If you call yourself a sports fan and live in the state of Missouri or pledge your dedication to any of our teams, life has most undoubtedly sucked over the past couple years.
Take the St. Louis Cardinals. They were fresh off of a World Series win in 2006, and now are projected to finish near the bottom the of NL Central and watch the Cubs prance their way into another playoff series unbated.
Take the Rams—at least there was some improvement noted here. They did not finish last in the league with two wins. Luckily, the Detroit Lions out-sucked us more and saved the little honor this franchise had. Blah.
Finally, the St. Louis Blues. They are not even worth mentioning. You want to watch hockey, then go to the local ice rink and watch the pee-wee and high school kids play. I'd much rather watch a God-forsaken District Five team coached by Gordon Bombay skate around like a bunch of chickens with their heads cut off than watch another Blues game.
If you call yourself a Missouri sports fan, you are knee deep in suck. We are in an abyss and we need a light.
After at least two years of hopelessness, it appears as if one of our prayers has finally been answered.
Enter the 2008-2009 Missouri men's basketball team.
It was a normal Mizzou start. After we dominated the easy part of schedule against schools like College for the Blind and Po-dunk Community College, the true test of the season finally had began with the start of Big 12 Conference games.
The first Big 12 game didn't go as we'd all hoped for. It amounted in a loss to Nebraska. Yes, it seemed as if this would be the same old Mizzou of the past couple years that just rolled through their early schedule and then got simultaneously steam-rolled in conference.
Let's not be so naive.
Mizzou immediately went on a four-game winning streak by dominating Colorado and Iowa State, going on the road to beat Oklahoma St. and then by taking down Texas Tech.
They hit a roadblock in their next game against Kansas State though. Every loss that Mizzou has had this season (Xavier, Illinois, Nebraska) is usually caused by piss-poor FT shooting, equally bad FG percentage, or a when our "40 Minutes of Hell" is figured out and starts to freeze over. This happened against K-State, but did Mizzou continue to fade?
Not by a longshot, chief.
After this loss, all cyclinders are now clicking. Four straight wins over Baylor (by 17 nonetheless), at Texas, at Iowa State, and the most recent Kansas.
You heard that right—we beat Kansas. Rock Chalk yourself to sleep on that one Jayhawks.
Now, with six games left in their season before the Big 12 Tournament, Mizzou has a record of 21-4 and has undoubtedly clinched its first NCAA Tournament Bid since 2003.
This was a team that was completely overlooked. We saw the potential brewing last year, but although we expected a couple more years to see these kind of results, who isn't happy with the immediate success this season has brought?
This is no doubt a great thing for all Missouri fans. Who would have ever imagined that this school could field Top 25 football and basketball programs? It was something that was always hoped for, but was never fathomed practically.
And now our dreams have come true.
But, this dream has just begun. Mizzou needs to stay strong and focused on the long term goal, the NCAA Tournament. They have worked for it, but now they have to work harder and earn it.
If you don't see anything miraculous about this immediate ascent in Mizzou basketball, then you are going to quickly be thrown under this growing bandwagon and left in the dust.
Done are the days where we hope that Mizzou will win and back are the days when Mizzou is expected to win.