Thursday, November 08, 2007

Soup of the Day

-Things are coming along nicely with the fundraising effort for Phase Two of the Lindenwood University-Belleville campus redevelopment project. We are doing quite well with some of the small to medium size donations and naming-rights opportunities that are available. We will have to work a little harder on the large ones. If you would like to keep track of what's happening, mark the blog I've developed for that purpose as a favorite and visit often. Here's a link. Lindenwood Belleville Campus Director Mary Radcliff and I had a meeting with Belleville Mayor Mark Eckert to discuss the fundraising project this morning. I couldn't help but get excited about the many things in the works for Lindenwood and West Belleville. A number of things told to me in confidence are going to be happening in the next 2-3 years to put a whole new and exciting face on the city. Exciting times for the home town.

-I didn't know Lou Sengheiser. I'm not a psychicatrist. I try not to be self-righteous. But this is written shortly after the shocking news about Mr. Sengheiser taking his own life just before hearing the outcome of his fraud trial in federal court. If you don't know, Sengheiser was the man who started Gateway to a Cure, a charity devoted to finding a cure for spinal cord injury. He started it after his own son was paralyzed in a fall at home. He was accused of diverting some 300-thousand of the charity's dollars to personal purposes. No matter what the jury would have said, it's sad when someone's brain tells them that committing suicide is the only answer. All of the great work he did for charity...and his son's paralysis...will now be colored by his final, desperate act. Fraud in the name of charity is disgusting. Self-murder to avoid the consequences is worse.

-Even the return of Steven Jackson is not enough to get me excited about the second half of the Rams season. They would need to win all 8 of their remaining games to have a shot at the playoffs...and even that might not do it. So, for me, the season couldn't be over fast enough.

-Also, I see where the Edward Jones Dome was ranked 27th out of 30 NFL venues in a Sports Illustrated survey for game atmosphere. Back when we were courting the Rams to move from Los Angeles, I thought building the dome as a convention center/football stadium seemed a good idea. As soon as they started playing football there though, I changed my mind. Domed stadiums suck!...plain and simple. Football should be played outdoors...period. We're kinda stuck with it though for a while.

-My early radio career was spent at Belleville's former WIBV radio working as a high-school sports play-by-play announcer, and many other things, back in the 70's. Some of my best memories are of the Bob Shannon-coached East St. Louis Flyers football teams. Shannon...who coached at CBC the last several years... announced his retirement yesterday. Here's a guy who had many offers in those days to move on to college jobs. And who knows where he might have gone from there? But, Shannon always thought his place on earth was as a high school coach. Until he had power struggles with East St. Louis administration types, he probably would have coached there his whole career. More than once he told me that he felt his place was at East St. Louis Senior High School helping mold rough, un-trained athletes into football players. Kellen Winslow heads a long list of players who owe a college education or pro career to Bob Shannon. He also was a father figure to kids who really needed one. Well done coach! Enjoy retirement.

-Speaking of great coaches...I'm happy to see that owner Rich Sauget and GM Tony Funderburg are bringing back manager Phil Warren and his coaches Randy Martz and Darin Kinsolving for another year with the Grizzlies. Why wouldn't they? Warren's team was an offensive juggernaut in '07...Phil's first as a field manager. They had the best record ever for a Grizzlies team. And with a little more pitching they likely would have won the Frontier League title. I'm sure a smart guy like Warren will make the necessary tweaks and be right back at it with another winning squad in '08.

-I mentioned the other day that the Dr. Ron Paul presidential candidacy was starting to get noticed. I see where the GOP "outsider candidate" raised a record 4.5 million in campaign pledges in one day earlier this week. It's now less than a year to the '08 election.

1 comment:

Eric said...

I enjoy the blog. But, I've got one correction to make. I'm a Bob Shannon fan too, and I did a feature on his success back in the eighties when I was a reporter at KMOX. He told me that hall-of-famer Kellen Winslow played one year at East Side under then-head-coach Cornelius Perry. Perry then moved up to Athletic Director and Shannon took over as varsity Coach. By the way, I worked with you at WIBV for a year in the early 80's.

Eric Thomas