Tonight will be one of the greatest nights in St. Louis sports history. The NCAA basketball championship will be decided in our fine city. And by all accounts the Gateway to the West has put on an incredible show for the national audience and the fans who have come to watch at the Edward Jones Dome. Jim Nantz, on the CBS telecast Saturday night, said he thought St. Louis had proven to be a "spectacular" host, and worthy of another Final Four very soon. The entire region is absorbed in this great sports event, and the nation will be watching as Illinois plays North Carolina for the title.
So, what's missing?
At this time every normal sports year we would also be a few days away from the end of hockey's regular season. The thrilling, early-April days of Blues' playoff positioning...or the push to make the playoffs...should also be a major factor on our sports pages and in our sports consciousness. The people here for the NCAA tournament should have had the chance to see a big game or two during their visit. We would have "extra-impressed" the masses with the atmosphere provided by the Savvis Center and the excitement of an important Blues game. It would have added greatly to the overall entertainment value of our town as it tried to convince the NCAA that it should bring back the Final Four in 2012.
But the visionless, disorganized generals and the spoiled, overpaid foot soldiers of professional hockey have deprived us of all this...and so very much more. Sadly, those of us who usually work in the industry, and count on it for income, are about the only ones noticing that hockey is missing from the local sports landscape.