Columbia, MO (KMOV.com) -- At the beginning of the 2008 University of Missouri football season, expectations were high. Fans were fired up and there was optimism all around Columbia and across the wide state of Missouri. From Kansas City to St. Louis everyone was showing his or her "stripes".
All over the city of Columbia, movie posters began popping up. The posters featured Chase Daniel front and center with star WR Jeremy Maclin and DB William Moore to his "stage" right and left respectively. The posters had Farout Field in the background and the words "The Sequel" enlarged on the bottom.
These posters showered the Tiger football team with high expectations and hope. They featured the names of co-stars Chase Coffman and Sean Weatherspoon. Gary Pinkle was back to direct and star as head coach. Not since 1989 when I was an eight-year-old kid and saw Michael J. Fox riding a hover board, trying to get away from young Biff in the previews for Back to the Future 2 had I anticipated such a sequel.
This was it, the season, the year, the time for the Missouri Tigers to shake the losing feeling forever and finish the job and win a National Championship.
As Coach Pinkle so aptly states; it was time for the Tigers to "arrive".
How could it not be? The movie was advertised on the cover of Sports Illustrated, it had 10 returning cast members on defense. Had all the big name fanfare agreeing to come back for part two. On August 30th 2008, I paid my six bucks for a ticket and went to see the highly acclaimed encore "The Sequel".
The first scene was against the Illinois Fighting Illini. I was sad to see Martin Rucker, and Lorenzo Williams who had played such an excellent role in the original, were too old to star in this one and moved on.
Juice Williams returned to the screen and put on a show. Williams almost single handedly dismantled the Tiger defense until co-star Sean Weatherspoon intercepted a pass to secure a Tiger victory, as William Moore had done in the prequel. What a start!
The next montage of scenes showed the type of dominance and fervor you would see in such powerful sequels as The Godfather II, Superman: II, and Rocky II AND they showed the all out fun of a great sequel like Toy Story II. The Tigers rolled over SEMO, crushed Nevada, beat down Buffalo and went to Nebraska and took them to the woodshed. "The Sequel" was as advertised.
Until scene six
Oklahoma State came to Columbia as the sports ticker scrolled across the big screen: #1 Oklahoma loses to #5 Texas. Missouri was #3 at this point in the movie.
Tossing some popcorn in my mouth I knew what was going to happen. The movie was half over; the Tigers would take the #1 spot with a dominant performance over a ranked team!
I grew excited as I watched the drama unfold. Chase Daniel has a chance to win the game with under 2 minutes to play; this had to have been written in for dramatic affect!
Daniel pass complete 10 yds., to Chase Coffman. Daniel back to pass, finds Maclin, NO! it's intercepted Missouri losses to Oklahoma State 28-23.
Wow. Hand me a tissue, this movie is getting emotional.
At this point I start thinking, "Ok, this is going to be a comeback story. The Tigers will go down to Texas and show their resolve and all will be well"
Not the case. The defense that did such an incredible job and got better as the last film advanced looked inept and over matched. Texas routed the Tigers and all I could think was "This plot stinks! What happened to roaring comebacks and dramatic effects?"
William Moore, who did a great job coming into his own previously, took a step back. Colt Mc Coy and Jordan Shipley upstaged Chase Daniel and Jeremey Maclin and a guy with a scary name "Oracpo" played the villain. Pinkle didn't look like the coach who led the team to so many close victories in the first of these two films.
I stayed in my seat. I wanted to continue to watch. Perhaps there would be some sort of miracle in this yet. As Pinkle continued to remind everyone on the silver screen, the Tigers still had the ability to achieve the goals they had not achieved last season namely winning the Big 12 Championship.
The next four scenes showed the will of the Tiger team. The Tigers blew out Colorado 58-0, squeaked by Baylor 31-28 and hammered Kansas State 41-24 and Iowa State 52-20 winning the Big 12 North title. "The Sequel" could be salvaged yet!
Then came the scene featuring the rivalry game with the Kansas Jayhawks. The first thing I had a problem with in this scene was the costume designer. Who designed those god awful yellow jerseys?
The game was as ugly as the uniforms the Tigers wore. I couldn't believe what I was seeing! KU's leading man, Todd Reesing looked like the Tiger hero, Daniel, in the last film. When Chase used pinpoint precision to carve up the Jayhawks and take the #1 ranking.
The drama escalated with Jeff Woelfert lining up for a game tying field goal in the snow with 8 seconds remaining. Woelfert's kick was blocked and if this movie couldn't get any worse, the Jayhawks came away with the victory.
This was not what I paid for. Sure, the Tiger football team still had to play their arch nemesis the vaunted Oklahoma Sooners in the Big 12 Championship game, but could they actually win?
Perhaps this is what the writer was going for. Maybe the Tigers had to lose before getting up for a big win against the team that shattered their dreams of a national title in the first film.
No such luck. The Oklahoma Sooners absolutely showed no mercy against them. Sam Bradford looked like a combination of a young Burt Reynolds and John Heisman as he tore up the inept defense of Missouri. And the Sooners crushed the Tigers 62-21.
At this point, I want my money back, but I will continue to hang on. The Alamo Bowl in San Antonio is next. The Tigers take on the Northwestern Wildcats in what many are dubbing the "Prose Bowl", for two of the top journalism schools in the country.
During this current "down time" in the movie, I will get a refill on my popcorn bucket and large drink and come back to watch the rest. I have two much invested to stop watching now. I want to see how this movie ends.
Will Chase Daniel, Chase Coffman, William Moore and the rest of the Tiger seniors who helped turn the program around go out with three consecutive losses? Or will the white knight of Missouri, Daniel, lead the Tigers to a season ending victory like senior Tony Temple did in the Cotton Bowl in the "blockbuster" prequel's finish?
Even with a Tiger victory over the Wildcats, this has been awful to watch. There has been so much hype, so much anticipation, and so little in the way of results. "The Sequel" is an absolute bomb at the box office and should have been released straight to DVD. Lets hope next year a better "showing" is in store.
A good start to the next film will be a good finish to this one with a victory over Northwestern.
Stephen Sliker is a journalism student at the University of Missouri-Columbia