A big sports weekend is on tap for we Show-Me State types.
First, one of my 17 college alma maters, the University of Missouri, is actually ranked, (number 23!) for what I think is the first time in my life. On the down side, while they're 5-0, they haven't actually beaten anyone yet, with their only conference game (and win) so far coming against putrid Colorado (who's a loooooong way from the Coach McCartney/fifth down glory days). But still, normally Mizzou loses all those nothing games too, so winning them is a big start. This weekend, they take on almost-ranked Texas Tech in their first real test.
[On an only tangentially-related note, I discovered by reading the above Wikipedia "fifth down" article that today marks the 16th anniversary of that game. Oh my, is my life flying past me.]
Second, the Cardinals play the Padres in Game 3 of their divisional series. The Cards have a 2-0 lead in the series, and the next two are at Busch. Like I said, I'm not going to get my hopes up. But for much of the season, I was predicting they'd get swept in the first round. Suddenly they're looking different. Izzy's out (which is a plus in my book), Eckstein's back, and Tony LaRussa has finally discovered middle relievers.
Now I'm not going to get carried away with rosy scenarios. BUT...IF this bullpen of unknown guys keeps going the way they've been going, and IF Jeff Weaver keeps doing whatever pitching coach Dave Duncan has taught him and doesn't suddenly turn back into Jeff Weaver, and IF somebody can bury Tony LaRussa out in a field with a straw for oxygen right around game one or two of the League Championship Series, who knows what could happen this fall? Suddenly neither the Mets nor the Dodgers look all that imposing.
I'm not getting my hopes up. I'm just saying.
(And just to be clear, I fully advocate digging poor Tony back up right after they win the championship, with no harm done and only a few pounds lighter. He'd still get a ring and everything.)
Related Tags: Mizzou Tigers, University of Missouri, fifth down, Cardinals, Padres, Tony LaRussa, Jeff Weaver, Dave Duncan