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Rock M Nation Reviews: NIL Deals

Join us as we test out the goods Mizzou’s athletes are promoting

Time to eat some Luther Chips. My guy looks super imposing here
Courtesy of Karen Steger & Big Papa’s on Campus

This started out as a joke, dear readers, proposed (I feel sarcastically) by Deputy Manager Josh after I posted a picture of the LB chips I picked up on Thursday afternoon to our slack channel. I honestly wasn’t even planning on eating them. But, everything is for #content, so here we are. In this post, I’ve asked various Rock M contributors to share their reviews of Mizzou’s NIL endorsements and products. It’s a silly exercise, and we do not claim to be the expert opinion of said items. This is also by no means a comprehensive list. Perhaps in the future I’ll ask for your thoughts Mizzou NIL products since I’ve exhausted the list from our staff? Surely some of you have bought some swag?

Kicking things off, the bag of chips that started it all…. After seeing on Twitter that Luther Burden’s Old Vienna chips were being sold just a stone’s throw away from my office, I had to pick some up for me and Beat Writer Brandon.

Special Edition Old Vienna Red Hot Riplets

  • Reviewed by: Karen Steger, editor / jack(ie)-of-all-trades
  • NIL Athlete: Luther Burden
  • Flavor: Honey BBQ, made specially for LB by the StL-owned company
  • Tasting notes: I actually left the bag in my office so I don’t know how they taste, haha.
  • Best accompanied by: According to Josh & Sam, these chips will pair perfectly with a hot salami sandwich — WITH MELTED PROVEL!! — from StL-based Gioias
  • Availability: various stores around CoMo, including Mosers locations & Big Papa’s convenience store on 9th; 100+ Schnucks stores in St Louis area; available from Old Vienna website as a bulk order (16 bags)
  • Price Point: Only $1.99 for a 2.5 oz bag; $31.84 for the 16ct order from the website
  • Other notes: This packaging is A+. As I learned in my NIL seminar, athletes can’t use Mizzou branding in any way. Instead, Luther has on a black & gold decidedly non-Mizzou jersey with little LB initial marks on it. My favorite part is the tiger-striped bag, though. There’s also a lovely informational column of sorts about Luther on the back of the bag. Eat great tasting chips AND learn something about one of our fave new Tigers?!? Big winner here.

Courtesy of Brandon Haynes, noted chip enthusiast
  • Reviewed by Brandon Haynes, beat writer
  • Tasting notes: Luther Burden will add fuel to the fire for Missouri’s offense this year, so it’s not surprising that his Old Vienna Red Hot Riplets pack a punch. The honey barbecue flavor makes the chip a staple on store shelves, and it should be. Each ridged potato chip keeps you coming back for more, which is ironic because I don’t think opposing defenses will feel the same way when Burden lines up across from them. Overall, each chip brings a pleasant barbecue flavor with a little bit of punch, bringing me to the conclusion that I cannot wait for my next bag.
  • Crunchiness: 9.4/10, Big-Time crunch with some heat behind it.
  • Brandon’s other notes: I think it’s safe to say this should be branded as the No. 1 chip for wide receivers in the NCAA. The brand and style is a perfect fit for Burden and I believe it’s an extremely creative way of highlighting Burden’s ties back to St. Louis, which may create even more buzz for the five-star. I highly recommend anyone and everyone to give the chip a try. Even if it’s not your style, let’s show some support for one of the names we’ll be packing Faurot Field to watch in the coming years.

courtesy of Dan Keegan, personal collection

Topps Bowman U 2021-2022 College Football Trading Cards

  • Reviewed by: Dan Keegan, football contributor
  • NIL Athlete: Tyler Badie, Connor Bazelak, and about a hundred other football players from the NCAA.
  • Description: Topps is aggressively developing NCAA trading cards now that NIL exists, and they also signed licenses for school names and logos. (This was their first entry into this market, so these cards don’t have the licenses.) I pulled both a Bazelak and a Badie base card. I also got a limited run green refractor Kenny Pickett, a CJ Stroud “Golden Boy” insert, and autographed cards from Tyler Fryfogle (WR, Indiana) and Colby Wooden (DE, Auburn).
  • Crunchiness: N/A I did not bite the cards. (Editor’s note: LOL. I did say copy my formatting?)
  • Price Point: Prices fluctuate, but should be about $130 for a hobby box (24 packs), about $40 for a blaster box (7 packs), about $5 for a single pack, or you can find single cards on eBay to chase your favorite players or inserts.
  • Dan’s other notes: The cards are very handsome, but I’m looking forward to next year’s set with school-licensed products and hopefully chasing a rare Luther Burden or Brady Cook card. I didn’t get ANY current Mizzou players in my set.

Ummmm... this looks INCREDIBLE.
@budsclassicbbq on Instagram

Bud’s BBQ

  • Reviewed by: Mitch Hill, former podcast producer
  • NIL Athlete: Unknown, though we know they are providing support to a variety of athletes in several sports, including soccer. A birdy told me Elijah Young may have a burger on the menu, and a possible collab with Luther Burden and the aforementioned chips may be on the horizon (per IG stories)?
  • Mitch’s menu recs: The menu changes each day but if they have smash burgers, get that OR the brisket, for sure. Their drinks are also VERY good, especially the spicy margarita. They have cocktails ON TAP, and while I didn’t understand how the owner said that worked when I spoke to him. Saturday Brunch is also very good.
  • Price Point: The food is a bit pricey, BUT it is very good.

Big fan of curly fries. Courtesy of: wouldn’t you like to know?!

Hooters Wings

  • Reviewed by: Anonymous
  • NIL Athletes: Luke Griffin, Connor Tollison, Bobby Lawrence, Armand Membou, Javon Foster, Drake Heismeyer, Ej Ndoma-Ogar (i.e. the O-Line)
  • The specifics: The OL will visit Hooters locations, make social media appearances and encourage fans to make Hooters their game day destination
  • Menu Recs: I only tried one thing (my dining partners bailed on me last minute and so I got my food to go) and it was the Chicken Tender Melt sandwich. Overall, it was solid bar food, but nothing exceptional.
  • Price Point: A little bit on the pricier end of bar food, but it’s not gonna break your bank. Most meals are in between the $12-$18 range.
  • Anonymous’ other notes: They have a cool section in the restaurant dedicated to Mizzou with Justin Britt, Jeremy Maclin, and Chase Daniel jerseys. Hopefully, they’ll be adding a section for the O-Line soon.

courtesy of Lauren Rosenberg, merch enthusiast

Hayley Frank ‘Frankie 4 Threee!’ t-shirt & autographed mini 22” basketball

  • Reviewed by: Lauren Rosenberg, WBB writer
  • NIL Athlete: Hayley Frank
  • Description: I am a stickler for a good signature and Hayley’s is perfect. The clarity of her jersey number on there definitely won’t confuse anyone who purchases this ball. As for the shirt, I love the design. It embodies what Hayley is known best for— her three point prowess. The name text is very clear so you know who the shirt is for right off the bat. The background behind the graphic is an innovative design, with the number “3” and “three” used interchangeably.
  • Availability: Visit the Horns Down online shop, which carries Hayley Frank merch, as well as items for other NIL-sponsored athletes (mainly football) at
  • Price point: The shirt is $27.99 and comes in unisex adult sizes S-XXL, as well as youth S-XL. I think this is a decent price point. Normally, you’d see shirts at around the $35-45 mark. As for the ball, I think it’s a bit expensive, but it also is cheaper than the other signed memorabilia on their site (the signed FB helmets go for $94.99).
  • Lauren’s other notes: I highly recommend buying Frank’s merch. She is the face of Mizzou Women’s Basketball and a phenomenal athlete. On top of that, the support of women athletes is on the rise so why not start your collection with an in-state star like Hayley?