Saturday, November 24, 2007

Multiple Johns

-Many thanks to old broadcasting buddy John Carney for inviting me to be on his KMOX post-game show Two Johns on Ice, with co-host Jon Grayson, after the Blues game with Vancouver. The Note won it 3-1. And it was fun catching up with Carney and helping them eat up a little air time. Carney and Grayson broadcast live from 14th and Clark in Scottrade Center after most weeknight games.

-Like most people in this market I'm a fan of Mizzou, the Illini, Salukis, Billikens, and whichever regional university is on the radar at the moment. I can't ever remember being so wound up about a Mizzou football game as the one tonight with KU. Of course, there hasn't been one that meant nearly this much either. My prediction? I fall in line with most of the analyses I've read. Mizzou wins in a high-scoring affair. I think the Mizzou defense will present problems for KU's offense that they haven't seen yet this year. And I don't think anybody can stop all the Mizzou offensive weapons. Unless something unforseen happens to somebody, like a key injury, I see it Mizzou 48- KU 35. Couple that with LSU's loss to Arkansas and you know where that would put Gary Pinkel's group in the BCS picture...right?

-Lining up at stores to be among the first ones in on Black Friday?? I don't get it.

-The Belleville Optimists Santa Claus Parade went off without a hitch on Friday. For the __th year?? in a row I was the official parade announcer. They give me a microphone and let me have fun on a wagon perched in front of the historic Lincoln Theater at East Main and High Street. It's a great time for me. And there was a terrific turnout despite the chilly temperatures. By the way, both the Belleville East and Belleville West marching bands were outstanding. East, led by director Mark Tesserau, had just come off a first-place showing at the downtown St. Louis parade on Thursday. West, now under the direction of Dr. Tom Birkner, is coming back strong from a few down years. The Belleville public high schools continue to excel in the arts.

-I was surprized to learn the Rams actually sold out their game with Seattle. So, some of us mildly interested fans will be able to watch on TV.

-I'm on the backside...knock on wood...of my first head-cold in a long time. Felt it coming on Monday toward the end of the hockey game. So, I started pumping Emergen-C and using Zicam nasal swabs religiously for a few days. It never got really I guess the stuff works. Not sure what's in it...but the last few times I've dealt with colds, they haven't been bad at all with that combination of treatments.

-It was sort of odd running into John Bridges at the downtown Belleville parade Friday. Odd, because we only know John through son Stewart's tenure at The Theatre School at DePaul in Chicago. And Stewart was in Southern California working on his career Friday. John, Assistant Dean at TTS, has family in the Metro-East and was in town for the Thanksgiving holiday. While here, he always stops by to say hello at the parade. John is the sort of educator that you can only dream of having for your son when he's away at college. I'm sure many other parents feel this way about him as well, but from the time Stewart arrived in Chicago for his college training, until the day he graduated, we felt comforted knowing that John was taking a personal interest in the future of our son. We are blessed to have him as a family friend, and a mentor of Stewart.

-Everybody was totally wound up about Rick Majerus taking over as basketball coach at SLU. And he may turn out to be the greatest thing for the program in its history. But, as one who spends some time at the Scottrade Center and deals with many of the behind-the-scenes people who also deal with Coach, I'm hearing that he isn't scoring many points with his people skills. Of course, the only such skills that matter in major-college basketball are those that get you wins. But, you may not be getting the complete picture when you see the affable, joking Majerus in TV interviews. Just what I'm hearing.

-I caught some of the Columbia-Plano Class 3A state championship football game on WHCO-Sparta...and 1490 Fox Sports WSFX? I think...while driving to the hockey game Friday. The broadcast reminded me of the "good old days" of doing high school and college sports on WIBV. It's just a damn shame that Belleville's local radio station got sucked up into the monster that ate most of the suburban radio stations after FCC deregulation a couple of decades ago. The wide open market and non-restrictive ownership rules that broadcasters now live by just don't do the general public (especially in suburban settings) any service. OK...don't get me started.

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