Press Box: Just keep it to yourself

Attacks on Baggett by “fans” were way out of line

Missouri kicker Andrew Baggett banged a field goal attempt off the upright to end the first half of Saturday night’s game against Tennessee at Faurot Field.

It’s time to break out the Twitter muscles again.

After Baggett did the same thing to end last Saturday night’s overtime loss against South Carolina, a lot of Twitter users decided their best plan of attack was to attack the Missouri kicker. So they tweeted Baggett’s account to express their displeasure.

And why not? They were sitting on their couches watching the game and doggone it, it ruined their Saturday night. Nobody felt worse than Baggett, who was called everything but the starting kicker for a college team ranked in the Top 10 by these geniuses who couldn’t kick a field goal under pressure if you gave them all day and filled the football with helium.

I have a Twitter account and here’s my one and only tweet after the South Carolina game and I called on my 50 years of Tiger fandom to come up with — “That’s Missouri being Missouri.”

Funny, nope. Accurate, yes. A personal attack on Baggett, never. He’s a college kid, doing the best he can.

So before you hit send next time, think about how you’d feel if you were in Baggett’s kicking shoes. Be an actual human being and don’t do it.

III

Thursday night was the opener of the Missouri State High School Activities Association’s state football playoffs and that brought another round of the question “Why do No. 1 seeds have to play No. 8 seeds?”

There were three of these matchups in the area — Helias vs. Marshall in Class 4, California vs. Missouri Military Academy in Class 3 and Blair Oaks vs. Father Tolton in Class 2.

The combined scores of the three games? 198-21.

Ouch.

You can’t tell the No. 1 seeds not to play at their best. I know Helias, California and Blair Oaks all have state championship game aspirations and the starters need to stay sharp.

And in the games, the second- and third-team players get an opportunity to play extended minutes. At Adkins Stadium, the Crusader reserves were in for the final two quarters and basically played to an even game against the Owl starting units.

You could give the top seed a bye, but then why not give one to the No. 2 seed? Those are mismatches as well.

And it sure looks like Wednesday’s district semifinals won’t be a whole lot closer than Thursday’s games. Another bye? Where does it end?

Mismatches are a part of sports. They always have been and always will be. Just play the games.

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