November 21, 2006

The Devil and Gary Pinkel

Random rants before I blow this freaking town and hit the slopes this weekend.

** A lot has been said about Gary Pinkel and his contract extension that the Missouri athletic department gave him prior to his team's 21-16 tanking in Ames on Saturday, culminating a usual post-season swoon for the Tigers. Athletic Director Mike Alden...apparently scared of losing Pinkel to Idaho or Southeast Missouri State, decided to lock up the former Toledo coach to a hefty 20+% raise.

Since I have a large Missouri audience, I thought I'd give you my official reply.

On one hand, I have not, nor will I ever understand Missouri fan and their obsession in bashing their own team. NOBODY on earth spends more time, more energy on bashing themselves than the Tiger Nation. If you told them that you thought they were going to lose to Kansas on Saturday, they would snap back and say, "Not just lose..we're gonna get DESTROYED!" That's the kind of attitude you have to deal with in cheering for the black and gold. The only way I can explain it is if you took the average Nebraska fan (who will spend his entire life telling you how great he is), and go the COMPLETE opposite direction. That is Missouri fan.

Anyhow, on the other hand, Missouri fan has been kicked and punched so many times, it's not even funny. It's not as though the team has been through a few rough years. I dare you to find a team more snake bit, more jinxed, more wallowed in sub-mediocrity than pretty much any sport. Missouri has ONE Big 12 Championship in 10 years. ONE. Texas has 66. That's probably worth getting at least a little bit upset about.

I personally find the timing of the extension insane. Not because I'm sure they weren't working on the extension for quite some time...but they should have known that if (or when) the inevitable letdown was coming..the backlash would be extreme. Thus, you get exactly what happened. Look, I'm not an idiot. I never ever confuse Missouri football or basketball with USC or Duke. There is a reason teams with only 6 bowl games in my lifetime get mediocre coaching pedigrees in their résumé inbox like Gary Pinkel. They're in a tough conference, in a sport where rebuilding can take decades. They're in a conference that eventually will be top notch again, fighting an uphill battle the entire way. I understand that what Pinkel has done at the VERY least is keep Missouri from becoming a permanent bottom dweller.

But at what point do you take that next step? (Starting to sound familiar Husker fans?) At what point do you demand that your team start over...only to give yourself a better opportunity for becoming the next West Virginia, Louisville or Wake Forest? At what point do you fire a 9-3 coach for "gravitating toward mediocrity"?

I always thought Steve Pederson was a complete idiot for firing Solich, and for the most part I still do. (as many of you Husker fans do as well.) But now that my own team is going through a smaller version of this dilemma, I see it a bit more clearly. Oh don't get me wrong...he's still a whole new level of arrogant to think that Nebraska is EVER going to go 60-3 over a 4 year stretch or whatever that ridiculous number was. However, he was right in one's MUCH easier for a "name" team to "rebuild" (if you call 9-3 reason to "rebuild") than it is for a Missouri or Iowa State or Kentucky or Vandy. High school kids will more often than not want to be able to tell their friends they get to go to a big name school than they will going to a "no name" school to try and rebuild them.

Rebuilding Missouri football...well...BUILDING Missouri football is a daunting task. The whole "Sleeping Giant" analogy is a pipedream. Missouri will never be a football power, unless it's under extraordinary circumstances. (Such as those that were taken by Bill Snyder when he came to K-State) I'm not saying Gary Pinkel should continue the piss poor tradition of bad coaching, bad motivation and even worse play calling. I'm simply stating people need ot keep this in mind before they start declaring the program complete dead.

The fact was never really alive. (OK..maybe for 3 years in the 60's...but come on.) I don't think Gary Pinkel has done anything (other than lose to KU 3 times in a row) to lose his job. But at the same time, it should be up to Missouri officials to at least see some sort of progress rather than mediocrity.

** I've mentioned this before...but it's gotten to the point of such over saturation, I have to mention it at least one more time. I'm not a super-liberal person at all. In fact, I consider myself quite middle of the road when it comes to both domestic and international issues. But the celebrity warship that goes on in this country is going to be the last straw that sends us into the very bowels of hell.

Flipping through channels this weekend, I counted no fewer than FOUR specials on either Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, or Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. I understand people's lives are so empty that they must follow every single details of the lives of those who are far more interesting than they. But I really don't need a 30 minute special on Katie's fabulous wedding dress from over the weekend. Working in baseball and music, I've had more than my fair share of celebrity encounters, and trust me when I tell you...99% of these people are not individuals you would ever even say hello to.

I recall a run in I had with former Detroit Tiger Orlando Miller, where I asked him to join the rest of his team for a team picture....only to have him go into a 60 second, F-bomb filled tirade that would embarrass a sailor on shore leave in Tijuana.

You may not have enough going on in your life, that you need to know what Tom and Katie are doing for their honeymoon. Hell, I barely knew what I was doing for my own honeymoon. Is it completely necessary to dedicate four separate TV stations with round the clock coverage? Isn't there an infomercial we can run instead? Can't we replace E! with that house network that shows houses for sale 24/7? I know I know..don't watch..whatever. Kind of hard when it's absolutely everywhere..especially when all the fuss is over a douche bag like Tom Cruise who hasn't done jack shit since All the Right Moves.

Congratulations Tom and go away.

** Speaking of celebrities, I'll be signing autographs in both downtown Denver and downtown Lincoln this weekend to celebrate NU-CU week. More details to come.


Anonymous obsessed husker fan said...

...yawn... we all know missouri will forever suck... no one cares... go back to hating on a real team like the huskers... yawn... VERY dissapointing material aj... and what is this about an autograph session?

6:21 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

You're funny when you're jealous. :) Heh.

40% of my hits come from Tigerboard or Missouri IP's, so I have to address it.'s pissing me off, and it's North division related..which makes it relevant.

The autographs thing...somwhat exagerated...although I will be in both Boulder and Lincoln this weekend.

8:57 PM  
Anonymous obsessed husker fan said...

its not jealousy, i just come here to read your hilarious rants about me and my husker brethren, and your envy to be one of us, not about some shitty program like missouri, your site is called huskerh8ter's view of the world, is it not? i guess thats all im trying to get at...

11:00 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

Shit man, get your own fucking blog then. :)

Go through the archives. You think In can fill 365 days a year for 2+ years on Husker shit alone? Dude, I'm nuts, but I'm not crazy.

I'll be in Lincoln this weekend. I'm sure I'll get my Husker hatred stoked a bit. Not to worry. It's not like I all of a sudden like your team or even tolerate myopic hysteria such as yours.

Besides...I very seldom write about missouri, but again...this is relevant. Besides, I didn't see the whole "shitty program" complains last year when you were getting your ass pasted by Brad Smith in Columiba.

Just sayin.

9:36 AM  
Anonymous bhg said...

Your comments regarding Missouri football is similiar to my view on Husker baksetball.

Huskers have never been a force, making it difficult to near impossible to reload a program that was empty to begin with. Huskers basketball fans need to start off slow, just wish for a car that runs, instead of the Ferrarai. (Kansas fans are used to having the Ferrarai, but sometimes it runs out of gas in the first round of the NCAA's.)

Hope all have a good Thanksgiving, and traveling mercies to those that will be on the road.

10:15 AM  

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