Saturday, September 26, 2009

Mizzou 31, Nevada 21

As much as I wanted to plop myself down in front of the tv last night to watch this game (for FREE), I was unable to do so because I had homework to do for my math class. So, as before, I just followed along with GameTracker on the internet.

GameTracker left me confused at times as to just what was going on, but it appeared to me that Nevada put everything they had into stopping the rushing offense of Mizzou. They pretty much succeeded in doing that as the running game was almost non-existant, minus a 42 yard run by Derrick Washington. Mizzou countered as expected with Blaine Gabbert's passing game.

Let me repeat.

Blaine. Gabbert's. Passing. Game.

This dude has an arm. 414 Yards?? Are you kidding me?

Gabbert is going to force teams to defend against the pass, and this SHOULD open some running lanes for the rushing game. I say should because through 4 games this season, I have yet to hear about many huge gains on the ground.

But at least Mizzou did survive again and came away from a quality opponent ON THE ROAD with a win. Yes, Nevada is now 0-3, but look at who else they've played. Nevada is going to really surprise any team who takes them lightly.

Bye week next week, then it's a Thursday night game in Columbia against Nebraska. Words that have been unable to be said for quite some time regarding these two teams can now be said with a smile: Nebraska has lost 3 straight in Columbia, and 2 straight against the Tigers. Now if Mizzou can just put together 23 more straight wins against the Huskers, I'll be a happy man. But just one more win against Nebraska will be just fine too.

So after another undefeated non-conference season, let's ask: Is Mizzou for real? Did the Tigers truly reload instead of rebuild? The next 3 games will answer that question and I would expect MU to win 2 of the next three. What is your opinion? (only serious discussion please. Any attempts at flaming will be deleted, no questions asked.)

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Double Helping of Heroes

Heroes is back!

Season 4....Volume 5 "Redemption", Ch 1 "Orientation"

It's been a long summer, filled with relocation, job searches, concerts, and college classes. Fall can mean one thing....Heroes is back!

We open at a funeral seen in an open field; a man in a pine box is being eulogized by who we are lead to believe is his brother. He talks about being different from everyone else and we are shown scenes of Peter, Claire, Sylar, and Nathan. Tracy, Matt, and Hiro. Return to the funeral as he pulls out a compass stating that these people will soon search them out and come join their family. Tossing the compass into the grave, the man says, "Find your way home brother." Then with a lift of his arms, the earth moves in and covers the coffin. The group slowly turns and walks away, a carnival in the distance.

Clair-Bear goes to college! Arriving in her new dorm room, she is greeted by her new roommate, Annie (Rachel Melvin, formerly Chelsea on Days of Our Lives) and the two get to know each other. Annie likes to talk apparently, and has lots to say as she demonstrates how she has her entire life all mapped out.

Tokyo, Japan now and Hiro & Ando have formed their own company..."Dial A Hero". Business ain't exactly booming as no calls have come in. The two reminisce over a photograph from the past and Ando talks about how he fell for Hiro's sister Kimiko and how she started hating him. Enter Kimiko who isn't exactly thrilled with how Hiro & Ando spent 50 million yen on Heroes for Hire.

Moving on to New York City, Peter is exiting a cab in a traffic jam and running between the cars. Climbing walls and staircases reminiscint of Spiderman (minus the webbing), Peter makes his way over a garbage truck to a traffic accident. Peter rips the door off of a vehicle saying to the injured man inside, "Hi. I'm here to save you."

Clair is entering a lecture hall as an excited Annie sees her and gets her attention, waving her over. Enter the professor who introduces them to Linear Geometry, shows them a problem on a board and says they have 45 minutes to finish it. Clair is sweating as she notices a red laster on her chest....she stands to run but is suddenly shot by tranquilizer darts...then she awakes, realizing she was daydreaming and leaves, saying the class wasn't for her.

Peter is at the hospital, learning that the pregnant woman he just brought in from the accident is going to be fine. Peter is changing clothes as his partner asks where he's going. Peter answers that he is about to cover for someone, even though he just came off a double shift. Peter's partner tells him, "Dude. There is life outside of this building."

Hiro and Ando are on a case to save Muffin Man, a small kitten trapped up on top of a building sign. Ando bravely climbs up to save him as a little girl yells "Be careful! She doesn't like strangers!" The cat lurches and Ando falls off the building. Hiro stops time and freezes him just before Ando would have gone splat.

Noah Bennet and Angela Petrelli are talking about the situation behind Agent Danko and Tracy Strauss. Noah is in a hurry to get to see Clair on her first day of college. Noah spies a newspaper headline in his car about a series of drowning victims when his car won't start. Suddenly water comes pouring out of the vents, filling the car up and trapping Noah inside as ice starts to form around the door frame on the outside of the car. Noah manages to break out a window in the car so the water can drain out. As Noah pulls himself out and to his feet, he looks up and sees Agent Danko, who had been responsible for breaking Noah's window. Danko says it looks like the work of Tracy Strauss. Danko wants to continue the hunt, but Noah isn't interested. Danko asks if he's back in business with the Petrellis and Noah denies it. Later after Danko leaves, Noah watches the water drain into a sewer.

Clair is walking across campus where she meets another new friend, Gretchen. Gretchen recognizes Clair's name from the headlines in Odessa Texas a few years back and Clair just wants to forget about it.

Angela is dreaming about meeting up with Nathan for lunch. It's Nathan's voice, but Sylar's face. She realizes its a dream and goes into the restaurant. This time Nathan approaches and Angela handles it better. She still appears shaken (obviously remembering the events from last season's finale). Nathan is soul searching, and Angela is counseling him, advising him to find a new car and a younger woman.

Matt Parkman and his young son are playing when Angela calls him up, to tell him that she believes "Sylar" is returning. Matt tells her he is done, he is out. Angela says he can't be out, you are never "out". Matt says its not "our" problem, good luck with it.

Nathan reaches across a desk for a coffee mug and it comes to him. He looks confused as he knows he doesn't have the ability of telekinesis. Then he looks at his hands as blue sparks come flying out and he jumps in surprise at these newfound abilities, unsure of where they came from.

Noah and Annie are having a talk in the door room as Clair walks in. Noah explains his lateness and says Annie was just catching him up, as she excuses herself to go play Guitar Hero 3. Clair talks about how she was recognized (if in name only) as a survivor of the Odessa Homecoming Massacre.

Back to the carnival as a woman walks into a tent, takes off her top and the man giving the eulogy from the opening of the episode says show me who he is. An image of Agent Danko appears on the girls back, as if it were a tattoo. The man tells an accomplice to find Danko and kill him. The accomplice doesn't want to do it, so the man grabs a tattoo pen and injects ink into his hand. The ink travels up his arm and forms a hand around his neck and begins to strangle him. The man finally calls off the "attack" and gets his point across.

Noah and Tracy Strauss are meeting in a cafe. Tracy tells her side of things after she explains why she was killing people. Noah offers her his help and she is suspicious. He asks if they have a deal. Tracy says You wish it was that easy as she gets up and walks out.

Danko and Noah are meeting in the old Bldg 26. Noah offers Danko a chance to start over, courtesy of the US Govt. Danko turns him down saying he will get what he wants. Danko turns around as his head is covered by the Haitian who then does what he does best. Noah smiles.

Nathan is calling Peter, leaving a message on an answering machine as Nathan expresses his suspicions that something is happening to him. Peter is listening to the message as he pins up a newspaper clipping of the saved pregnant woan on the wall.

Danko is going into his apt, as Tracy confronts him. He doesn't recognize her as she realizes "they made you forget." He walks inside the apt where he is confronted by the "accomplice" from the carnival. The man tells Danko "they want it back" and when Danko doesn't know what he is talking about, the guy starts slicing and dicing. Literally. He is moving around with super speed, swinging long blades, and when he is done, Tracy watches as Danko falls to floor, dead. The man sees Tracy and tries his abilities on her, only to discover that knives don't work too well on water. Tracy grabs his wrist and freezes the knife, shattering it before the accomplice manages to run away.

Clair is at the rec center watching, walking in as Annie plays Guitar Hero. Clair spies her new friend Gretchen being a wallflower and goes over to talk to her, trying to explain her situation. Annie sees Clair and calls her over, Clair and Gretchen start playing Guitar Hero ("Superstition", if you really need to know!)

Ando wheels Hiro back to the office on a 2-wheel dolly, where Hiro finally comes back to present time. Hiro notices a nose bleed and Ando thinks he should get checked out. Hiro says he already has and the news isn't good. He's dying, maybe soon. He doesn't know. Hiro reminices over the photo again, remembering when it was taken. Ando thinks they should go back and change that night, Hiro says he must never change the past. As he is talking to Ando, Hiro disappears.

Hiro reappears 14 years in the past, at the carnival.

The topless woman develops a new tattoo of Hiro as she explains to the boss who Hiro is. It's a little rough to blog this part because we don't really know names yet, but the boss talks to an elderly man, asking him he thinks he may have found someone who can help them change the past. He needs the man to send him back, about 14 years.

Clair goes back to her dorm room, expecting to find Annie, but she isnt' there. The window is open, and when Clair goes to shut it, she sees Annie lying on the pavement below.

Matt Parkman goes to check on his son, but can't find him. Instead Matt turns around to find Sylar holding his son, saying, "I want my body back."

NOTE: Previews show that next week, we can delve deeper into the world of Lydia, who apparently is the topless woman who can form tattoos of people on her skin.

A lot of action to keep up with this week, but its a lot of new morsels that have been missing from the show for a while. If the first episode is any indication, it's going to be an exciting ride...

Oh but wait...there's more! Tonight it's a 2-hour episode!!

Chapter 2 "Jump Push Fall"

Sylar is talking to Matt about how he wants his body back, when Janice enters the room. Little Baby Parkman is back in his crib as Matt begins to debate whether Sylar was real or not. Inside, he knows the truth.

Noah is in his apartment, living the single life and staring at a nearly empty refrigerator. He makes a bowl of cereal and picks up his cell phone to call his ex-wife Sandra. A man answers and Noah isn't happy and hangs up. His phone rings back and its Tracy. Noah now pays a visit to Dankos apartment where Tracy says "I didn't do it."

Hiro is at the carnival, realizing where he is. He is approached by his younger self, who hands him a camera, asking him to take a picture. He then snaps "the picture" that was obsessed over in episode 1. Hiro tries to return home, but his ability just doesn't want to cooperate. The boss (Samuel) calls out to Hiro by name, telling him he thinks they will be great friends.

Clair is being questioned by police over Annie's apparent suicide. Clair swears the suicide note wasn't there before and the officer asks police to get the "gawkers" out of there as we see them trying to snap pictures of the room with their cell phone cameras.

Samuel talks to Hiro and explains that he also has powers. Samuel points to young Hiro and asks if its him. Hiro explains yes, but he cannot interfere because of the Butterfly Effect. Samuel tells him he has the power to change things, he shouldn't be afraid to do that. Samuel pushes Hiro backwords where he knocks Kimiko out of the way of Ando's fallen drink. The drink lands on adult Hiro instead, and Hiro teleports back to present day and in the office wiht Ando. Kimiko enters and informs Hiro of his rent increase. Hiro leaves as Kimiko and Ando kiss. Hiro: "Yatta!"

Tracy and Noah are talking in Danko's apartment as Tracy tries to explain what happened. Noah examines Danko's body as they wonder why Danko was killed. Revenge? they reason. No, had to be something else. Noah gets an idea and fishes around, finding a key somewhere within Danko's innards.

Matt Parkman is getting dressed for work as the water delivery guy is playing with Matt, Jr. Matt talks to Janice about Roy the Water Boy and tells her why he is pissed about it. The two talk and get things calmed down as they kiss, Matt telling her he has things under control.

Noah goes to Peter's apartment, wanting to talk. The two make small talk about their lives, how they've adjusted since "the company". Noah tells Peter that Danko is dead and shows him the key. Noah thinks he knows where the key goes and says he needs a partner on this, telling Peter the guy is super fast and good with knives. Peter: "How fast?"

Clair and Sandra are at college as she introduces her mom to Gretchen. Gretchen wants to talk about Annie's death, but Sandra isn't wanting to take part, saying goodbye.

Noah and Peter are inside a bank, with Peter posing as Danko. Noah opens a safe deposit box to find a compass and as he discusses it with Peter, there is a knock and the bank employee is standing there. Noah says they'll need a few more minutes and the employee falls to floor, his back all sliced up. Standing behind him is Danko's killer. The ban walks toward Noah where he is stopped by Peter who takes his powre. Peter and the man engage in a speed/martial arts battle with knives before the guy begins to wonder who he is up against and takes off. The bank employee is still alive and as they examine the compass, it goes crazy in Peter's hands, yet stands still in Noah's. Peter wants nothing to do with the compass.

Back at college Gretchen arrives at the student union, carrying a stack of books and takes a seat next to Clair. They discuss the "Jump Push Fall" test and how it relates to an episode of Crossing Jordan. Gretchen wants to test the theory and see if Annie jumped, was pushed, or fell.

Matt is in a therapy group, when Sylar bursts into the room. Of course, no one but Matt can see him. "Hi. My name is Sylar. It's been about 6 weeks since I've seen my body and I want it back!" Matt is trying to talk about how ghosts from his past keep popping up. Sylar continues to taunt Matt as other members just watch and listen to Matt. The group leader tries to get the group to move on.

Hiro is making copies and Ando and Kimiko are making eyes at each other. Hiro brags that he made it happen. Ando talks about their first kiss on a ferris wheel. Hiro realizes that he must go back and right the wrongs he made in his life.

Matt leaves the group session to interrogate someone. Sylar continues to taunt Matt as the prisoner is highly confused. Sylar tells Matt to just use his power, and Matt starts arguing with Sylar, resulting in a thrown chair at the wall. On the plus side, the prisoner gives up the name Matt was seeking.

Peter and his partner wait in the ambulance enjoying some clam chowder (Peter says he knows a guy, lol) as a call comes in. Peter takes off and finds Noah lying on the ground, sliced up. Noah tells Peter, "He took the compass."

Tracy is visiting Noah in the hospital, where Noah is recuperating. He relates the story of the compass and how he lost it to the man with the knives.

Matt is back home where he is greeted by Roy and Janice (Roy just fixed the hot water heater). Matt decides to "convince" Roy that his services are no longer needed, as Sylar laughs silently.

Clair gets up and walks to the window, staring out at the pavement below. Climbing up, she stands there, about to conduct her own test. Clair falls forward, going splat on the pavement, comparing her landing position to Annie's. Clair decides that maybe Annie did kill herself. Gretchen appears in the window above, looking down at Clair in shock. Clair looks up and waves.

Samuel and his accomplice meet back up to discuss future plans. Samuel injects ink into Lydia's back and we see Peter, Sylar, and the face of a woman appear (Tracy? Clair? Sorry...I couldn't tell).

And the credits role....

NOTE: All in all, this looks like a much better season than we've seen the past 2 years. Sylar now exists in Matt's mind, influencing his behavior. Peter is trying to use his abilities to save lives. Hiro is using his to make things right that once went wrong (Quantum Leap, anyone?). Could there be a Tracy/Noah romance budding? And who will be Clair's "experimental game"? Can't wait to find out!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Heroes Summaries Return This Week!

With the start of the 4th season of Heroes, I am anxiously awaiting to see what new adventures await! Hiro's disease, Clair-bear's experimentation, Sylar's inhabiting of Nathan's's going to be interesting!

And I am going to do my best to blog episode summaries each week, so if you miss something, come on by and catch up....

Mizzou 52, Furman 12

Now this was the kind of game I expected Missouri to have against an overmatched team. Like last week, I did not actually watch the game, since I am too cheap to shell out $29.95 to watch on pay-per-view (we thought about it, but lower the price a bit, and we'll talk) so I followed along with the help of an occasionally slow updating Gametracker.

Mizzou did take a few series to figure things out and apparently it was time well spent. Mizzou was up 42-0 at halftime. In the second half, I wondered how much time QB Blaine Gabbert would spend on the field. He played the 3rd quarter, while backup Jimmy Costello got the 4th.

Mizzou managed 10 more points in the 2nd half while Furman attempted a comeback with 2 touchdowns, but missed the point-after kick both times.

Now, here's a little bit that has bothered me the last few years. There are people around Missouri who don't like to see the Tigers run up the score on their opponents. I believe Coach Pinkel even subscribes to that notion. But how many years did we watch opponents run up the score against MU? Anyone remember the Norman Conquest? (Oklahoma 77, Missouri 0, in Norman, OK) Last season prior to the Big 12 Championship Game, the Oklahoma Sooners were PRAISED for scoring 60 points or more in so many consecutive games. Yet if Mizzou does it, people think the Tigers are unsportsmanlike? I really think that had OU not been scoring so many points, that the Texas Longhorns would have been ranked higher during all the confusion that had to decide the Big 12 South champion and would have been playing against MU instead. Not to say Mizzou would have beaten Texas, but what bothers me is the notion that the Sooners were granted "Style Points" by the pollsters which gave them the extra little push to put them in line to play for the championship. (end rant).

So next week, Mizzou is on the road for a Friday night game at Nevada. Despite a 3-0 start for Mizzou and an 0-2 start for Nevada (losses against Notre Dame & Colorado State), this game concerns me. First, it's on the road. Second, despite the record, Nevada is a more experienced team (Anyone remember Mizzou @ Troy a few years back?). And 3rd, after this game Mizzou has a bye week before opening the conference with a home game against Nebraska. Can you spell Nevada "T-R-A-P"?? In fact, following Nebraska on the schedule are Oklahoma State (in Stillwater) and Texas (in Columbia).

It may appear that all is well in Tiger Nation for the moment, but how well will be determined over this next stretch of 4 games. Winning 2 of these 4 is a must. Winning 3 of these 4 is possible and would be nice. Winning all 4 would spark - I don't know what. But the Tigers will definitely need to maintain their focus and take one game at a time to get through this stretch.

Where the hell is Spider Burke when you need him?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Missouri 27, Bowling Green 20

I did not get to watch this game. I could have, but I chose not to shell out $29.95 for the pay-per-view broadcast. Just a thing I have, where I disagree with the concept of pay-per-view broadcasts of games against what is supposed to be inferior competition.

I say supposed to be because Bowling Green was anything BUT inferior. I don't know if it was Mizzou believing their hype this week, or enjoying its spot in the rankings, or if Bowling Green is just that well coached and prepared but the Falcons have certainly had Mizzou's number this decade.

I was away from home this afternoon and when I got home this evening, I had some errands to run before the game. I got back home about half an hour after the game started and when I turned on the computer to see how things were going (thank God for Gametracker!) Imagine my surprise to see Mizzou trailing 7-0, followed by a Bowling Green punt that was fielded by Mizzou, then fumbled away. The Tiger defense managed to hold the Falcons to just a field goal, but I still had hopes that it was just a fluke.

That was late in the 1st quarter.

Mizzou actually trailed 13-0 before they managed to put a pair of field goals on the boards to make the score 13-6 by halftime. Incidentally, is anyone going to give props to Mizzou's new field goal kicker, Grant Ressel?? Where the heck did this guy come from? He only has to replace the most prolific kicker in Mizzou history (no pressure though) and so far this season he has been money from over 40 yards out.

In the second half, Bowling Green came out and scored another touchdown on their opening drive to make the score 20-6. Mizzou could have easily quit at that point, but I like to think that these guys saw the moment as a true gut-check and decided right then and there that they were not going to give up. They battled back and scored three unanswered touchdowns to steal the win away from the visiting team. Twice they went for it on 4th down and twice they succeeded in keeping the drives alive.

This team may be full of youngsters, but tonight they showed that they have no quit in them. If they go down, they will go down swinging. From a fan's perspective, I would have preferred to see a blowout, but when I reflect on this game, I think what we ended up with is much more valuable. These Tigers were given a test. A chance to battle back from adversity and fight for respect. Bowling Green had aspirations of coming in to Columbia and scoring an upset on the road (much like Houston did to Oklahoma State) but it wasn't to be. These Tigers passed their test and I would venture a guess they will be better prepared for Furman next week.

I don't think Mizzou will go undefeated this year, but I do think we are looking at something special. The start of something Mizzou fans have been dreaming of for years. Watch for good things to happen as this team begins to gel and barring early defections to the NFL, an undefeated season is certainly possible within the next two years.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Mizzou 37, Illinois 9

I guess this should answer one burning question: Is Missouri rebuilding or reloading?

I was pleasantly surprised with today's outcome. Count me among the doubters and those who thought it might be a long and tortuous season. I thought the more experienced Illinois team would come out and put a whoopin on old Mizzou in much the same fashion they do every December in the braggin' rights basketball game.

However, Mizzou's young quarterback making his first collegiate start while playing in his hometown St Louis had other ideas. And so did the normally generous Mizzou defense. Bend, don't break actually held today. I was very impressed with the way they held Illinois to 3 points for most of the game before allowing a touch down in the 4th quarter.

One concern the team might be looking at, I thought, would be rushing. I haven't looked at the box score yet, but I don't recall seeing many decent runs by the Mizzou rushers.

Can't wait till next week! Mizzou at home vs Bowling Green....Should be fun to watch!