It was called the greatest Missouri sports weekend of all-time. That might be debatable… but you would have to do a lot of research to find a better 4-day span for fans of Missouri sports teams. What made it so great? The idea that the Missouri sports team was the underdog in every single big game, and in every single big game David slew Goliath. There were six rocks for six slingshots.
Friday, October 28:
MIRACLE #1: “Purple Power” – The Hickman Kewpies football team’s only chance at the playoffs was to win on their homefield on the last week of the regular season. Unfortunately, the Kewpies had a 4-5 record and were facing 8-1 Jefferson City. The Jays were ranked #4 in the state, two weeks removed from their first #1 ranking in over a decade. Jefferson City was among the favorites to win the Missouri State Championship, all THEY had to do was beat their struggling rival. The Kewpies forced the heavily favored Jays to turn the ball over three times in the first half, and four times in total on their way to the biggest Missouri high school football upset of 2011 and a ticket to the playoffs (eliminating the Jays in the process). FINAL: Hickman 16, #4 Jefferson City 14.
MIRACLE #2: “The Rally Squirrel” – The St. Louis Cardinals took a standing 8-count in late August, but managed to wobble to their feet before the ref could call the knockout. All the Cards did was overcome a 10.5 game deficit to catch and pass the Atlanta Braves on the final day of the regular season to win the National League Wildcard. But like Rocky Balboa & Apollo Creed, the underdog Cardinals took the opportunity to beat the best team in baseball (Philadelphia) in the deciding Game 5 of the NLDS on the Phillies homefield against the Phillies ace pitcher. Then, it was on to Milwaukee. The Brewers outlasted the Cardinals all season in the NL Central on their way to the division crown. But the Cardinals outlasted the Brew Crew in six games of the NLCS to win the “Pilsner Pennant”. In a remarkable World Series, the Cardinals did the improbable and beat the Texas Rangers in a classic seven games to win the organization’s 11th World Championship. FINAL: St. Louis 6, Texas 2.
Saturday, October 29:
MIRACLE #3: “College Station Conquest” – The relatively disappointing season the Missouri Tigers football team had stumbled and fumbled through with the #2 toughest schedule in America led them to a 3-4 record and a trip to College Station, Texas to face the #16 Texas A&M Aggies. The Aggies were favored BIG. The Tigers hadn’t won a road game against a ranked opponent in nearly 15 years, and in such situations in 2011, they were already 0-3. It didn’t set up very well for Ol’ Mizzou. Missouri was down by two touchdowns (28-14) at halftime. But with some kind of fortitude, the Tigers fought back to tie the game 31-31 and headed to an improbable overtime. MU struck first with a touchdown pass to take a 38-31 lead, and then on defense swatted away A&M’s last chance on 4th down to come away with their first road win against a Top 25 opponent since 1997. FINAL (OT): Missouri 38, #16 Texas A&M 31.
MIRACLE #4: “M-I-Z! Beat-O-U!” – The Missouri Volleyball team came into the 2011 season with one of the top recruiting classes in the Big 12. The only problem the Tigers have with a top class is that they are all freshman. Due to that inexperience, MU had already lost a lot of close matches with some of the best teams in America. But not on this night at the Hearnes Center. Mizzou Volleyball would roll past #21 Oklahoma. FINAL: Missouri 3, #21 Oklahoma 0.
Sunday, October 30:
MIRACLE #5: “Greatest Show On Turf” – When you’re the St. Louis Rams and you start the season 0-6 things can’t get much worse. Unless of course, your #1 Draft Pick star quarterback Sam Bradford isn’t able to play against the powerful and potent 5-2 New Orleans Saints. The Cardinals World Series parade was set to begin just down the road from the Edward Jones Dome a few hours later, so most of the fans in attendance decided to take in a football game before celebrating their beloved baseball team. But even with Tony LaRussa and the Cardinals poking their heads in to the Dome before leaving for the parade, NOBODY WENT ANYWHERE. Wearing the old blue and yellow throwback uniforms of the late-90’s, the 2011 Rams resembled the classic Superbowl champion Rams both in uniform and in their play. With great defense and a punishing running offense, the Rams scored the biggest upset of the NFL season by handling the favored Saints, shocking the NFL and maybe even themselves. FINAL: St. Louis 31, New Orleans 21.
Monday, October 31:
MIRACLE #6: “Monday Night Black Magic” – Arrowhead Stadium is always a special environment. It’s a little more special at night. Monday Night Football rolled into Kansas City for a Halloween game between the AFC West Division rivals Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers. KC had started the season 0-3 and were getting pummeled by historically large margins at every turn and were considered the “worst team in the NFL”. After rattling off three straight victories, they had shed that “worst team” tag and had reached 3-3 on the year. In front of them was the favorite to win the division, the San Diego Chargers. San Diego was favored by four points to win in Kansas City and with the score tied 20-20, the Chargers were on their way to kicking the game-winning field goal with under a minute to play. The only thing San Diego quarterback Phillip Rivers (one of the best in the league) had to do was take the snap, kneel down and spot the ball perfectly for his kicker, and the Chargers would kick the short field goal and win the game. No problem. But Rivers inexplicably fumbled the football on the snap. Then the Chiefs miraculously fell on top of the football. Then the two teams went to overtime. Then the Chiefs won on a Ryan Succup field goal. The ghost of Lamar Hunt was smiling on this Halloween at Arrowhead. FINAL (OT): Kansas City 23, San Diego 20.
Click the link titled “Missouri Miracle Weekend Montage” at the top of the page to relive Missouri’s Miracle Weekend…
Highlights credited to:
KCFX – Chiefs FOX Football Radio Network
Learfield Sports Properties – Mizzou Sports Network
KMOX – Cardinals Radio Network
KLIK – Cumulus Broadcasting Columbia/Jefferson City
WWL – New Orleans Saints Radio