s execution for this take but DOWNTOWN LAWRENCE IS GOOD ACTUALLY [runs screaming from the ghost of William Quantrill]

Parker Gillam: Never been, don’t really plan on it anytime soon unless we make the trip to The Phog for the basketball game this year. Speaking of which, I’ll say that Allen Fieldhouse is the redeeming quality. Can’t deny that it is a top-tier arena with some great fans. Also, I have to acknowledge the duo of Jalon Daniels and Devin Neal; they’re dynamite.

Karen Steger: Weirdly enough, Lawrence PD has been known to have a pretty funny Twitter account. Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan is a nice-looking structure, which I have seen up close (I did not go inside). K-State also has a very nice student center, which weirdly bears a striking resemblance to the look and feel of Mizzou’s. I have been in there. My other surprisingly good thought about that state is spidery so I’ll keep it to myself.

Sammy Stava: I have family that lives in Lawrence and they’re not actually jayhawk fans so it’s all good. That and Sporting KC is on the KCK side. They and STL City SC are forming a pretty good MLS rivalry.

Quentin Corpuel: kU’s finest, Kevin Harlan.

Me when Luther Burden does literally anything

The Unholy Alliance will be put on brief suspension when Kansas State visits this weekend, so it seems an appropriate time to ask... is The Unholy Alliance still meaningful to Mizzou fans? Or is it a relic of a bygone era?

Josh Matejka: So long as a jayhawk breathes, so long as the cursed campus stands, so long as Bill Self walks these streets... there will be honor in my heart for The Unholy Alliance.

Parker Gillam: Shared enemies have started some of the great relationships in history. For whatever reason, I think first of the Ewoks and Rebels fighting the Empire side-by-side in the woods of Endor as an example. The Alliance should carry on well past Saturday.

Quentin Corpuel: In an era of rivalries being dashed and regionality becoming non-existent in the wake of c*****ence re*****ment, I feel like historical connections like these should continue.

Karen Steger: I honestly have no problem with K-State. Never have. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Additionally, I really like their hoops coach, Jerome Tang, and I have enjoyed many of the others, too. I am, after all, a Frank Martin stan. So yes, The Unholy Alliance will live on forever because I will never ever root for those fake birds in anything.

Sammy Stava: You bet The Unholy Alliance is still meaningful for Mizzou fans. At least for me it is. Kansas State is a respectable program with not a lot of need to hate on the Wildcats.

If Mizzou is to upset the Wildcats at Faurot on Saturday, give me one player who needs to be on his game.

Josh Matejka: I’m gonna need Cam’Ron Johnson to figure his shit out stat. I can understand getting used to a new system and new teammates and a new program, but he was brought in to stabilize a line that hasn’t looked that much better than it did last season.

Parker Gillam: Frankly, I can see K-State locking up Luther Burden, at least relative to how he has started the season. And, as I have noted recently, this Mizzou offense needs a reliable WR2 to emerge. Theo Wease should be that guy, and he will need to be on Saturday.

Quentin Corpuel: Kansas State has one of the best front sevens in the country, so the entire offensive line will need to have their best collective performance yet if Mizzou’s offense wants to improve upon last year’s disastrous showing in Manhattan. That starts with Javon Foster, who’ll be tasked with containing Felix Anudike-Uzomah 2.0 in Khalid Duke, who already has three sacks in two games.

Karen Steger: I was going to say Brady Cook as well, but since Sammy claimed him already, can I just say the offensive line? I need them to take some of the pressure off the QB and allow him and the rest of his offense to get to work.

Sammy Stava: It sounds obvious because it’s the most important position on the field, but if Brady Cook brings his A game Mizzou will have a pretty good chance at home here. If not, the whole defense will need a truly elite performance to put less pressure on the offense.