Monday, September 25, 2006


-It was a somewhat weird night at the Scottrade Center for pre-season game number 1...mostly because the building isn't quite ready for the regular season. The new overhead score/video board isn't installed yet. And, the ribbon boards that will surround the seating bowl with new video aren't in yet either. The overhead board had the horn that sounds at the end of the periods. So, building manager Fred Corsi came up to me before the game and informed me that the end of the period would have to be hand signaled with a pressurized-gas air horn. So, my friend Larry Weaver who is penatly timekeeper at most games had the honor of signalling the competitors and crowd with a loud weeeeaaaaaaaooop on the air horn. Fun for him. Weird for professional sports. Some other experimentation was going on with the presentation too. Nothing major...but, there may be some tweaks to the usual music/video/announcements combination that hockey fans are used to.

-So, the Americans take their third straight thumping in the Ryder Cup competition with Europe. And fans of the US game are wondering what could possibly explain this recent trend. I think it's fairly simple. It boils down to character. In my humble opinion...too many American kids are put into "golfer assembly lines" where they are taught the game at an early age by professionals...go out and practice their little fannies high school, college and junior golf, where the best of them are rarely challenged. They do this while absorbed in golf too much to learn a thing about character traits like teamwork, trust, faith, respect, and other such basic values that become important in this team competition where individuals fail...and people who care deeply about one another succeed. It becomes apparent each time they play...that the Euros are strong of personality and passion. They seem to genuinely enjoy themselves... and one another. The Americans, meanwhile, appear to be an assemblage of individuals who play the game well as individuals...but have never had to think much about...or do much for...something known as a teammate. We continue to build athletes in our country that know how to succeed for themselves...and care more about how much money they can pile up, than becoming admirable people of strong character. Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, and several other more senior players come to mind as examples of the kind of people I'm describing. And how can this be fixed? A character building course in each year of grade school might be a start. And a little church education used to go a long way.

-Even for East St. Louis this was a bizarre and terrible weekend. There are many wonderful people trying to do the best for themselves and their families in what sometimes seems like a God-forsaken place. But, the murder and mayhem of this past several days made all of us shake our head and wonder how someone could go so terribly off the path of acceptable behavior. And hopefully the murderous antics of an obviously disturbed woman makes us all pray for better days for our friends in East St. Louis, Illinois.

-Are the Cardinals trying to become a team of infamy? Could they possibly NOT win the NL Central after leading by 7 1/2 games just a week or so ago? It still seems unlikely. But don't forget Gene Mauch's (left in pic) 1964 Phillies. The Cardinals were the beneficiaries of that monumental collapse. The Phillies lost 10 straight games to end that season...blowing a 6 1/2 game lead with 12 to play. Let's not live that nightmare boys.

-Cardinals continued... I'm also predicting that after the season we'll find out that Scott Rolen is having ongoing problems with that surgically repaired shoulder. You'll remember he sat out some games a few weeks back. The team said it was because of shoulder problems...but not related to the surgical re-construction he underwent last off-season. Pardon me for being skeptical. But, Rolen just isn't getting it done like he has in the past at the plate. And, I am seeing what appears to be a slow and tired swing from a guy who never used to display one. If anything, that used to be Scotty's strong suit. You couldn't get an inside fast-ball by him. That's what was so exciting about his early season success. Heck, he had a grand-slam blast on opening day that came on an inside fast-ball in Philadelphia. That, and his first half of the season, was what got us all thinking that the old Scott was back...and his physical problems were a thing of the past. Now, after a couple of months of getting beat regularly on "high hard ones" and popping up constantly on pitches he used to drive, it looks like he's either got a chronic shoulder problem that needs more attention...or some other difficulty that hasn't been identified yet by the super-sensitive trainers, doctors, managers, and press-relations people in management. Keep your eye on Tony LaRussa's comments after the Cardinals' last game of the season...whenever that might be. I'll be willing to wager that it will then be shared with Cardinal Nation that Rolen has been laboring in considerable pain during the second half of the season.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


-An incredibly busy week has limited my ability to write for the ol’ blog…I’ll try to catch up on a few things.

-One of the reason’s I’ve been so busy…is my new business relationship handling the advertising affairs of the outstanding company run by Pat Queensen. Keystone Staffing Resources…and Keystone Event Staffing... will be raising their antenna to the St. Louis market with a Calhoun Advertising campaign over the next several months. We’re planning to make Keystone as much of a household word as possible. Keystone handles the staffing of Gateway Grizzlies games. And thanks to Grizzlies GM Tony Funderburg, we’ve forged a new relationship with Pat and his outstanding company. Keystone does much more than staff the Grizzlies games…which you will find out from our efforts over the next little while.

-When did St. Louis become the “crimes against kids” capital of the world? The Abby Woods kidnapping thankfully had a happy ending. Then came the Metro-East woman who allegedly cut the fetus from her best friend's womb. And three siblings last seen in the “person of interest’s” company are now missing. Then the SARAA alert for the kid in St. Louis and his mother who were apparently forced by the father to board a bus to Mexico. Holy Moly!!…what the hell is going on?

-Well…apparently Braden Looper will be an adventure to watch as the Cardinals closer too. We complained loud and long about Izzy. But did the Birds have a reasonable alternative to put in there? Nope. And somebody will need to explain to this guy why in the heck Mr. LaRussa didn’t walk Craig Biggio with one out in the 9th and a runner at second. Your best chance of getting out of that inning before Lance Berkman came to bat was a double-play. But you weren’t going to get one unless you walked Biggio. Some of the strategies employed by Tony need some serious explanation from time-to-time. His success over the years can’t be argued. But in big games and key situations he seems to go way out of his way to fly in the face of traditional thinking.

-What personal matter could possibly be so important that a pro football player can’t pick up the cell-phone to call his coach and explain why he’s not showing up at practice. Rams DE Anthony Hargrove is apparently typical of today’s lack-of-character athlete who seems to believe that whatever else is going on in the world…or whoever else might be counting on him…it's secondary to his own little set of priorities. To his agent’s credit, he is not apologizing for Hargrove’s behavior and is saying to the media that whatever punishment the Rams hand out, it will be deserved and accepted. Of course, I’m judging Hargrove before I hear what the “personal problems” are that he is supposedly missing practice and meetings to deal with. But, a little call to the coach Anthony…a bit of consideration for your teammates and coaches… please. People not taking responsibility for their actions….or inactions…is one of my biggest pet peeves.

-Incidentally…If the Rams beat the former Chicago, and St. Louis, Cardinals in Phoenix I’ll be very pleasantly surprised.

-The Blues open up the pre-season schedule at the Scottrade Center Sunday. The first home game…albeit a scrimmage with Atlanta…under the Dave Checketts banner. Those of us who work game nights will likely be asked to do a few things differently than in the past as well. I hear there will be no video board for the game. The installation of the new equipment hasn’t been completed as expected. I’ll let you know Monday how things went with the presentation.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Weekend Roundup

-Well, the Rams were not nearly the same team this week as the one they exhibited on opening day last Sunday. The defense came back down to earth with a thud...allowing a long touchdown pass...a long touchdown run...and not registering a single my observation.

The offense? Well, we got a touchdown... but, either Marc Bulger is having a terrible time getting used to the Linehan offensive scheme, or young Marc is simply not playing very well. Today...coughing up a fumble, exhibiting "happy feet" in many passing situations, overthrowing deep balls, and generally not looking confident.

The other guy who enfuriates me is Stephen Jackson. Here's one of the most powerfully built running backs in the league who could plow behind his line for three or four yards most times he's handed the ball. But, almost without fail, when he takes a hand-off the first thing he does is take a step sideways...a juke...that negates all of his power and speed. Then it becomes easy for tacklers to knock him off his feet. And he does an awful lot of sideline to sideline running, instead of bearing straight ahead and powering through the originally intended blocking hole. Frustrating to watch.

So, based on the first two weeks of play, it looks to me like we can expect about a .500 club. I predicted a 9-7 regular season a few weeks back. I think I'll stick with that. Unless there's a strong upgrade in play next week, look for the Cardinals to beat the Rams in Phoenix.

-Many condolences to my good hockey friends in the Weaver family. Wilma June Weaver...we called her June...passed away Friday at age 81. She is the wife of Roy Weaver, one of my dear friends in the off-ice officiating crew. Roy actually stepped away from the off-ice crew a few years back to spend more time with June, who battled the effects of diabetes for the last number of years. June is also the mother of Larry and Lon Weaver who are current members of the crew...and Tim Weaver who was several years ago. The Weavers are great, and loyal, members of the St. Louis hockey community...and June will be dearly missed by us all.

-The Evansville Otters wrapped up the Frontier League Championship Friday night with a win over the Chillicothe Paints. The two teams are the only two remaining from the original group of teams that formed the league at it's inception in the early 90's. What's got to be a bit frustrating for Grizzlies fans, and a little weird, is that the Otters finished the season...even with their playoff wins...two games under .500. And, the Grizzlies demolished Evansville sweeping them in a late-season series at GCS Ballpark. At the end of the regular season, there can be no doubt now that the Grizzlies were the best team in the league...having won 11 of their last 12. But, they had dug themselves such an enormous hole in July and August...that they couldn't recover.
(Correction 5p, 9/18--Evansville wound up at even .500 and Chillicothe is an original team to the league start-up in '93...Evansville is the second-oldest team but joined in '95--Thanks to Grizzlies broadcaster Joe Pott for the straight scoop)

-Barb and I attended a wedding reception at the Westin hotel.. right next to the new stadium.. Saturday night. Justin Wilfon...a very talented young guy with a bright future in the television news business..invited us to share in the joy of his wedding to fellow broadcaster Gena Terlizzi. Justin interned with us at WIBV, and later KTRS...while he was attending college at SIU-E. I could see early-on that he was focused...had the smarts...and the "nose for news" to make it big in TV journalism. And, of course, in TV you also have to make a good appearance. And Justin does...(see pic)

I'd like to think a few of the tips I shared with him during his internship are helping him achieve his dream. He's on his third professional gig right now. After stints in Washington state and Louisville, he's currently a weekend co-anchor and reporter at KOKI Fox23 in Tulsa. With a little bit more seasoning (he's only 27) you'll likely be seeing Justin as an anchor on one of the St. Louis stations before too long. He can't be too far away from his beloved Cardinals. All the best to Justin and Gena for a long and happy life together.

-The Blues intra-squad games the last few days have produced a few guys that fans should be able to buzz about. Magnus Kahnberg, a Swede who came over in the Doug Weight deal with Carolina last year popped in a few goals Saturday, and added a shootout goal in the Sunday practice game. Apparently he has great hands and a nose for the net. And, one of the pleasant surprises from last season, Lee Stempniak is off to a good start with a couple of goals in his team's win in Sunday play. With an increased talent level around him, Stempniak could be primed for an even more impressive season than his rookie campaign.

Good luck to the classy Scott Young who announced his retirement at age 38 on Saturday. "Younger" had a great career which included playing on two Stanley Cup champion teams. He'll likely be another to stay around St. Louis and be part of the great alumni group here.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Ice Time

-While a high percentage of St. Louis sports fanatics may be fretting over who the third starter will be for the Cardinals in the playoffs... or whether the Rams will ever score a touchdown this season...some of us hockey die-hards were getting our first look at the Checketts-era Blues at The Mills. The Ice Zone there was packed Friday morning with the curious, the hopeful, and the uncurably, hockey-infected portion of our sports community. The atmosphere was upbeat both on, and off, the ice.

As you see by the playoff program pictured above, the Blues are featuring a new marketing slogan for the beginning of the Dave Checketts regime. Join the Blue Revolution. Frankly, I'm not wild about it, but I suppose it's a fair indicator of the mind-set of the new ownership. From everything that I've seen, or heard, from those inside the front office and around the team, the new ownership is attempting to project to the community that--the Laurie's are out...there's a new bunch in town... and it's time to forget about the past. Maybe--The Quest Starts Now or Let's Paint the Cup Blue would have been a better indicator of the ultimate prize being the pot at the end of the "Checkered Rainbow", so to speak. But, the bottom line will be measured on the ice...not with a marketing slogan.

As far as that product is concerned, it's hard to judge just what you have on the first day of full-squad practice. Friday morning, for instance, head coach Mike Kitchen, new assitant Brad Shaw and assistant/goalie coach Rick Wamsley were putting the players through various stick-handling and shooting drills. Difficult to gauge speed, strength, and heart from that. The real evidence will start to present itself Saturday with intra-squad scrimmages.

It was interesting to me that the goalies who will compete for the starting job were on the ice at the same time Friday. Curtis Sanford (pictured with yours truly...Obviously, the goalie was ready for the shot taken by Blues staffer Randy Walker, and I wasn't. But then, that's why Curtis is a goalie) and Manny Legace figure to battle it out for the number-one job. If Sanford is back to 100-percent after his knee injury of last season, he should be able to nail down the #1 job. Legace will likely give him a dogfight for it though. And Jason Bacashihua, also no slouch, will likely get a lot of playing time in Peoria...and be ready for a call-up to the big club.. if needed.

One other thing worth noting from today's action. I got there at the tail-end of the first practice session, just as the players were coming off the ice. Everyone I talked to said that Keith Tkachuk was bouncing around like a little kid at recess. He's supposed to be in the best physical condition of his career, weighing in at a lean 227 for training camp. Conditioning coach Nelson Ayotte has whipped Walt and several other of the veteran Blues into tip-top shape for the grueling season ahead. One can only be excited about the potential of a lean, mean and ready-to-go Tkachuk. When healthy, he was dominant in the "new" NHL last year... when the crackdown on clutching and grabbing allowed him to maneuver easier around the goal. If he's a lot stronger...and a step or two faster...look out. He might start a Blue Revolution of his own.

Pre-season game one is Tuesday @ Chicago. First pre-season home game-- Sunday the 24th--5pm--vs. Atlanta. First regular-season game--Thursday, October 5th @ San Jose. First regular-season home game--Thursday, October 12th vs. Boston.

See you at the rink! Go Blues! Let's Make Some Noise!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Mid-Week Musings

-I'm guessing Brad Lidge would rather see Charles Manson standing at home plate than Albert Pujols about now. Lidge doesn't even have the odds working for him in his confrontations with Sir Albert. What were the odds that Albert would even come up in last night's 9th inning...let alone deliver another game winning hit? It seems like it's just a matter of when and how A.P. will get that hit...not if...when Lidge is pitching. The Astros closer went into that prolonged slump earlier this year, which many attributed to the self-image after-effects of the Pujols moon-shot in last year's playoffs. You have to wonder how well Mr. Lidge slept in his St. Louis hotel room last night...and how, when, or if he will get his confidence back this time. We might start calling him in what he's about to jump off of.

-I see it only took about a week for Katie Couric's CBS Evening News to fall back into the number three spot in the ratings. It's not a surprise to me that a lot of people would sample Katie's broadcast...and then when they found that it's not that different from their former favorite...revert back to original habits. Katie is fine at what she does. But old habits die hard...especially when you're competing against old hands Brian Williams and Charlie Gibson. Just ask the Channel 4 people who have been trying to get St. Louisans out of their Channel 5 habit for the last umpty-three years.

-The ice is ready at The Mills. Blues training camp should be interesting. It starts Friday. Too bad that Vladimir Orszagh will have surgery on his troublesome knee. He figured to be a major part of the offense. But, John Davidson will bring in Radek Dvorak, another talented European, to fill the hole. Dvorak had 28 points in 64 regular-season games with the Edmonton Oilers last year. Not great numbers...but he's thought to be a good skills guy. I will be stopping by practice a few times and share my impressions here.

-Being a member of performers union AFTRA for my free-lance work, I have been asked, along with all members, to share my thoughts with our members of congress about the negative effects of ownership consolidation on the broadcast industry. Boy, where do I begin? Less jobs, lesser standards for on-air types, less service to the community of license...and that's just the beginning. My career experience taken me down all those roads. Even more relaxation in the rules of ownership by the FCC is potentially around the corner. Hard to believe anybody could believe that could be a good thing.

-Meredith Vieira debuted on the Today show this morning. She said it was like "her first day of school". As I recall, the first day of school was pretty exciting, interesting, and fun. I hope she realizes that her contract will require her to put in a "full school year". And, that 3am wake-up calls are not fun, no matter what school you're attending. I don't have any pre-conceived notions about how well Ms. Vieira will do on Today...but it's always difficult being the first to follow a legend. The second and third person to try to fill those shoes usually does a better job.

-A few weeks ago I expressed surprise at the fact that Jessica Simpson would go out with John Mayer. They didn't seem to be in the same league. Then, we hear that he dumped her allegedly because he thought she was using him to generate publicity for her new CD. Good for him if it's true. It does seem that he might have a better handle on reality than the young lady. I saw her perform on the Today show several days ago. Looked like she was high on something...and it wasn't life.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

TC Tidbits

-First, the Rams season opener. Great to see that kind of defense being played by the men with the horned helmets. Not so great to see that kind of offense...but, as they say, a win is a win. And we should remember that Denver is no slouchy bunch. Any kind of win over the Broncos has to go in the "not totally expected" column. At SF next Sunday. Should be 2-0. But, the Rams have always had a tough time by the bay.

-The Cardinals are beginning to look like a last-place team that happens to be in first place. Hitting on this road trip was pathetic...Scott Spiezio excepted. Starting pitching hit the skids again. Bullpen is a mess. Now it's closer by committee TFN. Defense was not great either. I hope it's the late season "we've got a playoff position sewn up and are having a hard time concentrating" thing. They need to get healthy...and mentally ready... in the next few weeks.

-Caught a movie Saturday night. Hollywoodland. The story of the questionable suicide of Superman TV star George Reeves in 1959. I recommend it highly. It's not a movie that you walk out of the theater smiling much about. A dark story that leaves you scratching your head a bit. But, it's very well done from all sides. Acting...Adrien Brody stars as PI Louis Simo that was hired by Reeves' mother to investigate his death. Oscar worthy?...probably a nomination. Ben Affleck plays Reeves and does a very nice job...Oscar worthy? Probably not...but much better than we've become accustomed to from him. Diane Lane...plays Reeves' lover Toni Mannix..and wife of studio boss Eddie Mannix (played by Bob Hoskins). Lane is excellent and could also get a nomination as best supporting actress out of it. Directed by Allen Coulter. Even though there are a lot of's very easy to follow the time line. Many scenes reminded me of the innocence of my youth in the late 50's and early 60's. Sreenplay by Paul Bernbaum. All in all...a very well told story that blends reality with fiction and leaves you wondering which is which. Well worth the ticket price. Runs 126 minutes.

-A lot of water has gone under the bridge since 9/11/2001. I was news director at KTRS that day. I was just about to leave for the station when the Today show was interrupted with the initial bulletin about a plane (at that moment thought to be a small plane) crashing into one of the twin towers. Just a few moments I stared unbelievingly at the TV...the second plane hit the second tower and it became abundantly clear that this was no accident. By the time my half-hour drive to the station (on the cellphone all the way) was over, we were fully launched into full-time coverage of the tragedy. I anchored and organized the station's on-going coverage of the events from the local angle. It was one of the most stressful...and at the same time rewarding...days of my professional career. At the end of the day I was very proud of what we had done as a news staff...but, as was everyone else in this country, shocked and saddened that our world had changed so radically for the worse. Our world always has been, and I suppose will be, filled with people who wish to annhilate those who are different from themselves. I've always thought Earth was big enough for everyone. I suppose I'm naive.

-"Ordinary bloke", as his father referred to him, Steve Irwin was buried at the family's zoo in Australia. Dad refused a state funeral, even though Steve may have brought more attention and good will to his native land than anyone ever has. Prime Minister John Howard interrupted parliament to pay tribute to him, saying he was distressed by the loss of a remarkable Australian.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


-Barb had to get a CT scan at Mo Bap yesterday. And when it was completed, we walked out to find ourselves right in the middle of rush hour. We didn't want to get back on 270 at 5 o'clock and sit in that parking lot for an hour. So, we made our way down Ballas to Manchester and headed west to find a place for dinner. We passed all the usual fast-food or casual dining places...and drove on into Ballwin. We saw a sign on the right-hand side of the road for a place called Seventh Inn. The name sounded familiar, but we both knew we hadn't been there before. So, we thought "what the heck" and turned off Manchester to explore the possiblity.

We came upon the restaurant in the middle of a bunch of apartment houses a couple of blocks north of Manchester. I pulled into the parking lot and went up to the door to see what kind of place it was. When I saw the guy at the door had on a tuxedo, I thought, "Uh oh, we're underdressed for this joint." I told the greeter that we were just driving around looking for a bite to eat, and he assured us that attire was not an issue. So, I went back to the car and told Barb..."let's give it a try".

Well, I mean to tell you that that decision was one of the best things we've done in months. The place is straight out of a Godfather movie with it's decor. Cherub statues. Floral arrangements. (see pic at top) Fifties music for background. The ambience of an "old-world" fine dining establishment. Waiters in tuxes. The owner, Else Barth, came around to chat several times during our meal. She was charming...and even took our photo for their "wall of fame" that features many others who have dined there over the years. We actually dined on the veranda and looked out over the lake on a beautiful evening to enjoy the outdoors.

The food? We shared a fantastic crab cake appetizer. Then the soup du jour...a cheese-based concoction...wonderful. The garden salad with the house Mayfair dressing was excellent. Then a champagne sorbet to cleanse the palate. For the entrees...I had a perfectly prepared tournedos of beef tenderloin with asparagus and veggie medley. Barb had a chicken dish (forgot the name) that was melt-in-your-mouth fantastic, veggies, etc. For dessert...we shared the Sarah Bernhart..(chocolate mousse with a chocolate shell). Of course a glass of wine to enjoy with dinner too.

Bottom line. I came to find out why I had heard of Seventh Inn. It is a treasure of a place that you just don't find any more. Fine dining establishments are becoming extinct. Excellent food and drink...wonderful service...and people who run the place that make you feel like the most special customer they've ever had. We will definitely be going back the next time we want a really great evening. If you're interested in trying it out yourself...

The evening proved again to me that the best things in life happen when you decide to get out of the rut...and do a little exploring.

-Remember what I wrote the other day about Izzy getting his fastball back and being more of a dominant closer...Doh!

-Scottrade Center....or The Scottrade Center? The Savvis people insisted on no "the" in front. Frankly, I didn't know how big a player Scottrade was in the brokerage industry until today. Of course my stock holdings amount to about 59 dollars. I do like the idea that this is a locally-based company that can be a financial partner of the Blues for a long time to come. I still think Michelob Center would have had a nicer ring to it.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Post Labor-Day Cogitations

-I guess we should have expected that Steve Irwin would die at the hands of one of the dangerous animals that he hung around with. But, what were the odds of going the way he did? Holy smoke! Talk about tough luck. Here was a guy who was totally dedicated to the life he had chosen. God doesn't send us many people who are as identifiable as he was.

-Suddenly the Cardinals seem to be a pretty darn good team again. If they can consistently get 6 or 7 good innings out of their starter, they'll be as good as anybody in the playoffs.

Another thing... It seems to me that Izzy has re-captured his 93 mph fastball. If so, that's big. He can keep hitters off-balance with that...and get them out with the curve or splitter. In last night's game, he got two guys out swinging at high fastballs out of the zone. They'll do that if they think they have to "gear up" for the heater. In the games where he was walking batters and giving up home runs, it seemed he was nibbling with the cutter at 87mph and not throwing strikes. Then he'd come in with a meat ball that would wind up on the other side of the fence. Good to see the fastball back...especially if he can consistently throw it at 91-95mph.

-The Grizzlies had a fantastic last two weeks of the season. They were unbeaten in their last 12 games. Unbeaten...because of a silly tie in a rain game in Florence, Kentucky in their last away game. It might be an interesting off-season for the Rich Sauget owned...and Tony Funderburg general-managed operation. They had some difficult issues during the season that I'm sure will be addressed when they have organizational meetings later this month.

-As far as the Frontier League goes...there are always interesting, and sometimes strange, occurences at the league office during the off-season. There will likely be two more teams next year. One in Marion, Illinois owned by John Simmons of the Alton law firm Simmons-Cooper. The other will...from what I in Loraine, Ohio near Cleveland. Supposedly, there will be another two teams come on board in 2008 with the league going to three divisions instead of two. There has also been a rumor floating about the Frontier merging with the Northern League (another independent). Those I have talked to about it don't give it much of a chance.

-Now that the traditional end of Summer has arrived...I'm a bit sad. I don't much like the cold weather...and it can't be far behind. But, I am excited about the "new Blues" and what they might do during the Fall and Winter...and early Spring....geez it's a long season.

-I watched the debut of Katie Couric on the CBS news tonight. While I don't have any problem with a woman as the lead anchor on one of the major networks, I tend to think there are enough people who do, that her ratings might struggle. The other problem she may have is her many years of "fluff-show" hosting on the Today show. While she did discuss serious news at times there, she also was involved with a lot of very soft stuff...gossip, recipes, movie talk..etc. And, of course, she always dressed up in some weird get-up for all of the holidays. Maybe I'm old fashioned...but I think she may pay for that goofiness of her past in the long run.

-President Bush tried his best today to make the case that we are in an all-out war against terrorism. The longer the Iraq war goes...and the longer we still have troops in Afghanistan and other hot spots...the harder it will be for him to make that case. For me, every time some young American soldier dies because some guy blows up a car, I tend to wonder if we're really fighting an all-out war. That would employ more people...require more of our attention and our resources woudn't it? It seems we're really just trying to keep the terrorism battle off our own land and preserve as much "life as we know it" as possible. I support the President. But, I also wonder if the 4 billion dollars...and scores of lives...that we spend each month are still justified. If Osama is really today's Hitler...and all Americans thought that...I think we would have found a way to snuff him out by now.

-Before the weekend I asked what your favorite movie was, and named my top three. Well, wife Barb...and friend Kevin...reminded me of one that probably should have been in my top two or three...hmmm that would make four I guess. Close Encounters of the Third Kind was a very special movie of its time...and one of my all-time favorites too. I think though, I have decided on Field of Dreams as my all-time number one. Any movie that incorporates baseball, reconciliation with Dad, and ghosts of great players enjoying a game on a diamond cut out of a cornfield...well, how can you beat that? At least for me.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Pre-Labor Day Weekend

-Wife Barb had to undergo surgery Monday, so my thoughts have obviously been elsewhere most of the week. I'm happy to report the surgery went well, and she's already mending quickly at home. Thanks to Dr. Al Elbendary (right) and his staff, as well as the good folks at Missouri Baptist Medical Center for taking great care of my honey.

-Too bad the Grizzlies didn't catch fire sooner. They've now won 7 straight, but have no chance of making the Frontier League playoffs. Somewhat frustrating for the team and it's fans.

-I'm glad the Cardinals didn't rent famous beer-belly pitcher David Wells for a few games this season. The birds need all of their young prospects...and that's what Boston wanted. How about Chris Duncan? He keeps pounding the ball like a budding super-star. The only thing I don't like is that chunk of tobacco product he is always juggling around in his mouth when he plays. I can't help but think the guy is about to blossom into the greatest Cardinal left-handed hitter since Stan-the-Man...and then will have to deal with tongue cancer at an early age. I hope not...but I'll bet I'm not the only one thinking it. Get rid of that damn stuff Chris!

-While jumping around the radio dial today I caught part of my buddy Paul Arca's show on KLOU. Good to hear that Paul is doing OK after the terrible incident in which he was nearly electrocuted while at a radio remote for Oldies 103 earlier this year. You'll remember the mast on his remote van came in contact with a power line while being driven in a thunderstorm. He took an electric charge through his body...but came out OK. The Viet Nam vet, and candidate for nicest guy ever, is one of my all-time favorite people.

-Also, best wishes to's Mike Anderson who's dealing with some health issues. Mike, known as The Reverend by fans of Frank O. Pinion and another 'Nam vet, provides a valuable service to the community with that site...and to many of us who rely on him for his intenet expertise. Hang in there Rev!

-When Andre Agassi retires, will there be anybody left in men's tennis besides Andy Roddick that we even recognize? Americans I mean.

-What's going on? Ernesto is pounding America's east coast....while John is battering Mexico's west coast. I think we got our names mixed up this year.

-Somebody asked me the other day what my all-time favorite movie was. And I really struggled coming up with an answer. I think I have it narrowed down to three at this point. So, in no particular order-

  • Field of Dreams (for a sports nut it doesn't get any better than this)
  • Shawshank Redemption (A great story, with great actors, an epic)
  • Wizard of Oz (I watched it a hundred times as a kid...and am still mesmerized every time)
I'm still thinking about which is my #1. What's yours?