The main purpose for my trip to Joplin was to cover the Missouri Tiger football team as they delivered supplies to the victims of the tornado. Before the team arrived I had the opportunity to talk with many residents and drive through the damage myself. The same words I used to describe the scene were similar to what Head Coach Gary Pinkel and the players used.

When the team arrived around 11 a.m., they came through the north part of town bypassing the damage and arriving at a warehouse where the team’s semi delivered pallets of supplies. As the players helped, they were smiling, enthusiastic and having a good time…I wouldn’t describe it as “goofing around,” but the mood was light, energetic…you could tell the players wanted to be there. As I watched them, I thought to myself, wait until they drive through the damage and witness firsthand the destruction.

More than 30 MU student-athletes get ready to unload supplies

After the supplies were unloaded, the team took their bus through the streets of Joplin, before arriving at a church where they would branch out and help clear debris. As I suspected, the mood was much different as they walked off the bus.

“It’s numbing,” said head coach Pinkel. “It looked like a war zone. I don’t know a better way to describe it. Giant oak trees, like sticks now.”

Listen to Bill Pollock’s conversation with Coach Pinkel (3:00 mp3)

Former Mizzou quarterback Chase Daniel rode the team bus from Columbia to Joplin and was in the back of the semi moving supplies to a forklift that awaited at the back of the truck. He too could not believe what he saw.

“It’s mind boggling, it’s sobering. I don’t have enough words to say what it is. It’s crazy.”

Chase Daniel shares his thoughts on Joplin (2:15 mp3)

The city of Columbia filled that semi in one day and raised, according to coach Pinkel, one million dollars during a telethon.  Daniel will be at a Columbia car dealership on Saturday signing autographs and posing for pictures to raise more money for Joplin.