Monday, November 05, 2007

Low Rant District

-Settle down Blues fans. Nobody promised a dominant team this year. This team, as much as we'd like to think otherwise, still has some problems to work out. Just enjoy that they are competitive as we work our way down the Yellow Brick Road. As people like Erik Johnson, T.J. Oshie (pic), Patrick Berglund, David Perron and some others start figuring prominently in the mix, then we'll be able to start getting really excited.

-Congratulations to cousin Gary Calhoun who's entering the world of retirement after 38 years with Illinois Ameren IP. I noticed Ameren filed for a rate increase the day after "cuz" retired. I guess they figured they'd have to hire a bunch of people to replace him. Gary is a long-time track/cross-country coach and supporter of athetics at Althoff Catholic High School and once upon a time worked with me on high school sports broadcasts on the erstwhile WIBV Radio. Gary is one of the best people on this earth and I'm proud to have him as a cousin. But you can tell him I said he was an athletic supporter.

-Hey...the Rams didn't lose this weekend. Hardy-har.

-We were on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony for downtown Belleville's new streetscape Sunday. City leaders, including Mayor Mark Eckert, were on hand as was Illinois State Representative Tom Holbrook to wax eloquent. The project turned out beautifully, after many months of blocked streets and detours. Belleville is ready for a new chapter in it's downtown redevelopment and the welcome mat is out for the holidays. By the way, if you have really good eyes you might find me in the photo at right that appeared in the Belleville News-Democrat. Where's Waldo? photo to enlarge.

-The world of Big 12 football is totally upside down. When the biggest game of the year figures to be Mizzou-Kansas you have to wonder if we're in dreamland. When Nebraska gives up 10 touchdowns in 10 posessions to the Jayhawks...and Mizzou rings up 55 points at better enjoy it. Because you have to wonder how long it will last.

-Ron Zook's Illini are one Ohio State win away from an amazing season too. Don't forget the Salukis Calhoun...they're strong again in the Valley.

-I saw where a 21-year-old professional bull rider from Missouri was stomped to death over the weekend. Seems he had just completed his ride when Mr. Bull stepped the wrong way. Frankly, I'm surprized this doesn't happen more often. When you've got a two-ton bull stomping all over the place...and pretty pissed off too...I wouldn't want to be within 100 yards, let alone ride the thing and then try to get out of its way. For that matter, I'm surprized there aren't more deaths in all sports. 300 pound men colliding head-on in football. 100 mph fastballs...and struck balls at 150 mph flying at people in baseball. Chunks of frozen rubber sailing at 100 mph in hockey...not to mention guys getting checked into wooden walls by 250 pound players flying around on iceskates. I guess basketball is about the only pro sport besides golf and bowling where you don't have to worry too much about your life insurance being paid up at the start of the game. Of course, basketball players have been known to drop over during the stress of running up and down the floor full-tilt for long stretches of time too.

-Sad about the marathoner who died during the Olympic trials. Ryan Shay was 28, and a veteran of such competition.

-Another movie that glorifies lawbreakers heads the list of movies at the box office. American Gangster with Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington chalked up 46.3 million in ticket sales as people flocked to see the story based on 70's Harlem crime lord Frank Lucas played out on screen. More food for the "the only way to make it big is by breaking the law" monster. The much more family-friendly Bee Movie concocted by, and starring, Jerry Seinfeld was right behind at 39 million.

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