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Mighty Mizzou-rah

So much of the story of who I am today begins there, in what was once the Bellwether State, where jayhawkers and bushwhackers fought guerrilla battles for America's soul in the Civil War, where the Ozarks touch the Plains, where racial wounds have not yet entirely healed but still are raw, where ravioli is toasted - BBQ is made with molasses and brisket served on white bread - and where Kansas City's pro sports teams actually play, much to the chagrin of the city's namesake state.
I am talking, of course, about the state at the center of it all, Missouri.

At Mizzou in 2015 for a sportswriting panel
My story there begins inauspiciously. I'd been planning all throughout high school to go to the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. I even had one of those vinyl stickers in the back window of my dad's 1989 Buick Century. I also had a brief dream of going to Duke University, too.

But I didn't get into Duke, and UNC waitlisted me. Even though I was eventually…

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