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Pursuing an opponent [Photo]

Charles Gaines, left, and Pig Brown, middle pursue an opponent during a kickoff at an exhibition game against the Gateway Soul.

Mental preparation for Jackson [Photo]

Xzavie Jackson mentally prepares in the locker room at the St. Charles Family Arena before an early season exhibition game against the Gateway Soul.

Playing a game of spades [Photo]

Former Missouri football players Pig Brown, left, Darnell Terrell, center, and Xzavie Jackson, right, keep their entertainment simple with a game of spades with their teammate Dixie Wooten, center right, at Terrell's apartment following a Wednesday night practice. The players of the RiverCity Rage are paid $200 a week, plus a $50 bonus when they win.

Watching from the bench [Photo]

Former Missouri football players Darnell Terrell, center, and Paul Simpson, right, watch from the RiverCity Rage bench as their offense tries for a touchdown in the exhibition game against the Gateway Soul on March 16 at the St. Charles Family Arena.

Prayerful pose before the game [Photo]

Xzavie Jackson bows his head for the pre-game prayer before an exhibition game.

Giving out autographs [Photo]

Pig Brown, left, signs a hat for Charles Nelson, 13, right, following the RiverCity Rage's exhibition game against the Gateway Soul on March 16.

Pig Brown waves in appreciation [Photo]

After being named player of the game, Pig Brown waves to the home crowd in appreciation of their applause.

Brown stretches at practice [Photo]

Former Missouri safety Pig Brown now plays for the RiverCity Rage arena football team in St. Charles. Brown says he had only recovered to about 80 percent from the injury that ended his senior season at MU when the 2008 NFL draft season began.

Xzavie Jackson fights past an opponent [Photo]

Xzavie Jackson fights his way past an opponent on the Gateway Soul, another team out of St. Louis. Jackson joined the River City Rage after being cut from Philadelphia Eagles. For Jackson, the Rage is an opportunity to stay in shape and build character.

Dancing to the 'YMCA' [Photo]

RiverCity Rage fan Devin Lofton, back, dances to "YMCA" by the Village People only a few feet from former Missouri safety Pig Brown, left, on the bench.

Attracting the attention of reporters [Photo]

Despite being turned down by the NFL, Pig Brown, left, still attracts media attention from local sports reporter Rene Knott of KSDK/Channel 5 in St. Louis.

Darnell Terrell straps up before game [Photo]

Former MU defensive back Darnell Terrell straps up before an exhibition game. Before joining the Rage, Terrell worked at the Boys and Girls Town of Missouri in Columbia.

Kington hand-stitches a purse [Photo]

Jolene Kington hand-stitches a purse made from old wool sweaters at her home in Columbia on Thursday. Kington will be selling her crafts this weekend at a Mothers of Preschoolers spring fundraiser on Saturday as well as at Earth Day Festival on Sunday.

Jolene Kington [Photo]

Jolene Kington crochets organic cotton baby rattles and sells them on Etsy.com and at various Columbia events. She also makes purses and amigurumi dolls.

Making amigurumi dolls [Photo]

Jolene Kington makes a variety of crafts, including these amigurumi dolls. Amigurumi is the Japanese art of crocheting anthropomorphic dolls. Kington has to keep them hidden because her 7-year-old daughter always wants to play with them, even though she has her own.

Kington cuts an old wool sweater [Photo]

Jolene Kington cuts an old wool sweater to be sewn into a purse at her home in Columbia on Thursday. Kington felts the fabric before working with it by washing it in hot water and then drying it. Once the fabric is felted, it can be cut without unraveling.

'Juggling act' [Photo]

Jolene Kington works on a purse made from an old wool sweater. Kington's crafts and her family keep her busy. "It's such a juggling act trying to get everything done," she says.

Hero Award winner Max Lewis [Photo]

Vicki Russell, left, associate publisher of the Columbia Daily Tribune, congratulates Max Lewis of Boone County Family Resources as the winner of the 2009 Hero Awards for outstanding public service in the individual adult category. In addition to a crystal trophy, Lewis also received $500 on behalf of the Tribune to donate to his not-for-profit organization of choice.

Ben Askren at American Top Team [Photo]

Ben Askren, a former MU wrestler and U.S. Olympian who has recently gone professional in MMA, trains at Columbia's American Top Team gym in 2009.

Missouri players stand steady [Slideshow]

Missouri baseball coach Tim Jamieson tells his hitters not to get out of the way when a pitch is coming at them. Missouri players and fans discuss the strategy — and the pain — of getting hit by a pitch.
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