Jason's Untimely Thoughts

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Expectations Switch, Pound Nebraska

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Happy beat Nebraska week, Tiger fans.  MU hosts the Corn on Thursday, kick off is scheduled for 8:01 p.m. on ESPN.  Yes, really, 8:01 p.m.  Bryan Ninichuck and Todd Bennington of Wingate Pest Control fame will be handling the tailgate food, much thanks to them, call Wingate for all your pest control needs.  Roads around the stadium will be extremely chaotic, but will be shooting to be at the tailgate by 5:00 p.m.  A few will almost certainly be there before that.

Now a walk down memory lane…

The year was 2000, three of us went up to Lincoln for the Tigers game against Nebraska, my first visit to their Memorial Stadium.  Prior to this, my experience with Nebraska fans was mostly at CJ’s, where they were nice, much-fun, old people, maybe a little overweight.   We learned quickly that you couldn’t stand up for long, as the “maybe a little overweight” was an understatement and there literally wasn’t enough room for everyone to sit.  It was like musical chairs every time there was a good play, last one standing had to stay that way.

As for the game, Sarah was taking photos while Rib and I were in the stands for what was a relatively exciting game (Kirk Farmer broke his collar bone game). Afterwards, as the Nebraska fans strolled quietly out of the stadium, I asked a group of them what the deal was.  They’d just won a football game, for the love of God, but were acting like they were leaving the theatre after watching Schindler’s List.  Winning’s just not that big of a deal, was the reply.  “We expect to win these games” and just didn’t like the way they looked doing it.  Wow, I thought, what a bunch of arrogant, no-fun, old people.  Maybe a little overweight.

Fast-forward to 2003, some kid named Brad Smith led the Tigers to a 41-24 victory.  Sarah was in a plane taking photos beforehand and the early part of the game, she then lugged all her gear from Reactor Field to the press box in the rain to hustle down and take game photos.  My parents, Adelaide, and I sat in the press box.  A shocking 28-point 4th quarter broke open the game for the Tigers… I can still clearly remember the smell of the evergreen bushes being trampled by the students and fans as they rushed the field from the hill.  After the game we hung out for a long long time, celebrating the victory.  We went home, started to settle in, only to have the replay of the game come back on TBS at about 2:00 a.m.  Sarah & I sat there and watched it all again, both of us giddy at the entire thing.

Now to 2008, back in Lincoln, I walked out of the stadium in front of a couple of 28-ish year olds who were voicing their displeasure.  On and on and on and on and on and on and on and on about how they were used to winning and how “all these Missouri fans just don’t realize that we’re not used to watching us get beat this badly.  We just have never seen us get beat that badly.”  I politely pointed out that they should be used to it by now, as we’d beaten them almost exactly that badly the year before too.

This is the 11th consecutive MU-Nebraska game I’ve attended (1999-2009) and my 15th or so overall.  During that span, the contest has evolved from Missouri fans generally being happy not watching a blow-out, to closely contested games (kicked ball and I still think MU wins the game in Lincoln if Farmer doesn’t break a bone), to beating Nebraska 52-17 and 41-6 the past two years.  Blaine Gabbert was in the 6th grade or something the last time Nebraska managed to win in Columbia.  The last time their coach was in Columbia, Sarah took a picture of him precisely because he looked so ridiculous yelling at the referees.

Look how ridiculous he looks!

Look how ridiculous he looks!

I don’t think MU will blow out Nebraska this time, but I do think next year’s team will be full of Tigers who are undefeated against the boys from Nowledge.  41-24 seems like another good score in this contest to me.

The Team of the 90s, The Big Red Machine from Lincoln, Nebraska…. Have fun with those memories, Corn.  The oddsmakers have installed the Nubs as slight favorites in this game.  Of course they also picked ILL to beat MU.    Here’s a video that shows the early part of the Mizzou > Nebraska evolution  (kicked-ball warning) http://www.rockmnation.com/2009/5/22/883591/zoudave-feels-it-coming-in-the-air

p.s.  Note how I didn’t mention the fat lady running over all out of breath to clap in my face and tell me we’d done a good job, they’d lost plenty of times too, in 2004 as I’m leaving their stadium, trying to make my way down the stairs around her; the dope Husker player who punched one of our fans in 2003; or the myriad of arrestees who littered Nub rosters over their good years while Coach Pinkel continues to stock the roster with top quality kids and beat Nebraska.

on a side note, screw ku.

Written by Jason Becking

October 5th, 2009 at 2:26 pm

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