The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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October 10, 2013

The United Sports of America: What should your state's official sport be?

(Continued)

Missouri

Official state sport(s): none

Our choice: pro baseball

Also considered: none

Cardinals backers love to laud themselves as the country's greatest, most knowledgeable baseball fans. Though I hate to reward such pridefulness, it's undeniable that_as compared to promiscuous Bay Staters, who love the Sox, but also the New England Patriots, the Celts, and the Boston Bruins — the Show Me State's relationship with the national pastime is a monogamous one. The Kansas City Royals also play here, and as noted in the Illinois entry, Missouri has even succeeded in recruiting much of that state to join its baseball militia. Brainwashing of that order must be rewarded

Montana

Official state sport(s): none

Our choice: fly fishing

Also considered: six-man football

I went to Montana once, and a hotel clerk told me they used to keep copies of Norman Maclean's fly-fishing novel A River Runs Through It for guests to peruse. They had to stop, though, because visitors kept stealing them as souvenirs. Montana is also one of the few states that plays six-man football. Brad Pitt never starred in a movie about it, though, so it doesn't really rate.

Nebraska

Official state sport(s): none

Our choice: college baseball

Also considered: college football, six-man football

Nebraska worships the Cornhuskers football team, but Alabama's gridiron fandom is objectively more terrifying. Six-man football was invented here, but there are only around a dozen teams in the entire state. And then there's college baseball, a sport that's ragingly unpopular most everywhere else but flourishes in Omaha. The city has hosted the College World Series since 1950 and has a deal in place with the NCAA to keep it until at least 2035. Omaha opened a new ballpark for the CWS in 2011, and the event keeps on setting attendance records. Those non-wood bats are all yours, Nebraska.

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