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Every week, PowerMizzou.com publisher Gabe DeArmond answers questions from Tiger fans in the mailbag. This format allows for a more expansive answer than a message board post. Keep your eye out each week to submit your question for the mailbag or send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. On to this week’s inquiries.
Carnell75 asks: Dennis Gates is the current cats Meow because he’s currently undefeated and fans like that, How do you honestly feel he will do as HC of the Tigers? Does he just have to be better than Coach Martin? What do you feel could be a statement win for him once the season begins?
GD: I’m not going to start predicting an entire career before he’s coached a game. As you say, right now, he’s universally loved because he hasn’t lost a game. That’s no different than any other coach who has ever been hired here. Even the people that don’t initially like the hire throw their hearts into it as the first season gets closer, because if you don’t have hope, what’s the point in being a fan. It even happened with Kim Anderson. Maybe to a lesser extent than some of the rest, but there are a lot of people on this site who convinced themselves of the ways it was going to work for Kim coming back. Obviously it didn’t. The point is, every coach has a honeymoon period. It’s generally shorter for basketball coaches than football coaches because it takes less time to turn a basketball program around.
Gates’ first year is more or less a free pass. He needs to put a team on the floor that is somewhat competitive and that fans enjoy watching more than they did last year’s team. Some have convinced themselves it’s an NCAA Tournament team. I’m not there yet. I’ve said all along the goal is to get above .500 and make the NIT, which should be the minimum goal for Missouri basketball every single year. His honeymoon won’t be over in year two, but there will be more expectations on him and his team. He can extend that period by beating Kansas this year.
I_Hate_the_Cornhuskers asks: Where are you vacationing? Can I come?
GD: Out of town. And no.
diehard 78 asks: this board has the reputation of being made up of Chicken Littles and the woe-is-me crowd. Is the rap well deserved? Are we really different or is every board convinced the sky is falling on something? What have you learned from your peers in that regard? Thanks
GD: Every fanbase has some fans that are convinced the worst is about to happen. Every fanbase thinks its own school has more bad luck than others. Want proof?
GD: That said, Missouri fans are more fatalistic than most. Some of that’s certainly earned. Fifth Down, kick and catch, Tyus Edney, TVZ, DGB and MPJ is a pretty good list of “Holy s—, how does this keep happening to us?” moments. But still, Mizzou fans have a special level of self-loathing. I’ve always thought of it this way: Most fanbases will defend their own school while others insult it. Mizzou fans often seem to want to insult their own school before someone else can do it. My view may be a little bit skewed because I deal with Mizzou fans every day and don’t deal with other fanbases all that often. But I think the woe-is-me attitude is more prevalent here than most places. The best way I’ve ever seen it put is this.