Thanksgiving Smorgasbord by Bob Ryan

It’s Thanksgiving week….many of us look forward to the wonderful Thanksgiving meal…that’s like a smorgasbord….platters keep getting passed around until your plate can barely be seen….well…It’s like that this week….plenty of plates (topics)…be passed around..

…of course the first platter coming around was…what else…Cardinal baseball….this platter looked strange…it was empty on one side and full on the other side…on  the full side, one sees the Cards finishing 7.5 games out of 1st place means…that means just 1 more win a MONTH puts them easily in the playoffs and very close to winning the division; you also see that the Cards DID have  the best record in the National League against teams over .500 (50-39); one also sees the changing landscape of the MLB…starting pitchers DON’T complete games so accept it…in fact the Cards pitchers were tied for the league lead in fewest HR allowed/9 inning@ 0.9; Cards were 5th in NL in runs scored; however, on the empty side of the platter, the Cards were dead last in committing the most errors in the league with 133 miscues and naturally then… had the lowest fielding average in the MLB (by comparison, Houston the best defensive team committed just 77 errors); at the plate the Cards were right in the middle of the MLB with a .249 batting average (league avg .248); mediocrity continued as the Cards were right at the league average of .409 for slugging and runners LOB 1101. So you decide which part of the plate you’d like to “take from” on this Thanksgiving…next plate..

…the Mizzou football platter came next….after the convincing, positive win over Tennessee, it’s clear that the two games that this team gave away to S. Carolina and Kentucky were really devastating to the program. Add those 2 wins to the record(which they should have won..no excuses) coupled with their signature win over Florida and now the Tigers are ranked probably in the top 15 or 20…the attendance (around 50,000) has also been impacted…it’s far beneath the expectations the Mizzou staff since those bad losses….btw…wouldn’t it be nice to see Mizzou wear their traditional uniforms….I watched USC-UCLA  for a very short time yesterday…and they were recognizable immediately… I realize that Mizzou is tied into Nike.. or some other company like that….but really…each week is different ..it’s like Halloween outfits…can’t every use the same one more than once…ugh….next plate please….

…the next platter was very heavy….and it looked like more than anyone in StL could swallow.. at least easily….and it was….according to Forbes….the wealthiest 50 pro franchises…the #1 franchise was the Dallas Cowboys-$4.8B…following were 3 European soccer teams (Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona)..#5 was the NY Yankees @$4B..then NE Patriots…followed by two NBA teams(Knicks & Lakers-each around $3.6 & $3.3B). The Rammies are valued at $3B are in the 14th spot. To give you an idea….The Cardinals are listed at $1.9B—not making the cut-off for the top 50 franchises. It’s been a tremendous jump for the DeWitt’s though…they bought the Cards for $150m…sold the garages for $50m…and now they are worth $1.9B…that’s a B not an M any longer!! Please…the next platter

…the SLU platter arrived next….the Billikens…clearly with their best athletes in many seasons.. are improving…but still have parts of each game that are stagnant….I’d like to see Coach Ford do more as he did in the last game…less plays and more “general” approaches offensively…let the players relax and just play w/o concentrating on running to this spot or that spot..this is an adjustment for Coach Ford…who like most coaches…likes to be in total “control” throughout each game…also….the post players have been like a library drop-off slot..put it in there and it NEVER comes back out..an occasional sharing of the ball by the post players will actually lead to them receiving MORE passes..speaking of passing…..please pass the next platter….

…the Illini football platter came  next…it looked more like liver than turkey and everyone pretended to be interested after the embarrassing 63-0 loss to Iowa but quickly passed it long….with a polite…no thank you…not interested..it moved around the table VERY quickly

…the next platter was smaller….the Final Four Platter (according to this author)….it remains Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Michigan…. almost making this platter was Oklahoma (10-1)…only loss to #15 ranked Texas by 3 points, 48-45; Washington State (9-1)only loss to USC when game tying FG on last play was blocked and Georgia (9-1)—lost by 20 points to a ranked team (LSU).. btw…Ohio State being forced into OT to beat a 5-6 Maryland team.. that game is another “mark” against them…in my book it’s not as clean as a win in regulation..OSU lost against another .500ish team (like Purdue 5-6)..two marks against you….next plate pls..

… not a plate that many fans touch often… Mizzou women’s basketball…… is struggling in the early going of 18-19 season. This is very unusual @ Mizzou, since Head Coach Robin Pingeton arrived in 2012…the Lady Tigers have rolled out seasons of 17-15, 17-14, 19-14,22-10, 22-11, and 22-5. Very good!  This year the leading scorer, SR Sophie Cunningham, returns with a totally different looking squad.  Cunningham has ALWAYS been surrounded with strong, good players….she had it that way @ Rock Bridge HS (in Columbia) and through her 1st 3 years at CoMO…but this year….not so much….as a result, it appeared to me as I watched the Tigers lose their 1st non-conference HOME game since Dec 3, 2011 to U Wisc-Green Bay 56-49. Sure.. Amber Smith provided wonderful outside shooting but Cunningham was still 2x & sometimes 3x…so to me….she occasionally tried doing too much…leading her into mistakes.  One clear suggestion is that the players w/o the ball must move to make themselves available to Cunningham, make the 1st strong, quick pass and another teammate break “back door”….it won’t always work…but….Mizzou must give Cunningham a chance to score w/o multiple players hanging all over her….pass the plate…

..the High School platter generally is filled with info about teams that have been missed or overlooked throughout the season or week…but in this special “thanksgiving” time…it’s appropriate to show some love to one of my friends….Terry Michler.  A graduate of CBC who excelled not only in soccer (played in the winter in those days) but also football where  he was the QB. Terry held many of the CBC passing records until the run-shoot passing days emerged with 2 or 3x as many passes per game. Then, Terry went on to play professional soccer in the days when the teams “HAD” to carry 2 Americans per team. So…there were about 15 American players were in the league…Terry was one of them. Then he accepted a job at CBC.  Over the weekend, his Cadet soccer team beat DeSmet 1-0 to capture the 10th STATE soccer title for CBC and #9 for Terry. Terry has won more HS soccer games than any USA soccer coach…his unbelievable record of 990-229-106 is due to….yes…he does get good players who want to play for him.. but he constantly works on ways to improve HIS coaching..despite winning 990 games.. he takes his annual trip to Europe to learn of the “newest” approaches being used there. His training of players, knowledge and passion for the game, relationship with players all lead to this outstanding season and career….congrats…. now pass the plate….

…for the dessert platter……the SEC provided plenty of cupcakes in Week 12 …with  the likes The Citadel, Idaho, Liberty, UAB, Chattanooga and Massachusetts on the platter……this isn’t anything new for SEC teams… earlier in the season they feasted on powerhouses like  UT-Martin, Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, Murray State and others…trying to save space here.. the list is too long…as the once famous philosopher Ric Flair said,”to be the man…ya gotta beat the man” … not feasting on cupcakes 10-20% of your games.

…so with that…hope you’ve enjoyed this Thanksgiving  smorgasbord and wishing each of you a wonderful Thanksgiving  and T-Day weekend.

Comments

  1. Props on including Terry in the column this week, Bob!
    Tom Maher, CBC ’58

  2. Another in a series of exceptional insight and analysis of Cardinal baseball. Like I’ve said many times, they don’t have to win every year, just play good baseball. You hit on one of my complaints over the past few years, terrible defense. I cannot, I will not accept shoddy defense. That is NOT Cardinal baseball. Signing throwers rather than pitchers is another. My preference would be to have starters go 9 innings. If that’s not possible, then put a different pitcher in every inning, I don’t care. Just make damn sure that they know what they’re doing, have confidence (I hate timidity), and that they are tough enough to answer the bell when it’s their turn. If that’s too much to ask, I hear that Taco Bell is hiring. AH

  3. Congrats to my Health Teacher & teaching companion..Terry Michler …title #10 for school
    When I coached the 1st Tennis State Championship in CBC History in 1997. The Edwards
    Brothers Doubles Championship ( DC Wilcutt Grandsons)..Terry was the ONLY coach said
    Kid great job and you put CBC on the tennis map. Terry a class guy!
    Poor Lovie Illinois should have given refunds after that pathetic Performance and on SR day too
    Ouch
    MIZ should smoke Pig Suey onSat !! Great Nov record for their coach the past 2 years.
    High school ..Looks like Vianney & CBC should win this weekend in football playoffs
    Hopefully ND keeps rolling….Ohio State will upset Blue this Sat.
    Sooner Boomer will sneak in to #4 position
    MB

Speak Your Mind

*

three × five =