10 September 2011

Injury Prone

Laden with injuries, Tigers lose in OT
by Mizzou Matt 9/10/11
TEMPE, AZ- "There's something about this Mizzou team this year." I've heard a few fans say that before the season started, and I couldn't agree more. There really is something about this team- we can't seem to stay healthy. Last night in Tempe, Arizona against Arizona State, we had eight (count 'em, 8) players sidelined to injury. Center Travis Ruth (achilles), left tackle Elvis Fisher (knee), linebacker Will Ebner (ankle), defensive end Jacquise Smith (elbow), running back Kendial Lawrence (hamstring) and running back De'Vion Moore (ankle) just to name a few. Jerrell Jackson (hamstring) was dressed, but saw limited playing time. Kip Edwards (hamstring) played his heart out at cornerback. We were playing with injuries, backups and 3rd-string players that rarely see playing time in games with big implications. We still found a way to score. We still found a way to come back. We almost found a way to win.

Now for that proverbial "what-if" scenario. "What if" Mizzou was healthy? "What if" we had our star starters in the game? "What if" instead of our backups, the Sun Devils played our 1st line? Would the outcome have been different? Aside from taking the Delorean back to 1955, then fast forwarding to some alternate reality, we'll have no way of knowing. But still, "what if"?

Our depth chart was tested. If you ask me, they rose to the occasion despite the loss. Our players who last year saw limited playing time got some real game experience. Above all else- they scored and found a way to come back against all odds. Arizona State will walk away from this game bragging that they knocked off a top 25 team. Missouri will walk away from it stating that it was without star players on the field. Both sides will take jabs at one another and in the media, but there is one thing that sticks out.

That one thing is CLASS. This past week, an ASU fan sent the Maneater (a Mizzou-based magazine) an email that would get any Tiger fan's blood pumping. In the email, he said "if you thought the flooding in Joplin was a disaster, wait til Friday!" First of all, we all know it was a tornado that hit Joplin, not flooding. Second of all, this shows the level of class that ASU fans exude. From some Mizzou fans that made the trek to Sun Devil Stadium, they found out that the level of class we all thought ASU had was being gratuitous. Sun Devil fans threatened Tiger fans. They insulted us. "Read the scoreboard, if you can!" After the game, they cussed out the team, fans and even the cheerleaders as the student section yelled out "F--- YOU!" And we thought that Nebraska were the "classiest fans in the world"? ASU took it to a whole new low.

To the Sun Devils- congratulations on the win. You may act like it was a BCS National Championship blowout, but our backups took you to overtime and you only won by seven. Congratulations on beating a team that lost a star defensive end, two cornerbacks and a quarterback to the NFL. Congratulations on beating a team that has been riddled with injuries since before the season even started. Congratulations on joining Nebraska, West Virginia, Alabama, Ohio State, South Carolina and Kansas on the elite list of "worst fan base in the NCAA." Your mothers must be very proud.

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