Today I'm going to revisit a previous blog I wrote about hate watching sports.
When I say hate watching, it doesn't mean that I don't enjoy watching sports, sports are in fact, my favorite thing to watch, I mean to say, watching teams I hate and root against them. As the readers know by now, my teams are the Cardinals(MLB), The Thunder(NBA), the Packers(NFL) and, most importantly, the Michigan Wolverines(all things NCAA). It would be easy for me to pick on the Cubs, Clippers, Bears or any of Michigan's main rivals, be it Ohio State, Notre Dame or Michigan State. In fact, I'm sure that I'll write about all of those teams at some point very soon.
Today though, I want to go off the map and choose a team that I have a complete irrational hatred of, the Missouri Tigers football team. You'd think that I'd like them, or at the very least, not even care about them, because I'm from Missouri. Born and raised in St. Louis in fact. But, for many reasons, I actively root against the University of Missouri football team. For one, I loathe that they call themselves Mizzou. You're intentionally spelling the name of your school wrong so your dumbass student sections can go back and forth with the chant, "M-I-Z" from one side, and the other, "Z-O-U". That's stupid and promotes poor spelling. You're college students, you should be able to spell properly and come up with a better chant. I once saw a comedian that said he flunked out of college because he spelled Missouri, M I Z Z O U, because that's what they taught him at the university. Another problem I have with them, they get happy about a 7-5 or 8-4 season(ed note: 7-5 seasons do not come cheap). They feel as if they've accomplished something by going to lower level bowl games. I'm a Michigan fan and yes, they've been down for five of the past seven seasons, but I've never taken pride in them when they only win 7 or 8 games. That's a lost season in my opinion. But, you see the Missouri coaches and players talk after a 7 or 8 win season, and they're all smiles. Getting to a bowl game isn't tough anymore. If I remember correctly, I think there's 39 bowl games. That means 76 of the 128 teams go to a bowl game. That means almost 60 percent of the teams in division one go to bowl games. The only important ones are the four that make the playoffs. All the rest, in my opinion, are pointless. They have so many because it's a ratings boost and everyone loves football. So, Missouri football, don't act like the "Go Daddy Bowl"(yes, that's a real bowl game) is some kind of accomplishment. It's not.
I don't like their coach, Gary Pinkel either. He acts like he's a top coach in the country. You don't even rank in the top eight of your conference. I'd take Mark Richt, Nick Saban, Steve Spurrier, Kevin Sumlin, Gus Malzahn, Les Miles, Hugh Freeze, and Dan Mullen before I'd even consider you. I also hate how arrogant he acts in press conferences. You're not that good of a coach, and the fact that you have a lot of wins at Missouri doesn't make you special. If you were such a good coach, big time programs that have had recent openings for head coach, like Michigan, Florida, Nebraska or Wisconsin would have been banging on your door. Apparently they had no interest, because your name was never brought up. And stop saying in press conferences that you'd never leave Missouri. That's a lie and if any big time program showed interest in you, you'd be an idiot not to take it. No, I think you have found that people are happy with 6 or 7 wins a year, and you're afraid of failure if you left for a bigger job. You're not happy, you're comfortable. Those are two very different things.
Missouri football, when they do have a good, or even a great season, always seems to choke on the biggest stage. I remember about six years ago, Missouri made it all the way to the number one ranking in the country. They were voted the top team by the BCS prior to championship week. Guess what happened in the Big 12 championship game? An under manned, probably less talented Oklahoma Sooners team beat them by three touchdowns. That's embarrassing. Two seasons ago, with 11 wins going into the SEC championship game(why the University of Missouri is in the SEC will always be a mystery to me, they should be in the Big Ten or stayed in the Big 12, but that's a blog for another day) they played what looked like an even match in Auburn. Auburn had a great running game, but Missouri was explosive on offense and had a stout defense led by SEC co defensive player of the year Michael Sam. There was no way Auburn would control the ground game and beat Missouri, right? Nope, Auburn ran for over 500 yards on them that day and turned a close game into a late rout. Another disappointment for Missouri football. Last season, they somehow made the SEC championship game again(they got a lot of teams at the right time, be it with injuries or suspensions to star players, or in Florida's case, an inept offense). But, they ran into Alabama and lost by 28 points. They looked like they didn't belong on the same field as Alabama. It was like watching a power house high school varsity team playing a lowly all Freshman squad. You know what it looked like actually, it looked like Missouri playing Alabama. It looked exactly how it should have looked. (ed note: Go Tigers?)
When I really look at my irrational hatred for Missouri football, my biggest gripe is with their bandwagon fans. Missouri fans are the absolute worst. They love you when you're good, and they hate you, or even worse, won't mention you when you're down. When I was in high school, NOBODY talked about Missouri football. I can almost guarantee that I went to more Missouri games than friends of mine that are now "die-hard" fans. That's embarrassing. A guy who dislikes a team has seen more games than a supposed "die-hard" fan. Full disclosure, I went to those games to root against them too. Being a Michigan fan, I have stuck by their side no matter what. Good season, bad season, bad and good coaching hires, up and down years my fandom never wavers. That's what true fans do, you stick with your team no matter what. Missouri fans now are even worse. I've been to a couple games in the past couple of years to see stars on other teams(Jadaveon Clowney and Dez Bryant) and, in two games that Missouri should have won, they lost both and their stupid, stupid fans didn't know how to handle it. I heard complaints like, "I can't believe that kicker can't kick it to the end zone every time, they should cut him", or "since they're running the ball so well, they need to pass more, that will fake out the defense", or, probably the worst I've ever heard at any sporting event I've ever been to, "it's not Gary Pinkel's fault, the players were just not prepared, that's on them". ARE YOU OUT OF YOU'RE MIND! THE COACHES MAIN JOB IS PLAYER PREPERATION! YOU MORONS! Also, touch backs on every kick off is almost impossible, and it's best to stick with what's working. These players are smart and will figure stuff out, it's not a video game. I prefer my fans to be knowledgeable and understanding I guess. I just wish that these bandwagon, idiotic Missouri fans knew the smallest detail about football so they don't look so stupid. I also feel bad for true Missouri fans like two of my older brothers. They've been fans for as long as I can remember and if more of their current fans were like them, I wouldn't hate Missouri fans so much, but that, unfortunately, is not the case. I'm going to paint a broad brush, but the majority of Missouri fans are not knowledgeable when it comes to football and they're the definition of bandwagon fans.
So, those are my reasons, albeit irrational, for why I root against Missouri football. It makes no sense, but that's the great thing about sports. You can still watch, even when your team isn't playing and find something to either like, or even better, hate about the teams that are playing. It's cathartic and very pleasing to root against teams you have no stake in. Take my word and try it out.
You'll probably like it.
Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the co-host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He is eagerly waiting for Urban Meyer to retire for "health reasons" once Harbaugh gets Michigan up and running. Follow Ty on twitter @tykulik