Jason's Untimely Thoughts

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Archive for November, 2007


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Most of the family is already in San Antonio… Here’s the Riverwalk for proof:

San Antonio Riverwalk

Tigers are ranked #1 and have a potential Heisman winner playing QB. Here he is on the cover of SI:

Chase Daniel on SI Cover

Here he is on the cover of The Sporting News:

Chase Daniel on Sporting News cover

Written by Jason Becking

November 29th, 2007 at 8:12 am

Posted in Mizzou

Congratulations, Curses, Jinxes, and Random MUsings

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After beating the mythical shoe-wearing birds on Saturday in KC, our beloved Tigers are ranked #1 in the BCS Standings, the AP poll, and whatever the other poll is called that was supposed to accomplish something. Mizzou stands at #2 in the coaches’ poll. MU plays OU on Saturday in San Antonio, one of our favorite places in the world, for the right to play in the BCS National Championship game.

While I commonly predicted 14-0, told a few people in private asides that the game at OU was going to be tough but 13-1 might really happen, and am generally fairly optimistic about our chances (I tried to avoid saying “our”, “we”, etc., but simply can’t), the reality of being #1 in BCS standings and potential of playing in the national championship game simply hasn’t hit me. Oh well, lots of time between now and January 7!

Since the Tiger victory Saturday night, I have been genuinely amazed and surprised at the number of people who have told me “congratulations”. And meant it. I’m extremely happy we won. Thought of losing to KU in that context was especially difficult to stomach. But, I didn’t play. Didn’t coach. Etc. I sent lots of e-mails though and bought lots of tickets, so perhaps that’s why people feel the need to tell me congratulations and I can’t resist saying “we”.

On the lots of tickets topic, my obsession led me to purchase 81 tickets to MU football games thus far. 81. I’ll have used 12 personally, but still. That’s crazy. And doesn’t count the 380 tickets I put on the work credit card for company tailgate or the however many we end up with for the next game. I say again, if only there was some really obvious way that the athletic department and Sarah could get together so they’d get photos they need and we’d get tickets we evidently need.

Back to the KU game. Pre-game, the beakers once again proved to be liars with their athletic director making the ridiculous claim that the crowd would be 70% pro-KU. Wow. Wrong. However, sincere thanks to whomever in beakerville was responsible for keeping the red socks in the drawer this year. I’ll assume that was a nod towards respect and sanity.

Finally, many were expecting me to go crazy on KU week and send out large chunks of material (insert Mangino joke here) (insert Reesing with a piece of KC sod joke here). Home games only, for tailgating purposes, that is all. If I’d have been funnier during the year, I might have sent another one. As it was, I was sick of my ramblings.

Finally, No Freaking Cursing. Chase Daniel is on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week. Has caused me to read many e-mails of “oh no” and what not. Garbage. SI’s own research proves that any alleged curse has come true at most 37% of the time. Since the curse clearly worked on the shoebirds last week, my expert statistical reasoning allows that there’s only a 14% chance of it working two weeks in a row. And that’s if there was every any such thing. And there’s not.

BEAT OU!!!! And on a side note, screw ku.

Written by Jason Becking

November 27th, 2007 at 3:05 pm

Border War

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KU game is forthcoming… hatred is building… frightening scenarios are being played-out all over two states and ESPN.  Enough attention this week without me adding to it.  Game is national broadcast on ABC at 7:00 p.m.

My early suggestions for signs:


A Mythical Shoe-Wearing
Bird That Presumably
Can’t Fly


Written by Jason Becking

November 19th, 2007 at 11:19 am

Slow Down from Perpetual Holiday

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Sarah sent on the following… thought I’d share here.

As the holiday season approaches (or maybe we are in the middle of it??!!??) I just wanted to suggest to all my friends and family that we SLOW down, enjoy the time that we get to spend with each other. Lets not rush from holiday to holiday worrying about who is getting who what, and where & what are we eating next. I am sincerely going to try to savor every (well most) moment that I get to see the kids smile and laugh and to hear the funny family stories that I have heard a million times before.

The column (pasted below) made me think, if not realize that there is a time for everything and for everyone. Please enjoy the rest of the year and give everyone an extra hug and kiss!

Remember then that there is only one important time and that time is now. The most important one is always the one that you are with. And the most important thing is to do good for the one who is standing at your side. For these, my dear boy, are the answers to what is most important in this world. This is why we are here.  — The Three Questions by John J Muth

Sorry for the length


“A perpetual Holiday,” George Bernard Shaw said, “is a good working definition of hell.” This year the perennial ruckus over little girls’ slutty Halloween costumes was still going strong even as the perennial ruckus over the War on Christmas began. It’s as though we’ve supersized our holidays, so that they start sooner, last longer and cost more, until the calendar pages pull and tear, and we don’t know which one we are meant to be celebrating.

Seasons once had a rhythm to them, tuned to the harvest or the hunt, with rituals spaced through the year to bring the rain, praise the sun, mark the time between solstice and equinox, celebrate birth and honor death. Our holidays answer our needs to feast and mourn and manage risk, our customs customized to the point that the Roman pagans had a holiday specifically designed to prevent a certain kind of mold from destroying the wheat by offering animal sacrifices to the god of mildew. We remember those we love on Valentine’s Day, those we revere on Easter or Passover or Ramadan, those we fear on Halloween. Thanksgiving was a celebration of harvest, the stuffing of oneself a natural response to all the work that once went into managing one’s crops and now goes into managing one’s relatives. Just as meals and sleep and work and recess pace the days, so do holidays pace the year. Clump them together, and they lose their fizz and juice, the useful little monthly boosts turned into a pileup of duties and lists. When every day is a holiday–or more precisely, part of the holiday season–none really are.

It’s true that our forebears could never agree when the cycle should begin. The ancient Egyptians celebrated the new year as the Nile rose at the end of August. The Incans picked the year’s shortest day (June 21 in the southern hemisphere), while Chinese New Year usually falls on the day of the second new moon after the winter solstice. It was Pope Gregory in 1582 who finally settled on Jan. 1 for Europeans. But wherever it lands, it serves its purpose: the past falling away, its demons chased out by bells and whistles and drums, a new year born with no mistakes in it yet, just resolutions.

Since winter can be long and dreary, when days are short and the sunlight thin, we rely on the revelry of carnival and Mardi Gras to carry us over until spring and rebirth. Then come the patriotic plumes, of Memorial Day and Flag Day and July 4 (not to mention Cinco de Mayo, Bastille Day and Samoan Independence Day) before a long spell when the holidays themselves go on holiday. August is the rare month with no shared celebration in it, when we gasp along for weeks on end without collective permission to overspend, overeat and overindulge.

Given that hardship, retailers seize the opportunity. Now it’s not only school that starts the day after Labor Day; so does Halloween. Target and Wal-Mart had their spooky gear out by the following weekend. Monthly magazines do Halloween in the September issue, so Christmas can hit in October. This year the weather even conspired to confuse and collapse the calendar–outdoor pools open in Washington in January, leaves defiantly green and aloft in the Northeast through October, when they’re supposed to lie curled and dead and sweet-smelling beneath the feet of the little witches and ghouls. Maybe Christian radio stations were playing Christmas carols on Halloween just to counterprogram the pagan holiday.

To 17th century Puritans, of course, Christmas was largely a pagan holiday too, so they fined workers who took a single Yuletide day off. Now the Christmas season and the baseball season nearly overlap, as retailers count on Santa for as much as half their annual sales. If that’s not bad enough, the political season has spun forward as well; Iowans plan to caucus on Jan. 3, with confetti still underfoot.

Celebrating these occasions serially is hard enough; handling them simultaneously makes you dizzy. Red-letter days are our measuring sticks, the fixed points from one year to the next by which we can tell how much we’ve changed. They let us gauge the function or dysfunction of the clan, see how our hopes ferment, our kids grow and ripen. Little sister wears big sister’s Easter dress from two years ago, and you suspect she’s going to end up taller. The cub scouts in the annual Memorial Day parade are eagles now. So in the spirit of holiday acceleration, let’s make some early New Year’s resolutions: no costume purchases in September, no holly before Halloween. Ignore the campaign as long as possible: its season will come in due course. Let’s not rush but savor the holidays one by one and preserve their power, their flavor–and our sanity.

Column by Nancy Gibbs
TIME Magazine

Written by Jason Becking

November 13th, 2007 at 9:54 am

Posted in Uncategorized

The Aggie Is Near

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November greetings Tiger fans,

Sad to say, but the end of the (home) season is approaching rapidly, with our beloved Tigers taking on the Fighting Texas Aggie Fighting Aggies on Saturday at 11:30 a.m.  We’ll be at the tailgate in some combination by 9:00.  It’s a “Blackout” game, so I’d encourage everyone to get really drunk and try to forget the game.  Oh wait, sorry, that was a college flashback (sorry mom).   Beyond wearing black, it’s also Senior Day.  20 Tigers will be playing their final games at Faurot Field, so go inside early to salute them.

While I’d normally do my best to make considerable fun of the Aggies, especially since it’s so easy to do, our trip to College Station last year cured me of my evil ways (toward them, if we were playing someone else I’d still be full of hatred).  It wasn’t all good in College Station… their tradition of being “friendly” to everyone kind of creeped me out.  Mostly it came off as ROTC guys saying “HOWDY” to you as loud as possible to see what kind of reaction they’d get, hoping that reaction would then justify a mass beatdown of some sorts.   Like they were ready to jump out and snap my neck like I was a rabid cow.

The real show came when we went to “Yell Practice” on Friday night before the game.   Despite being midnight, and full of college students, and associated with college football, and about 30,000 people there, absolutely no one seemed the least bit intoxicated.   After seeing my college experience from above you can understand the confusion this caused.  Everyone filed politely into one side of the stadium and inexplicably did calisthenics periodically.  Punctuated by sporadic banging on the bleachers and “WHOOOP” noises.  All while some West Texas cracker with a microphone said random nonsense, causing more calisthenics, banging, and WHOOP making.

It was all enough to drive us to the very edge (of the crowd).  Being in complete and utter amazement at the surroundings, I turned around to watch the freak show.  And then promptly found myself laying on my back and head about 4 bleachers down from where I’d just been.  At that moment, though, the Aggie niceties sincerely kicked in.  Despite being with Sarah and Missouri’s two finest sportswriters, the absolute only person that moved to see if I was still alive was an Aggie dad, who had to stand up from ‘humping’ position and walk down 6-8 rows to check on me.  Again, at no point did Sarah or Missouri’s two finest sportswriters ever make a move.  When I finally managed to drag myself back up to their area, they sort of looked at me, snickered a little, and then turned their attention back to the Aggie circus.  Meanwhile Aggie dad returned to humping it and making WHOOP with his young children.

Hope to see you and yours at the tailgate and the game.  They may be nice, but we shall still destroy them.  Go Tigers, 13-1 will be almost as good as 14-0!

Here are the 20 Seniors playing in their final home game.  I’m confident they all join me in saying screw ku.

Steven Blair (95)    DL     Godfrey, Ill.
Greg Bracey (85)    WR    Milwaukee, Wisc.
Pig Brown (13)         SS     Adel, Ga.
Travis Cardoza (4)    S    Springfield, Mo.
Adam Crossett (90)     P    Liberty, Mo.
William Franklin (2)    WR     St. Louis, Mo.
Charles Gaines (91)    DL     Hayti, Mo.
Tyler Luellen (79)     OL     Bethany, Mo.
Lucas Null (87)         WR     Crystal City, Mo.
Jason Ray (4)         WR     Porter, Okla.
Martin Rucker (82)    TE     St. Joseph, Mo.
John Ruth (41)        LB    Jefferson City, Mo.
Paul Simpson (6)    CB     Oakland, Calif.
Adam Spieker (77)     OL     Webb City, Mo.
Tony Temple (22)    TB    Kansas City, Mo.
Darnell Terrell (3)     CB     St. Louis, Mo.
Chris Tipton (54)     OL     Bowling Green, Mo.
Lorenzo Williams (99)     DL     Midwest City, Okla.
Marcus Woods (3)     TB    Farmington Hills, Mich.
Monte Wyrick (71)    OL     Texarkana, Ark.

Written by Jason Becking

November 7th, 2007 at 4:40 pm

Posted in Tailgating Fun