MIAA, Southern generating talented and passionate athletes

Sometimes it’s hard to get excited about your job.

There are days when you wake up and cringe at the thought of dealing with your under-worked, middle-aged boss who forces you to wear slacks on the job because it makes a “good impression” on the customer.

I think everyone can relate in one way or another. And I think we can all agree it’s a part of life, really.

Personally, I can’t complain too much. I get paid to watch sports for a living. But from time to time you lose your passion. Your Amaze-o-Meter runs out of petroleum.

Then along comes something that pulls you to the edge of your seat, rejuvenating your love of sports. That’s why I rank collegiate athletics above the rest.

Collegiate student athletes – at any NCAA level – are one of the last bastions of athletes who are still passionate about playing sports. These men and women represent colleges all over the country and compete because they are driven, not because they are coming up on free agency and want to cash in on a big payday.

Yes, some athletes are playing collegiate sports for one or two years only because they must in order to play professionally, but the majority of athletes in school are there for a better way of life.

Is the style of play worse? No, not really. Obviously, a 10-year veteran of his or her sport offers more experience, but you can still attend a NCAA event and get the “wow” factor.

Missouri Southern is a perfect example of a smaller Division II school capable of generating talented, passionate athletes. The style and level of play found at MSSU and in the MIAA is comparable to any other NCAA school and conference in the country.

No, you’re not going to find a big-name recruit on the back of every jersey in the MIAA, but names do not hinder the style of play.

Toderick Hunt had three touchdowns last week against Emporia State to help give the Lions their first win in conference play. His fluid running style on the field is fun to watch.

He is one of several athletes on campus who can instantly make you stand up and applaud.

Performing on a big stage is never easy, and we sometimes take it for granted. Maybe it’s because there are so many gifted athletes around we become spoiled and expect greatness all of the time. We shouldn’t be that na’ve, however.

Every sport is difficult in its own way, and requires countless hours of hard work in order to excel. Please appreciate these men and women for what they represent and have to offer.

This is what my passion is all about.