I'm sorry, Duke Ellis

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Photo Credit: Eddie Gaspar

Duke Ellis, you 100% do not know who I am, but I’m sorry.
 
Let me take you back to February 2019. It’s my first month on the Texas baseball beat, and I am a nervous wreck. The other reporters had the whole press conference thing down to a science.
 
Me, not so much.
 
I don’t remember what game it was, but I finally built up the courage to ask something. It’s my job, after all. I wrote down the question, recited it to myself 100 times and waited for the perfect time to interject.
 
Someone asked you a question about teammate Masen Hibbeler. Your answer is a blur, but what came out of my mouth next is not.
 
“Masen — ur, I mean Duke —.”
 
You said something like “Don’t worry about it,” and then answered my question. But I’ll never forget those around me — the awkward shuffling, the audible “oh, my God” that came from an older journalist, reaffirming my severe imposter syndrome.
 
(Duke you can stop reading now, not that you ever were)
 
It felt like the end of the world because it was, right?
 
Surprisingly it wasn’t. I returned to the Disch for the next game and asked another question. Then another, and then another. Looking back, it was a defining moment; I realized the world wouldn’t end, my career wouldn’t end and making those mistakes early on only made me better for the future.
 
It’s one of the many lessons I’ll carry with me from The Daily Texan forever. For those who I worked with, Ross, Alex, Donnavan, Marcus and Stephen, thank you for making me a better journalist and person every day.
 
To my sorority sisters, who never complained when I’d take over the couch in the living room to watch football games instead of Gossip Girl, 2711 Nueces St. will always be my home. 
 
To Mom, Paps, Art, Leo and Raf, I love you more than you’ll ever know. 
 
To professor Dawson and Kevin, Wednesdays will always be my favorite day.  
 
So maybe the headline should be thank you Duke Ellis. I know I’ll never mess that name up ever again.