Redshirt By Morgan Dzakowic

Screen Shot 2014-05-21 at 11.19.52 PM

Photograph by Megan Leahey.

Morgan Dzakowic is a recent graduate of the University of Missouri, as well as a fine Twitter follow. Here, she explains her feelings, post-diploma, as she enters this harsh place known as The Real (Fucking) World …

A college degree.  What a smoking-hot commodity.

College is a shit ton of blood, a shit ton of sweat, and a shit ton of tears. And if college wasn’t a dynamic combo of a shit ton of all bodily fluids, you probably didn’t execute it properly.1

I still can’t believe I’m getting my diploma mailed to my parents’ house in a few weeks. Yay!

See, I was a student at Mizzou for five years—a redshirt senior.  My year of ineligibility consisted of bench pressing bottles of grappa in Italy, becoming in touch with my gypsy heritage in Poland, being the closest I will ever be to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as a bloody muggle2 in the United Kingdom, and then eventually mentally dragging myself on an airplane back home from South Africa—otherwise risking both a harsh deportation and life without Kevin Love. 3

Plus, Mizzou had made its grand move to the SEC from the Big 12.4  So yeah—after eleven months abroad, it was time to get back.

Needless to say, my college experience wasn’t the norm.  And while I may have been a kickass student my freshman and sophomore years, then gallivanted around the Eastern Hemisphere for an entire school year as a junior, I was hardly capable of even getting myself out of bed to class in the morning once I started what was supposed to be my senior year of college.

But sometimes the pace and place of life just changes.

I fell behind—very quickly.  Ever heard of ‘reverse culture shock’? It’s incredibly real, my friends. And it fucking blows.

Honestly, I didn’t think I was going to make it. And for a while, it was seriously headed that direction, too—a complete train-wreck. Kind of like Mizzou’s first year in SEC football. People don’t just enter a completely new realm and get right to the grind. I mean, Mizzou certainly didn’t just waltz right into the Cotton Bowl by any means. See, Mizzou needed to have shitty season first.5  It was a readjustment process.

So basically, the same thing happened to me. I just needed a shitty season first—for readjustment purposes. It’s all part of change. And change is inarguably part of life. Eventually, with a lot of help from my teachers,6 and shit ton of bodily fluids,7 I got there.

I thought I would never walk across the stage of Mizzou Arena wearing a piece of cardboard covered in black fabric.

But I did it. I walked across that stage. I heard the graduation announcer hesitate before saying my first name, proceed to completely butcher my middle and last names in the microphone, then say, “Oh wow, I really screwed that one up.”8  Um, yeah man.  Yeah, you sure did.  In his defense … never mind.

But all in all, I definitely felt like how I imagine Bo Ryan did as he cut down the net in a 2014 Final Four flat-brimmed hat.

As far as my diploma goes, I’ll be waiting. And as far as my life goes, I’ll still be waiting … for Kevin Love’s free agency next summer, aka the #SummerOfLove.9

At the end of the day, I just got redshirted. It’s okay though. I needed that. I needed that extra time to develop as an individual, and as a team member. Some people just need more time than others. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

1  – See ‘Don’t Put Me In, Coach’  by Mark Titus. Spoiler Alert: explosive diarrhea.

2 – A person lacking magical abilities

3 – Simply unbearable. Also – that was a really long sentence.

4 – I guess I should mention Texas A&M as well. I guess. Definitely in a footnote.  No one fucking reads footnotes.

5 – Like, a really shitty season.
6 – And a little help from my friends

7 Gypsy tears; 90% happened in front of a tough broadcast teacher named Greeley.  We’re still friends to this day.  He’s watching my sportscasts this week. I might unload some more bodily fluids again.
8 – It happened.  Ask my dad.  Working on getting the tape.

9 – I told you – life without Kevin Love is simply unbearable.

Leave a Reply