February 8, 2016

Obviously the Royals top our list as the best sports story of 2015, but what else made our top picks? (VIDEO)

I guarantee one of the top five sports stories for 2016 is going to be whether we refer to them as the St. Louis or Los Angeles Rams.  A vote is coming from NFL owners in January.  That story did not make our top five, but we have a good list, according to our Missourinet staff, contributors and data from Missourinet.com.

Read our list.  What did we leave out?  Anything else stick out to you?  Comment below and Happy New Year.

5:  Mike Alden resigns as A.D. as Mizzou.

Mike Alden, who had been the Director of Athletics at Missouri since 1998 abruptly stepped down. A staff meeting was held at the University on January 29.  On the 30th, Alden held a press conference at the Reynolds Alumni Center in an emotional farewell speech.  His final day on the job was August 31st.

4:  Mizzou football players threaten to boycott the BYU game.

This grabbed national headlines.  Eventually, the team went back to practice and then played the game in Kansas City.  At first it appeared the players were boycotting until president Tim Wolfe was fired or resigned, but the message changed that they players were not participating until hunger striker Jonathan Butler ate again.

Going along with that story was the news that Gary Pinkel would resign after the season due to health reasons.  Word had leaked the day before that BYU game and Pinkel had to drop that bomb on his players just days after the protests.

3:  Northwest Missouri State football won their fifth Division-II national title.

The Bearcats were making their ninth title game appearance and they capped off their perfect 15-0 season after beating Shepard University, West Virginia, 34-7 in Kansas City, KS.  The first year the championship game was being played away from Florence, AL.

2:  Columbia College’s Bob Burchard honored by having the basketball court named after him.

This just happened this week. Bob Burchard, gets the Columbia College basketball court named in his honor. He just won his 703rd game with the Cougars on Wednesday to make him second in the state in total victories.  Columbia has averaged more than 25 victories a season under his guidance and has appeared at the NAIA National Championships 19 times.

When a coach wins 700+ games, it’s a big story.

1:  Kansas City Royals-World Series Champions

We were hoping for another I-70 Series, but that ended when the Cardinals got bumped by Chicago.  It looked like the Royals were done for in Game 4 of the ALDS in Houston.  Down 2-1 in the series and 6-2 in the eighth inning, the Royals scored five runs in the top half of the inning.  They won the game, won that series and then proceeded to handle Toronto and New York with relative ease.

According to our website stats, the following stories received the most amount of web hits for one single story.

Jefferson City native Justin Smith retires from the NFL

Fulton boys’ basketball coach dies

Mizzou wrestling loses out on national title 

Friday night fiasco.  A high school football cheap shot and how MSHSAA stays prepared

Finally, this is perhaps my favorite story of the year!

Mizzou and Missouri State softball get into an email spat over sunflower seeds

Passing a Missouri bill to punish protesting student athletes is wrong (VIDEO)

Several Missouri football players stand together during a protest in early November (file photo)

Several Missouri football players stand together during a protest in early November (file photo)

Missouri House of Representative Rick Brattin from Harrisonville is offering a bill in 2016. It reads that any college athlete on scholarship who refuses to play for a reason unrelated to health shall have his or her scholarship revoked.

This is in response to when the Mizzou football team protested in early November.

I’ll share Representative Brattin’s comments and then share my thoughts on how his use of the words, ““put a stop to this type of behavior,” is alarming to me.

How Kris Medlen may have bailed the Royals out in the ALCS, plus thoughts on Mizzou and Rams football (VIDEO)

I bring common sense when it comes to sports.  Watch me now!

I bring common sense when it comes to sports. Watch me now!

Yes, the Kansas City Royals may have lost the battle within the big war known as the ALCS, but there were little skirmishes along the way that may help the Royals in the long run.  What am I talking about?  Kris Medlen chewed up some innings and the hitters never quit, forcing Toronto to use five pitchers in what should have been a blow out win.

Plus, there is hope for Mizzou fans.  Keep your chin up.

Rams fans strung along even more by the NFL with false hopes.  I’m here to slap you in the face with a dose of reality.

What the Cardinals-Cubs rivalry should mean for baseball fans in the Midwest (VIDEO)

Employees and staff of Missourinet and Learfield News show off their Cardinals pride (Most everyone)

Employees and staff of Missourinet and Learfield News show off their Cardinals pride (Most everyone)

I find myself in a unique position as Sports Director of Missourinet.  I cover the Royals and Cardinals, but I’ve never made it a secret, in fact it’s on my profile here on the website, I’m from Chicago and I’m a Cubs fan.

One of the things I pride myself on is being able to report on both teams and be fair and critical of both.  During the season, I’ve had multiple Cubs fans call me out on Twitter for being a Cardinals homer.  I guess my handle @Missourisports throws them off.

I’m actually proud that I can do my job and get equal reaction from both fan bases whether I praise or criticize their team.

What we have here is historic. 2,363 games played and this is the biggest…the first playoff game.  For us in the Midwest, whether you wear Cardinal red or Cubbie blue, this is as good as it gets.


Mizzou/UConn preview: Running game needs a boost and offensive line must play better (VIDEO)

Look for more run plays from Maty Mauk when Mizzou hosts the Huskies (photo/Mizzou Athletics)

Look for more run plays from Maty Mauk when Mizzou hosts the Huskies (photo/Mizzou Athletics)

With a game against BYU coming up later in the season at Arrowhead Stadium, the Missouri offense has one more non-conference game to figure out the offensive issues that have plagued the team in the first two weeks of the season, before the start of SEC play.  The Tigers are back home for an 11 a.m. kick against the UConn Huskies, in the first ever meeting between the two teams on the gridiron.

In the first half of last week’s 27-20 win at Arkansas State, Maty Mauk had a 27 yard gain on the ground.  Other than that big scramble, the Mizzou run game produced just 12 yards on their 12 other carries.

So what is the issue?  The injury to Russell Hansbrough is having a bigger impact than expected?  Is the offensive line overrated?  Does the lack of a consistent passing game hurt the ground game?

Joining me to help look at the issues is Seth Merenbloom, Managing Editor campuspressbox.com and podcast co-host of SEC 411.

Seth also gives us his surprises and disappointments through the SEC after two weeks.  Plus, we do talk about the dominating Mizzou defense that should give the Huskies fits.  Take a glance at some of the interesting stats.

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