My Life Story – The Cliffnotes Version

I guess that I could kick this thing off by saying, “Hi, my name Devan …” and then go on to tell you what I do for a living, where I’m from, where I went to school, my shoe size, etc. etc. etc.  That’s how most people would introduce themselves. But, as you’ll realize if you continue to read Can of Corn, I’m not most people.  I believe that most people introduce themselves by telling you WHAT they are and I would much rather give you an idea of WHO I am.

Like any college student, I had a lot of fun at the expense of our rivals. But football, baseball, basketball, soccer, even women’s bowling – you name it, I support it. MULE FOR LIFE.

Though I was born in the North (Minneapolis, MN), received my graduate education in the South (The DeVos Sport Business Management Program at the University of Central Florida – Orlando, FL) and had my first “big kid” job in the East (Account Executive for the NBA D-League’s Springfield Armor – Springfield, MA), the Midwest is where my heart will always be.  And after a 4 year absence, I’m excited to be back!

I was raised in the great state of Missouri (Worth County – the smallest county in the state to be exact) and received my undergraduate education there as well (University of Central Missouri – Warrensburg, MO).  I am a Midwesterner through and through – I fear God, enjoy Kansas City BBQ, love a cold Boulevard Wheat beer, am almost aggressively friendly, and I wave at strangers I meet on the highway.  Many would say that I’m a contrarian and most would know I have a soft spot for underdogs.  I am often too honest for my own good and get easily excited about the prospect of trying something new.

I was raised the son of a hog farmer who grew up cheering for the Minnesota Gophers and a school teacher who loves the Iowa Hawkeyes just as much, so my fandom was conflicted from the start.  I am a die-hard Minnesota Vikings fan who has grown used to high expectation and constant disappointment.  I am a loyal Minnesota Twins fan who against all logic likes the Kansas City Royals almost as much.  I love the Orlando Magic but am likely to also cheer for any team that Chris Paul finds himself on.  The only team in Missouri that is my favorite in any professional sport is the St. Louis Blues for hockey.  And while I don’t know a lot about soccer, I have been a Kansas City Wizards/Sporting KC fan since around 2007. I enjoy Iowa Hawkeyes football and Missouri Tigers basketball.  Since it is my graduate alma mater I like to see the UCF Knights do well.

Above all, my favorite team in all of sports is the NCAA-II University of Central Missouri Mules.  Chances are you haven’t heard of UCM, but I chose red and am proud to be a Mule!  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I am a passionate sports fan that has been through many disappointing seasons with my favorite teams but I never abandon them.  I am one of the most loyal fans you will ever find.  When it comes to the Vikings, Twins, and Mules, I am a die hard fan and that fanhood is a part of my identity.  Gary Anderson’s missed field in overtime of the 1999 NFC Championship (cue the Marshall Eriksen “Damn!”), Adrian Peterson’s constant fumbling in the 2010 NFC Championship, and the shady final play of the 2010 MIAA Football Championship game remain 3 of the worst moments of my life.

I am a bit of a superstitious fan.  I believe in broadcaster’s jinx, grow a playoff beard, have a lucky hat, and an unlucky jersey.  I’m not Wade Boggs superstitious by any means but I would never complain about fried chicken before every game.

While I have already told you enough, it seems there is social pressure for every bio to have at least one fun fact – as if a person can’t have a biography without one.  So here goes – one fun fact about me is that Dwight Howard and I actually have the same number of NBA Championship rings.  Who knew?

A lot of kids grow up wanting to be in the NFL, MLB, NBA, etc.  As a kid, soccer was the furthest thing from my mind.  However I know that “10 year old Devan” would give me a high 5 if I told him I was in the MLS. I work in Client Services for Sporting Kansas City.   I am extremely fortunate to have a career in professional sports – and work for one of my favorite teams no less!  Now I could give you three or four “résumé-friendly” bullet points of what my job is but it would be more accurate for me to tell you that I sell fun for a living.  I get paid to build relationships with 500+ members of one of the best fan bases in all of American sports.  I am constantly surrounded by sport and could not be happier*.

If you are skimming this and skipping to the end – Fantastic!  Because the most important thing you could ever  know about me is I have a great and supportive family and I am convinced that I have the best group of friends that anyone has ever had (though Clark Kent’s Superfriends come in at a very close second).   More than anything else, it is these people who have helped mold me into the person I am today.

Talk about conflicted fandom! For the first 25 years it worked. My favorite major league team (left) and my favorite minor league team (right) but don’t look now – baseball is on the rise in Kansas City!

*It is very important to note that all of my opinions are my own.  In no way does what I write here reflect the attitudes, stances, or opinions of Sporting Kansas City, the DeVos Sport Business Management Program, the University of Central Florida, or the University of Central Missouri. 


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