Seeing Joplin first hand after the devastation puts tornadoes in a different perspective for me. I mean, you go home, and there's nothing.— Kim English (@Englishscope24) May 20, 2013
The No. 17 item on the Greatest list actually found its origin in one of the state's worst moments. On May 22, 2011, one of the most destructive tornadoes in history wiped out a good portion of the city of Joplin. More than two years later, you still don't have to try very hard to find evidence of the tornado's path in town. But the University of Missouri and its athletic department tried as hard as they could to bring help, money, and goodwill to the community.
Coaches and athletes from every sport made trips to Joplin that summer, helping to clear rubble and begin the rebuilding process. But on October 30, the Tiger basketball team brought attention to the town and its efforts by playing an exhibition game at Missouri Southern. The game, televised on ESPNU, raised more than $100,000, and the state's resolve and heart was on full display for an evening. It was a wonderful thing to witness. Something that fills you with this much emotion, with this much pride in your school, absolutely must be on a list like this.