1. Last year wasn’t easy. Sure, we knew the move to the SEC was going to be hard. But 2012 was a bad year.
2. And you could’ve lost the faith. Coming into 2013, all the experts sure did.
Mizzou was picked by the media to finish 5th — in the SEC East. And got zero votes in any of the national polls.
3. But then Henry Josey, you came back into our lives. If all you’d done was come back for that one TD against Murray State, that would’ve been enough.
4. Of course, there was more. There was a defensive line that couldn’t be stopped.
5. A quarterback in James Franklin — tested and questioned in 2012 — who started out the year with 15 TDs in 5 games, and proved every critic wrong.
6. And a coach in Gary Pinkel who quietly led the Tigers back into the rankings by mid-October, just doing what he always does.
7. When things went wrong, you pressed on. When Franklin went down, up stepped Maty Mauk and Bud Sasser and L’Damian Washington.
8. When E.J. Gaines went down, up stepped a young secondary.
9. Then came homecoming night, and a field goal that should have been made — but wasn’t. Most of us didn’t think that night that we’d be here, on the verge of an SEC Championship.
11. But here we are. And we’re here because of a relentless group of linebackers.
12. We’re here because of Michael Sam, and a motor that just won’t quit.
13. We’re here because of Dorial Green-Beckham, becoming a star right before our eyes.
14. And perhaps most of all, we’re here because of these gentlemen, who’ve quietly dominated every game.
You’ve been an unstoppable force. Also unstoppable: All of that hair.
16. That touchdown run to take the lead?
17. That play-action pass — a play call that took serious chutzpah, btw — to seal the victory?
18. Rushing the field and hearing “Georgia” blasting through a cold Missouri night?
19. For all of that: thank you.
20. Thank you for making us believe. Thank you for making this season one we’ll never forget.
21. We don’t care that the media won’t give us any respect. We don’t care that ESPN can’t even spell our state’s name right.
22. We want you to know how thrilled we are. You’ve made us proud to be Missouri Tigers.
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