Steve Moore speaks for all of us - KMOV.com

Steve Moore speaks for all of us

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COLUMBIA, MO - FEBRUARY 04:   Steve Moore #32 of the Missouri Tigers celebrates a 74-71 win over the Kansas Jayhawks at Mizzou Arena on February 4, 2012 in Columbia, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) By Ed Zurga COLUMBIA, MO - FEBRUARY 04: Steve Moore #32 of the Missouri Tigers celebrates a 74-71 win over the Kansas Jayhawks at Mizzou Arena on February 4, 2012 in Columbia, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) By Ed Zurga
Baylor's Quincy Miller, left, fights his way past Missouri's Steve Moore, right, as he tries to shoot during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson) By L.G. PATTERSON Baylor's Quincy Miller, left, fights his way past Missouri's Steve Moore, right, as he tries to shoot during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson) By L.G. PATTERSON
Kansas' Thomas Robinson, left, loses control of the ball as Missouri's Steve Moore, right, defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson) By L.G. PATTERSON Kansas' Thomas Robinson, left, loses control of the ball as Missouri's Steve Moore, right, defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson) By L.G. PATTERSON

(Missouri Basketball App ) -- "When I first got here, I was not good at all."

Steve Moore stood at mid court, mic in hand, as the crowd roared with laughter and applause. It was a much-needed joke. The Tigers had just finished a tense comeback over Iowa State, and the seniors were giving speeches after their final game at Mizzou Arena. Steve went first, and it was a good minute before he could get the words out through the tears. By the time he delivered that line, we all needed a moment to fight back our own.

"When I first got here, I was not good at all."

I came to college pretty certain I was a genius. I liked to write, thought I was good at it, and I figured Missouri's School of Journalism was going to be a playground where I would learn how to win Pulitzer's and AP awards. Turns out, like most 18-year-olds, I was a complete moron. I got slapped around, humbled, broken down, and rebuilt. Along the way, I had a few professors take me under their wing and guide me through the rough spots. I had to relearn the things I thought I was good at, and learn things I had never heard of. When I came out the other end, I remember looking back and, knowing the journey, being amazed at the finished product.

That's why Steve Moore is so special. He represents the masses. He represents the average. Most of us aren't first-rounders. We aren't the Marcus Denmons or the Royce Whites. Most of us aren't even Kim English. We're Steve. We aren't born with prolific talent, and we have to work every single day to keep up. That's why every time he dives to the floor, or takes a vicious charge, the arena erupts in a standing ovation. When Steve Moore succeeds, the little guy succeeds, even if there's nothing little about him.

"When I first got here, I was not good at all."

Steve Moore has spent three out of four years as an afterthought. He was a clock eater, a foul taker, a replacement player. For three years he was used to give the stars a rest. He came in wearing rec specs, overweight, and with little-to-no discernible talent. But he had the biggest heart in the country. He never quit. He never transferred. He never complained. He just worked harder and harder each year. Now, with Frank Haith at the helm, he has become indispensable. He's a defensive stopper. He'll run through a wall to grab a rebound. Perhaps most importantly, he inspires the fans and the team around him to give just a little bit more. Steve Moore just won't accept defeat. He'll never allow himself to be the reason we lose. He loves this place with a ferocity and dedication that is unmatched. For Steve, the ride has been so life changing and so wonderful that he'd do anything to keep it from ending. That's something that we can all relate to, and it's why we love him.

When the speeches ended, the arena roared, and the team headed into the tunnel. Everyone except Steve. As the Mizzou Waltz played for the final time this season, He walked right to the student section and up into the masses of gold shirts calling his name. His march took him all the way to the top row and back, interrupted only by hugs and handshakes along the way. As the music drew to a close, Steve came back to the court. He looked around one more time, a smile beaming through his tears, and waved a final goodbye to the place and fans that he loves so much, and who love him back. As he disappeared into the arena, a final bellow of "STEEEEEVE" trailed after him, dampened only by the catch in our throats.

"When I first got here, I was not good at all."

It's ok, Steve. Neither were we.

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