It's Time to Jump on the Mizzou Bandwagon

Sep 25, 2008 at 9:35 am

It's shaping up to be a tough winter for St. Louis sports fans.

The Cardinals are ending on a definite low note, leaving their fans with a sour taste in their mouths.

The Blues top young player, a big defenseman by the name of Erik Johnson, wrecked his knee -- wait for it -- stepping out of a golf cart.

And the Rams, well, the less said the better.

So what are we to do?

I'll tell you what we're going to do. We're going to jump on the Mizzou bandwagon.

That's right, ladies and gentlemen, there is hope on the sporting landscape this winter. The Tigers are plenty close for St. Louis to officially adopt, and they're a legitimate contender for a national title.

We have one of the most exciting teams in all of college sports just a couple hours to the west. Chase Daniel is once again an early season candidate for the Heisman, and in fact looks even stronger this season than last. He set a conference record in the Tigers' last game with 20 straight passes completed. Sure, Mizzou has been playing mostly cupcake teams so far this season (outside of Illinois, of course), but some of the numbers that Daniel has been throwing up this year are absolutely unreal. Jeremy Maclin, the teams' young all purpose back, is one of the most exciting young players in all of college football. After setting the world on fire last year as a freshman, Maclin already has more than 400 yards from scrimmage this season to go along with five touchdowns. Plus, he's from Kirkwood originally. What more could you ask for?

The Tigers boast an improving defense, though the secondary has looked shaky in the early going. Still, the offense racks up enough points to compete with any team in the game. If the defense shows up even in a middling fashion, Mizzou has a pretty damn good chance to run the table this season, at least up until the Big 12 Conference Title game. Could something go wrong between now and then? Of course it could. The Tigers are on the road to face Nebraska; Mizzou hasn't won at Nebraska since 1978. The game that worries me the most is at Texas, in the third week of conference play. And then, of course, there's the always compelling season closer against Kansas. That particular contest will again this year be played in Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, fairly neutral ground. Kansas looks to be a very good team again this season, and they certainly have some payback in mind after Mizzou knocked them out of the national title picture last year.

So as the weather cools down this year, and you find yourself surveying the bleak landscape of St. Louis sports, take heart. You can cheerfully ignore the Rams and their complete incompetence. Let others worry about Scott Linehan's job security. (Here's a hint: he doesn't have any.) So what if the Blues appear to be cursed? Hey, big, strong, athletic guys in absolute tip top shape in their early twenties blow out their knees stepping out of golf carts all the time. Doesn't have to ruin your day. The Cardinals and their wacky manager can have all the off-season adventures they want. Hey, they may not sign any big name free agents, and they may make a couple of dumb trades that cripple the franchise for years at the insistence of a man who'll probably be gone within about two years at the most. You can be totally fine with that.

After all, you've got Mizzou football to look forward to. The players are talented, the execution is there, and the decisions usually make sense.

Let's face it, folks. We pretty much have to adopt the Tigers as our own. It may very well be the only game in town.

- Aaron Schafer