Mizzou HC Eli Drinkwitz says its 'unfair' to criticize players, program for going home for Christmas
The Music City Bowl in Nashville between Iowa and Mizzou has been called off after the Tigers called no joy in the wake of a COVID-19 outbreak up and down their roster subsequent to a mass migration home for Christmas.
Missouri head coach Eli Drinkwitz doesn’t think it’s fair to be subjected to criticism of any kind after the predictable outcome consummated itself the end of last week, culminating in the cancellation. Dave matter of the St. Louis Post Dispatch quoted the head coach decrying the fact he felt “belittled” and “beleaguered” on social media after the public learned the Tigers essentially dropped their protocols for the Christmas weekend.
Drinkwitz: "For us to be belittled or beleaguered on social media or players to be challenged because they went home for Christmas is unfair."— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) December 27, 2020
In contrast, the University of Iowa’s football team had remained on campus for the 10 day period between the bowl announcement and game day Dec. 30 and was prepared to play the contest before Mizzou called the whole thing off.
Drinkwitz expressed upset on behalf of his players.
“I hate it for our team. Our team worked extremely hard to get to this bowl game. I was very excited about the opportunity to compete but we won’t get that opportunity now.”
The last time the two border-state universities played was in the 2010 Insight Bowl at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe. The unranked 7-5 Hawkeyes beat the 14th ranked 10-2 Tigers—then a part of the Big XII conference—27-24 on the strength of a 72-yard Micah Hyde pick-six of future first-round quarterback Blaine Gabbert in the fourth quarter.
This year’s game appeared to be a mismatch, with the Hawkeyes favored by as many as 15 points before its cancellation. The contest could have been more interesting than that though, as Iowa had a small contingent of future professional players opting to sit out the bowl game to prepare for the NFL Draft. The fact is we’ll never know for certain.