Monday at 7 p.m., Head Coach Gary Pinkel sits down with Mike Kelly, the voice of Mizzou Tigers, for an hour-long segment called Tiger Talk.
The popular sports radio talk show takes place in front of a live audience of Tiger fans in Buffalo Wild Wings in Columbia. During this week’s Tiger Talk, Pinkel and Kelly wrapped up the final show of the football season.
Home Sweet Texas
Kelly began by asking Chappell, a native of Canadian, Texas, about his roots.
“Canadian is one of those classic towns when you know everybody. It’s only 3,000 people, and there are no secrets really in a town that small.” Chappell said. “I get texts after every game from coaches and friends back home, just congratulating me on my successes.”
For the small-town Texan, his decision to play for Missouri was largely based on the family atmosphere Mizzou offers.
“It’s a family and it’s hard to explain, but you feel like you’re at home when you’re here.” Chappell said. “That’s why we play so well together and we really come together as a team.”
Kelly switched gears to talk Texas with the other Texas native. McNulty, a native of Allen, Texas, found the Mizzou family atmosphere refreshing, for personal reasons.
“For me, that was really important because I grew up with nothing but sisters, and I needed some brothers to show me the way.” McNulty said.
McNulty said that the coaches also contribute to the family atmosphere in a personal way. Specifically, Offensive Line Coach A.J. Ricker.
“At the beginning of the year, Coach Ricker told us that he had something invested in this program. He actually played for Coach Pinkel when he first got here.” McNulty said. “That made us think that he had been where we were and he is one of us.”
The Offensive Line
When Kelly asked Chappell what surprised him the most about the offensive line in college compared to high school, Chappell noted the speed and competition within the league.
For the entire offensive line, speed is their specialty. Chappell described the joy the whole team gets when running the football.
“We take great pride in running the football.” Chappell said. “There’s nothing better than just dominating the other team when you run the ball.”
The Road To Another SEC East Title
Once Pinkel rejoined Kelly at the table, the talk about coaching continued. Pinkel emphasized the role coaches have when preparing for championships.
“I tell my team there is nothing easy about this.” Pinkel said. “You’re going to have to play good teams and beat good teams.”
As the Tigers prepared for their final game against the Arkansas Razorbacks, Pinkel explained the bond between college football coaches.
“It’s kind of a neat thing to get to know each other because you can appreciate what everyone is going through.” Pinkel said.
Mizzou Football Seniors
Kelly and Pinkel also discussed the seniors, who played in their final game in the ZOU against Arkansas on Saturday, November 28. Pinkel described the emotional tie he has to each of his players and how proud he is of every Tiger who will be sent off after the final game.
“It’s an emotional day for me.” Pinkel said. “It’s hard because you get these kids when they’re 18 years old and you see them mature into men and graduating from college.”
However, the Mizzou Football Family does not end with senior sendoff.
“One of the great things about it though is we tell our recruits you come to Missouri not for four to five years, you come to Missouri for life and you’re part of our family forever.” Pinkel said. “Those names and numbers of those guys will be in my phone forever.”
Watch Tiger Talk live every Monday at 7 p.m. at Buffalo Wild Wings, or online via GaryPinkel.com livestream. See Mizzou Football compete in its second straight SEC Championship game on Saturday, December 6. Mizzou Football will take on Alabama in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Follow Mizzou Football on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for updates on how to purchase tickets for the SEC Championship game.