I originally started this post with a different Simon & Garfunkel track, but opted for a switch when I wrote the Watchability Meter. Cool people will understand what I mean.
These dark days of Mizzou Hoops have me yearning for a day when we’ll feel a semblance of hope about where the program is headed. With all the young talent on this roster and the recruiting classes coming in, that day is not far from now.
Imagine April 2024, when we’re all able to blot out the stain of 2023-2024 like a bad memory. “Basketball season? What basketball season? I only remember up to the Cotton Bowl and then it’s all a blur!”
When I first started The Revue back in 2019, I never really anticipated that I’d get to this point where I would have to compare Mizzou Sports to movies that are simultaneously bad and depressing.
It’s not a combination you see a lot in the film world. Certainly there are bad movies. Certainly there are lots of depressing movies that end up being bad. But I find that bad movies tend to evoke feelings of apathy, hilarity, confusion or even anger (in some cases) rather than depression. Suicide Squad is a bad movie that evokes apathy. Star Wars: Episode III is a bad movie that evokes hilarity. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is a bad movie that evokes confusion.
But only one movie that I can think of evokes the cursed combination of badness and depression. And that’s 2018’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
Maybe I’m too beholden to my preferences. But in my opinion, Jurassic Park is a perfect movie. It doesn’t get any more perfect that Jurassic Park. So much so that the many, many sequels that have followed — notably The Lost World and the reboot Jurassic World — seem outright dull in comparison when, in fact, they’re fine movies in their own right. The latter particularly makes an ambitious play as a commentary on corporate ambition and profit motive in light of obvious failure.
All of which makes what follows so damn... pathetic? That seems like the right word for it, even if I’d hesitate to go that far for this year’s Mizzou team. Fallen Kingdom is a cursed cinematic object that does just enough to evoke the wonder of Steven Spielberg’s original action-adventure epic while also bastardizing almost everything that made it so wonderful in the first place. It’s ambitious in its visual scale while managing to look like shit, despite its overwhelming resources on hand. It’s ambitious on an emotional level, yet panders to sentimentality that Spielberg only touches in his worst efforts. And it opts for story arcs and side plots that completely betray the simple pitch of the original. It depresses me that you can start with something so foundational and good and yet still manage to produce a pile of stinking refuse worthy of Jeff Goldblum’s awe.
I hold a certain contempt for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom that doesn’t necessarily translate to this Mizzou team. Unlike the corporate shell that vomited up that disaster, I can see the effort that goes into this particular unit and the strides they’re taking. It’s just a shame that they’re having to follow up a season that felt perfect from the very start.
★☆☆☆☆ for the week of hoops, ★☆☆☆☆ for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, a movie I’d like to forget if only my brain would allow
One of my favorite TV shows of all time, one that has definitely anchored in my top five at least, is Arrested Development. I doubt I’m the only one here who feels that way. I also doubt I’m the only one here who found Season Four of the show, otherwise known as the Netflix revival, to be a severe drop-off in quality from the original three seasons.
That being said, I still find a lot to enjoy about that season, especially when it’s taken out of its original Rashomon form and put into linear order. Regardless though, one of the show’s all-time best bits lands squarely within the context of Season Four. You know the one I’m talking about, especially if you took time to read the intro.
It’s hard to narrow down my favorite running gags that belong to George Oscar Bluth, but I’d have to put this up there with the greats. I’d argue that it’s entered the cultural lexicon in a way that most Arrested Development jokes haven’t and is one of many great musical cues that the show mastered for comedic effect.
I bring this up because I can envision many of us sitting on our couches week-in-and-week-out tuning into Mizzou Basketball. With so much of the good momentum from March 2023 ground to a halt, each game feels like a fresh opportunity to gaze into the middle distance and question our decisions. As Noah Carter fires up his sixth three-pointer of the game or Jesus Carrelero squares up to an interior defender with four inches and 50 pounds on him, I find the plucking strings of Paul Simon tickling my inner ear, and my body slumps into a jellified state.
For dropping to 0-4 in conference play over the past week, Mizzou gets 5 out of 5 existential Gobs.
Disrespectful Dunk Index
Look, folks, I hate to say it because normally I love charity. But this Disrespectful Dunk Index isn’t a charity case, OK?
I get that sometimes games will go by where the shots are hard to find. I really do. I played basketball four six years and shots were always hard to find for me (because I sucked.) But these are Division I guys, several of whom are more than able to throw it down when their team needs a bucket. I’ve seen Aidan Shaw get up there for put backs and oops. I’ve seen Tamar Bates catch a breakout. Noah Carter has surprising ups.
But if you’re not going to honor the sacred hall that is the DDI, then the DDI will in turn not honor you. No disrespectful dunks? No honors. Got a problem with that, take it up with the men in black and gold!
Superlatives and Awards
Best Prospective NIL Deal
I understand that what Nate Oats did is forbidden by the rules of sportsmanship in the SEC or whatever. But I mostly think it was fairly harmless. It’s not like he gave him a two-armed shove. If we’re really analyzing the moment, I’m sure Nate Oats would rather give up his yearly salary than square up with Aidan Shaw one-on-one. More than anything, it felt like a weak attempt at posturing for the crowd.
You don't put hands on the other team's players pic.twitter.com/sW1IwnOOEI— Order On The Court ⚖️ (@DataMizzou) January 17, 2024
However, I’m sure there are some good ambulance chasers in Columbia that would love to take a pot shot at Mr. Oats. Perhaps we can hook Aidan Shaw up with one of them and transfer some of his salary and the SEC’s coffers to Shaw’s bank account for “emotional damage.” Something about how the SEC failed to uphold their regulations for coaching conduct by failing to fine or suspend Oats for something that’s clearly against the rules as written? Maybe it gets tossed as frivolous, but at the very least we can make the attempt and stir up some bad blood between Mizzou and another SEC school!
The Himothy Award for Most “Him” Performance
Is it cheating if I’m using a longer time frame for this award than I am for the whole piece? I don’t care, I’m going for it.
Mizzou has been in the doldrums for a few weeks now, but it isn’t for lack of trying from Tamar Bates, who has turned into an out-and-out killer in that time.
The only moderate silver lining: Tamar Bates.— Matt Harris (@MattJHarris85) January 14, 2024
In his past six outings, he's averaged17.4/3.2/1.5 on 59.1% shooting from a floor, while his touches are worth 1.434 PPP.
Keep that up and #Mizzou will have a reliable partner with Sean East II — and an alpha for 2024-25.
And this was before he put up 19 in Tuscaloosa earlier this week. Silver linings, folks!
Best Meme Award
I don’t know that I think this is the best the Alabama fan base has to offer, but I appreciate the sheer amount of work that went into only for it to look as deep-fried as it does.
I also appreciate the Extremely Goofy Movie avi.