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Samir Patel, back when he was belle of the Bee

Catching Up with "The Rock Star of the Bee," Samir Patel

Surely, you know the heartbreaking tale of Colleyville's Samir Patel -- the spelling wunderkind who always seemed to come this close to clinching the Scripps National Spelling Bee title before dropping the proverbial clevis. Well, a year after his final appearance at the Bee, ESPN today catches up with 14-year-old Samir, who finds himself without a place to go -- as the Bee's about to buzz, and he's no longer eligible. Much thanks to the Friend of Unfair Park who sent us this terrific lunchtime read -- even it'll make you feel bad for not having "whizzed through 20 hours of dual-credit courses" at the age of 14 (he took them at North Lake College in Irving) or having "scored 2,060 out of 2,400 on the SAT as a seventh-grader." Smart parents too: Says Samir, "Apparently, I'm not allowed to get married till I'm 30." --Robert Wilonsky

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