The Harbaugh Bowl is now official.  The 49ers and Falcons played a very good and exciting football game on Sunday with the 49ers able to come away with a victory 28 to 24.  I’m not sure what it is with the Falcons but they played almost the exact same way they did against the Seahawks the week before which was to jump out to a big lead early and then let the other team back into the game.  The Falcons were able to hang on to beat the Seahawks but they couldn’t hold off the 49ers.  The 49ers showed a lot of poise after getting down early and their defense really stepped up just as their offense started to find its rythym. 

The AFC championship game looked like a possible victory for the Patriots early on but the Ravens like the 49ers showed a lot of poise in overcoming an early deficit and you could almost hear the air being let out of the Patriots sails.  The Patriots and their fans seemed to be in almost a state of shock throughout most of the fourth quarter and it was pretty obvious midway through that quarter that the game was over and the Harbaugh brothers would coach against one another in the Super Bowl.  The loss by the Patriots may possibly be the beginning of the end for one of the great teams in NFL history as we may start to see changes over the next couple of year as the Patriots are starting to show their age.  Now that we know who is in the Super Bowl the pre game coverage can begin. 

ESPN showed a Florid Gators practice on Saturday.  I know, I was surprised too!  It was really authentic, they had manequens dressed up like Missouri Tigers players and even had the manequens occasionally put up feeble shots so the Gators could practice rebounding.  Apparently, the state’s budget woes have hit the Missouri Tigers athletic department hard and they couldn’t afford to send the actual team to Florida.  Either that or the Missouri Tigers are in serious trouble because if that was the actual team  “playing” Saturday then they played the most pathetic game of basketball I have ever seen a Missouri Tigers team play.  Florida is not a bad team but they are not a great team either but Missouri made them look unbeatable.  Missouri shot 32 percent for the game and had 21 turnovers.  Phil Pressey looked like he had never seen a basketball before in his life and Missouri’s inside game was simply not there.  Again, I understand that Missouri is missing Lawrence Bowers but not having Lawrence Bowers isn’t an excuse for shooting as poorly as they did, throwing the ball away as often as they did and not even attempting to play defense.  Missouri’s next four games are against the last place teams in the SEC right now and three of those four games are at home and Missouri must win all of them starting this Tuesday night at home against South Carolina.  Missouri’s only road game during that stretch is at LSU and Missouri has to show they can win a SEC road game.  It is almost like Missouri peaked back in late December and that’s not good given that there is still two months left of the season. 

While Missouri was laying a giant egg on Saturday, the Truman State women’s basketball team took care of a very talented Central Missouri State women’s team.  Central MO came into Pershing on Saturday having only lost one game and with all sorts of hype surrounding them but Truman had very little difficulty and led throughout most of the game and clearly showed they had more talent and most importantly know how to play together as a team.  The Central MO team was full of transfers who may have had the talent but didn’t have the team chemistry that Truman has and it showed Saturday afternoon. 

The Truman State men’s team once again came oh so close to winning only to fall short.  I can’t even imagine how frustrating this season has been for the players and coaches as they are right on the cusp of greatness but just can’t get over the hump.  My heart does out to them because they almost always stay in the game until the very end but come up a couple of points short each time.  Nebraska Kearney makes the long trek to Kirksville on Thursday for a double header against both Truman State teams and then Truman will be back in action on Saturday at Pershing as Ft. Hays State comes to town. 

Both Kirksville High School basketball teams were in action last Friday night against Booneville as the boys lost a tough one on the road while the girls posted another impressive victory at home.  Both teams now have a few days off. 

The KHS wrestlers will be back in action on Tuesday as they travel to Ft. Madison.  The Tigers had another impressive showing at the tough Platte County tournament last Saturday. 

I was saddened to learn early Saturday evening of the death of the greatest Cardinal of them all.  Stan The Man Musial died at the age of 92 leaving behind a legacy that will probably never be duplicated.  I never got the chance to see Musial play as he retired in 1963 six years before I was born but my dad saw him play numerous times and I remember as a boy hearing how great a player Musial was.  In looking at some of his statistics it is truly mind boggling how good he really was: he never struck out more than fifty times in a season, he led the league in at least one offensive category every year he played even though his career lasted over twenty years, he had 1,816 hits at home and 1,816 hits on the road, and the list goes on and on.  He did all this without ever cheating to do it, he didn’t have to go on Oprah and admit that his entire career was based on a lie, he didn’t go before Congress to try and explain why his hitting records weren’t real, he did it all on God given talent.  Perhaps even greater than his on the field accomplishments was his legacy off the field as he was one of the most revered citizens of St. Louis and was a very visible but yet accessible person who was immensely popular with fans and players right up to the end.  I can’t recall ever hearing a bad thing about Stan Musial in all the years I have been a baseball fan.  He is held with such high esteem that one statue wasn’t enough and he is the only person I know of who has two statues in the same place.  Baseball not only lost one of its best players last Saturday but we lost a truly great human being.  Stan Musial’s contributions to baseball, to the Cardinals, and to the St. Louis community will never be forgotten.

We’ll be back on Wednesday with our midweek blog, I’m not quite sure what will be in it yet but we’ll think of something.  Thanks for soupporting this blog and all the other blogs on this site.  Your comments are always welcome.

Have a great Monday!