Shannon Dawson made a statement on Tuesday that struck a cord, “We need to care a little less.”
It seems a bit ridiculous from the outside, but from the inside, there might be something to what he’s saying.
The first two weeks of the season, we saw the Wildcats look loose, almost too loose. They were fired up on the Cat Walk, pumping up the crowd, with laughs and smiles never in short supply. It was nice to see the players having fun, and succeeding while doing so, but things got serious ahead of Florida.
On the KSR Podcast, Freddie said he wanted to see the Cats with a Mike Tyson swagger (90’s Iron Mike, not The Hangover version). The kind of mean mug that is no-nonsense, just here to crack some skulls and take care of business. Excluding Juice, Jojo, and a few others, that’s exactly what I saw. After hearing Shannon Dawson and talking to people in the locker room, that no-nonsense swagger didn’t help the Cats against Florida, it hurt them. Instead of joking with each other before kickoff, you could almost hear crickets in the locker room. All the quiet gives the young guys a lot of time to think, think, and overthink some more.
This team has yet to form an identity because like most young people, they’re immature and insecure. They exude confidence, but they can’t act like they’ve been if there if they’ve never been there. The best way to handle the awkwardness is with goofiness. If it’s worked for me for 23 years, it can work for them.
Even though Dawson’s words may seem silly to some, this team doesn’t need to do what they did last week: Tighten Up.
Instead, just Hang Loose, and watch Mizzou lose.