Sunday, April 22, 2007

Black & Gold Game recap

I was at a wedding yesterday, so I asked Tigerboard and PowerMizzou poster Merlin to write a recap. Thanks, Merlin!

After several weeks of preperation, and numerous phone calls and emails we were finally ready to hit the 1st annual B&G tailgate. The night before the game was like the season opener for me. I’m getting up at 6:00 am and I find myself up at midnight unable to sleep. I’ve got 3 cases of beer, 2 cases of sodas and water iced down and am hoping I can get all of it fit into the car. I get a phone call from TigerJeff shortly after midnight wondering if I was unable to sleep. About 10 of them are out of the site partying and have heard from others that they are on the way. I start to feel better that this is going to be a success. I definitely need to sleep for a couple of hours.

I hear music in my dreams. Why doesn’t someone turn that damn alarm off? Looking up I see it’s 6:00. I guess I’m the one that should turn the thing off. Time to get around. I need to clean up, get my oldest son moving and get the car loaded. We’re pulling out of here at 7:30 hoping for a 9:00am arrival. Oh the way over I get 3 calls from Jeff asking how far out we are. I’ll need to remember to install a tracking device next year. He does mention that we are nearing 50 people and it isn’t even 9:00 yet. I’m feeling better about this thing all the time. When we arrive, I’m just stunned. The parking lot looks like Nebraska is coming to town. It’s packed. I later discover that the students weren’t required to move due to the spring game. I stop by a group of RV’s and ask if these are PowerMizzou fans. Yep, I’m in the right spot. It’s shortly after 9:00 am and I see 30 or 40 geriatrics like myself eating breakfast burritos and drinking beer. Even if it hadn’t been the right place, this is where we would have stayed.

Introductions all around and more coming as people arrive. 10:00 am and we easily have 100 folks there. ZouDave arrives with his father and I finally get to pay homage to the guy that provided us with those fabulous videos through the season. He’s promised that next year they’re going to be even better. I’d brought my camera along, but Gabe has provided a staff photographer to record this for history. Since I’m into my 3rd beer I decide to just let his guy handle this photo op. I’ll concentrate on making people feel welcome. I get a chance to speak with Gabe and the other organizers and we’re hoping our surprise visitors make it out. Sarah Baumgardner (sp?) from the TSF arrives. She’s about as hot as I’d heard. If she’d send bikini photos out with her requests for money, she’d probably increase donations by 30%. I decide not to suggest that to her.

About 11:30 our main guest arrives. The SID bring Coach Pinkel to visit with the huddled masses. He’s out in his old gold suit and black pullover. I expected him to make a quick speech and exit, but he works the crowd. Lots of photo ops here for folks that don’t often get to meet him and he seems happy to be there. After his PR mistakes in the past, I think he’s starting to “get it”. After all, we’re Mizzou fans and we want to be catered to. Later, Mike Alden makes it by and works the crowd himself. I was happy to hear he received no death threats. On to the scrimmage………

As we enter, the band is playing and the Golden Girls are dancing at the main entrance to the stadium. Wow. Those girls just get better and better looking.

We select a couple of seats about half way up and it looks to be a decent crowd. I’m going to say that the lower section is pretty much full between the 20 yard lines with a very nice sprinkling up higher where we are. I’m estimating somewhere in the 10 to 12 thousand range. No Nebraska crowd, but nothing to be embarrassed about either. The offense appears to be what we imagined. While Chase Daniel is in, it pretty much looks unstoppable, and Chase Patton looks good too. I see that they are making an effort to get Jason Ray involved. Our 10-20 yard passing attack looks unstoppable. I sure hope this is because the offense is just that good, and not because our defense sucks. Ok, I definitely choose to believe that our offense is just that unstoppable. I’m a complete homer, remember? Temple runs the ball well and I’m happy to see Marcus Woods involved. We could be so much better if he can put last year behind him. I love the kid and you have to respect his attitude after all the adversity he’s faced. CD is taken out after 1 play in the 2nd quarter. It’s going to be mostly backups from now on. I was very happy to see one of my local boys; James Stigall working with the starters at right guard. I’m hopeful that his experiment at center is almost over.

After the scrimmage, we return to the tailgate and wait for some reports from Gabe on the recruits. I talk with Killer and Nick and some others. We’ve all agreed that we intend to believe that our offense is just going to be impossible to stop and our defense will do much better when not faced with such a dynamo. I come to the realization that I should have worn a cap since my head is apparently burned beyond recognition.

Gabe arrives after filing his stories. Still no Gabbert, but he still firmly believes that we’ll be getting him sooner than later. I’m hoping so also. We load up the coolers and prepare to head back to Blue Springs. One last tour, shaking hands and hugging like we’d known people forever, and it’s over. This fix is going to have to do me until September. It probably wouldn’t be this hard if only the Royals weren’t still so painful to watch. But it was a great day, and hope abounds for a 10 + win season this fall. We’re so overdue.

For those of you interested, here are some B&G Game articles:

* Official recap
* Power Mizzou's Instant Analysis and official stats
* Plenty of coverage from the Trib, along with a Chase Daniel Q&A
* Plenty of coverage from the KC Star, along with a lovely Marcus Woods feature
* Not quite as much coverage from the Post-Dispatch