Monday, November 13, 2006

Another Week

-The wounding of Belleville police Sergeant Jon Brough (pic) on Friday hit particularly close to home. While I, like most around these parts, am praying for Jon's recovery, I must admit to being relieved to hear that it wasn’t a family member that was shot. My nephew, Mark Heffernan, has been on the Belleville force for over a year now, and your thoughts can't help but immediately go there when you hear such news.

I’m sure there will be more written and reported about the strategy behind the raid on the house Friday. But, I have to wonder exactly what the purpose of such a storming of the house was. If they were certain that murder suspect Larry Sicka was in the building, and unless they thought that he had a hostage, or was putting someone else in danger, I don’t quite understand why there was a need to rush the building. Because you’re obviously dealing with an armed and desperate suspect, it seems rushing the building was unnecessarily risky to the health of the policemen. I’m no expert on police tactics, but it seems to me if you know the guy is in there, and he’s by himself, you wait him out. It’s nice to think that you could storm the place and walk out with your suspect in cuffs. But, wouldn’t that only happen in a perfect world? I read in Sunday’s News-Democrat that the City of Belleville is saying it will review the tactical unit’s strategy in response to this incident.

-The Blues won their game Sunday over Edmonton 5-3. Officially, there were 9,000 or so fans at Scottrade Center. Unofficially, I’d say it was more like 6,000. It is sad that the new owners of the team, who’s hearts are obviously in the right place, are saddled with the leftovers of the Laurie regime. But, let’s be honest. St. Louis is a fair-weather sports town. We just don’t support a losing product. Blues fan support has been very good from the early 90’s through 2003-04 when winning was a regular part of the picture. But now that we’re in a re-building mode, St. Louis doesn’t have enough hockey-loyal fans to overcome the fact that tickets are not a casual expense.

Unfortunately, winning appears to be the only remedy being talked about for the current sad state of affairs at the Scottrade Center. And I’m afraid a real quality team, that’s capable of a serious playoff run, is at least a couple of years away. Unless the Checketts regime comes up with a totally different strategy when it comes to ticket prices and marketing of the product, I’m afraid that half-full houses will be the norm for a while. Having a World Series hangover can only explain things for so long.

-While we’re on support for sports teams, I wonder how long affection for the Rams, in the wake of recent success, will last. New coach Scott Linehan has done some impressive things so far. But, the overall product has been mediocre at the Jones dome for three or four years now. The days of expecting the Rams to be a Super Bowl contender are long gone. If the team continues it’s current losing ways and falls to another losing record, what will the support be like at football games next year? Similar to the Blues?

-Congratulations to Dr. Charles DuMontier on the World Premiere of The Oregon Trail-The Musical. Performances at the Lindenwood Auditorium in Belleville Thursday, Friday and Saturday were well-attended and should give a good boost to the fund-raising effort for both the auditorium renovation and the future projects of newly-formed Main Street Community Theater, a new pro theatre company for Belleville. The show featured a spirited cast and many memorable and enjoyable songs penned by "The Doc".

-We watched a couple of DVD movies this weekend. Mission Impossible 3 strayed very far from the original concept of the Impossible Mission Force franchise. What was cool about Mission Impossible in the TV series days was that they had a mission to accomplish. They planned it out, and executed it flawlessly to the amazement of the viewing audience. In this movie, you had that element, but if it weren’t for his luck, Tom Cruise would have died about 15 times in this movie. The old IMF relied very little on luck. I wasn’t a big fan of this one.

The other movie was The Sentinel with Michael Douglas, Kiefer Sutherland, Kim Basinger and Eva Longoria. This was a pretty decent tension-packed, suspense-thriller about the inner workings of the Secret Service as they protect the President. A few rather far-fetched plot twists…but, not bad. And, Michael Douglas has just about run his course as an action movie star. He looked really old in this film at times…and had no business playing a character who was 50…when he is actually 63.

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