GOOD GRACIOUS, TEAM IS BODACIOUS!
I don’t know if there’s a better music video that could accompany this week’s trip to the dome, given that Nelly, our most St. Louis-pilled celebrity, is wearing an elite Mizzou basketball jersey while supposedly going up in the arch. You know he’s not in the arch, by the way, by the fact that he’s able to stand up in the elevator.
There’s something to the fact that in National Lampoon’s Vacation the Griswold’s lose their collective minds on the way to Wally World, a colloquial way to refer to Walmart which is owned and operated by the Walton family, who are, by-law, relatives of one Stanley Enos Kroenke, the most infamous Mizzou grad and St. Louis supervillain crossover of all time.
Anyway, that’s enough Kroenke talk.
The Chevy Chase era of celebrity was truly wild, mostly because Chase has turned out to be the only master of the “suave asshole” persona that so many people have tried to emulate in the four decades that followed his run in the 1980’s. Joel McHale got close in the 2010’s, but mostly because he was playing directly off of Chase in Community. And because he was directly critiquing the persona through his burgeoning vulnerability throughout the show. No one can truly master the art of “funny and likable, yet morally abhorrent” quite like Chevy Chase.
And it’s only because of Chase that Vacation holds up all these years later. If you don’t buy into the Chevy Chase experience, you won’t buy into Vacation, which is otherwise a story about a deeply insecure and uncool middle-aged man trying to not die of incurable, malignant horniness on a road trip that no one in his family is enjoying.
Wait, aren’t I supposed to be relaying this back to Mizzou? Oh, yeah!
Vacation is still funny if you’re willing to buy into the central premise that the dad is actually a good guy. It’s kind of like watching Mizzou, fresh off a thrilling upset, go to St. Louis and wrestle Memphis into sweaty, upsetting submission. It’s not as fun to watch, but it’s effective if you believe that Mizzou is actually a good team that just needs to work out its flaws. And I think, generally speaking, we all do!
Of course, we’ll have to revisit this all with the context of the full season behind us. Perhaps there are some things — offensive line inconsistency, explosive play defense — that seemed “fine” at the time and didn’t age well over the course of the season. But hey! That’s then and this is now! And for now, let’s enjoy the trip.
★★★★☆ for the win over Memphis, ★★★★☆ for National Lampoon’s Vacation, which isn’t as funny as Fletch but is funnier than any of the other Vacation entries!
I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed the piss poor quality of the Edward Jones Dome turf. What the hell were we doing out there? Has no one touched it since the Rams left town? I swear that’s the same way it looked for the Condiment Bowl of 2015. I was there, I should know!
The quality of the playing surface aside — though it’s hard to put that aside given how many injuries Mizzou suffered through — it was a pretty entertaining game. I know Sam got some flack in the Pourover comments for saying it never felt out of hand, but I shared his sentiments. Once Mizzou went up 27-17 on the 32-yard Harrison Mevis kick, I felt pretty comfortable the whole time. I’d say my heart rate decreased a lot when Theo Wease caught the touchdown to put them up 24-10, but I was a little too worried about Burden at that point.
I can’t award Mizzou a perfect score in this case due to the fact that, despite a scintillatng offensive performance, the defense still sputtered a bit. Mizzou officially has a problem with explosive plays (as they have for the past calendar year), and it’s going to burn them badly at some point or another. The secondary made up for it with a few nicely timed interceptions, and Johnny Walker continues to be a wrecking crew on the outside. But they were just a touch below where I’d like them to be.
I’d also like to say that it’s good to have our Thiccer back. I don’t know if last week’s record-breaking performance will vault him to pre-Auburn-2022 levels of confidence amongst the fanbase, but I will say I was 99.9 percent sure of him booting all his kicks through the uprights in this one.
For taking care of business (everyday!) in the Lou, Mizzou gets 4 out of 5 Instant Cold Packs. I think they’ll need more for all these injuries, though.
Disrespectful Play Index
I can’t make this the Luther Burden section of the The Revue. I just can’t.
I realize that we’re at the point where Luther Burden is more than likely to send dudes flying and reeling three or four times per game. It’s becoming a fact of life. But when something becomes engrained in our experience of reality, is it disrespectful any longer? Was Isaac Newton disrespected by gravity or Benjamin Franklin by electricity? I posit no.
Luther Burden will show up on the DPI again before the year is out, you can bet on it. But for one week we have to put the shine on someone else. And this week, it’s Cody Schrader’s turn.
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)
- Category 1: How difficult/impressive was the play?
We’ll get into this in Category 3, but this is picture perfect execution by everyone involved. The offensive line opens the perfect amount of space for Schrader, a powerful runner who sometimes lacks the elusiveness of an elite back, to get a head of steam and burst into the middle of the field with plenty of space to convert the run into six points. So it’s not overly difficult — just well-designed and executed.
But we also have to give some credit to Schrader, who does his part in making this play work. I’m not in a habit of grading on a curve, but Schrader doesn’t always make the right reads in these situations. In this case, however, he nails it. He takes the perfect angle coming out of the backfield, reading the secondary’s position well enough to capitalize on the available space and run, relatively untouched, into the end zone. Throwing the back-breaker with a long run is an incredibly insulting move for a team that struggled to get the running game going all game. 16/20
- Category 2: How hard did the defense try?
One of my favorite genres of the disrespectful play is when a defender fails to surrender even at the last minute. It’s like the Nazi in Inglorious Basterds who tells Brad Pitt to f*** himself right after Pitt threatens to have Eli Roth come and bash his brains in with a baseball bat. Like, my man, you’re gonna die for this? Starting down the barrel of Louisville Slugger?
I have to respect Cameron Smith (No. 29) for the effort here. He saw the win slipping through the back of the end zone and said, “I, alone, will bring us back from the edge of defeat,” and proceeded to smack dome on the turf. 19/20
- Category 3: How much did his teammates help?
Unfortunately for Mr. Schrader, we have to give a lot of credit to his teammates in this case. Schrader isn’t the shiftiest back in college football, but he’ll definitely exploit the holes his offensive line creates. And, boy howdy, look at the hole they make here.
Armand Membou and Cam’Ron Johnson are beautifully setting up the middle of the field for Schrader, who excellently slips into the space created by the left side of the line. From there, it’s off to the races. 1/5
- Category 4: What did the player do immediately afterward?
Schrader was quick to give himself some spotlight time in front of his hometown fans, flashing a pose before pounding his chest. Is it novel? Not exactly, but I’m inclined to be generous with Cody given the importance of the moment and the fact he was in front of his hometown peers. 13/20
- Category 5: How did everyone not involved react?
Nothing too noteworthy to mention here. Marquis Johnson was quick to rush to Schrader, who was also joined by several other teammates celebrating his touchdown. A ho-hum, meat and potatoes celebration. 8/15
- Category 6: Is there a backstory/context to consider?
We’ve got a bonafide perfect score here. Cody Schrader is a local legend, his career at Lutheran South a picture of sustained dominance. That he spent a considerable amount of time at, no offense to Truman State, a lesser program seems ill-fitting to his legacy. Despite an underwhelming first year at Mizzou, Schrader has been a workhorse as graduate athlete, leading the SEC in rushing yards per game. That he returned to his hometown and put up a gaudy stat line in an extremely important game is narratively satisfying. That he iced the game with the most consequential touchdown run of his Mizzou career is even more so. 20/20
Cody Schrader’s game-sealing touchdown run was 77 percent disrespectful to Memphis football.
Superlatives and Awards
Best Prospective NIL Deal
Boy, we have to give Marquis Johnson a sneaker deal, huh? All that dude does is burn corners and get wide open down the field.
Mookie Cooper admits that freshman Marquis Johnson is the fastest player in the WR room and ensures that Johnson will be a problem in this league at some point.— Parker Gillam (@gillam_parker) September 16, 2023
What brand of shoe do you think Marquis Johnson likes? I’m an adidas guy, myself, but I know Mizzou is a Nike school. Maybe Dennis Gates and Eli Drinkwitz can include Marquis in their kicks club?
The Himothy Award for Most “Him” Performance
As Mark Kim noted on Twitter, everyone line up to grab your Brady Cook apology form.
I know our staff voted Luther Burden as the MVP of Mizzou’s win over Memphis, but I thought Cook’s performance was obviously the most worthy of celebrating. On a bit of a bum knee and what appeared to me to be a sore shoulder, Cook was firing lasers all over the field. The junior from St. Louis has never looked more explosive or dangerous behind center, and his confidence showed when he continued to sling darts even without Burden.
Best Meme Award
I appreciate that Mizzou fans are not the first to do this, but the selection of memes underneath the social media posts of losing opponents is getting to be breath-taking. We’re speedrunning meme genres at this point, quickly reaching the avant-garde and deconstructionist phases of meme insults.
Here were a few of my favorites...
Harlan watches over us all (even when we’re playing football).
It’s not exactly in the spirit of the George Bush meme, but the look on his face never ceases to amuse me.
Amazing pull by our very own Sammy Stava. Thanks for the coach, Memphis.
That is an elite bar cart, and I won’t let anyone tell me otherwise.