Thursday, April 30, 2009


-After laying off the blog for a bit, I've decided to once again size up the American Idol situation...because, well because I just happen to be one of the 40 million or so Americans who is still fascinated by the whole thing.

If you watched last night's results you may have been as surprized as I was to see this season's most "out there" and amazing performer Adam Lambert show up in the bottom three. In fact, although I don't think it was actually stated by Ryan Seacrest that he was in the bottom two, Adam was in the last two standing before Matt Giraud was sent packing.

Now let's be honest here, if Adam doesn't win the competition this year it won't be because he isn't the most brave, vocally-gifted, and imaginative performer the show has ever seen. Because he is. Those who have visited here regularly over the years know that I was, and still am, a HUGE Chris Daughtry fan. But as talented as Chris is, and was, he just can't do the things vocally that Adam can. I don't know if anybody can. And Daughtry has gone on to become one of America's top recording stars. There have been some vocal superstars come out of the AI tournament, but Adam's range and seeming ability to hit any note, anywhere, anytime is almost beyond belief. And, because of his theatricality, he seems to be destined for a longer, and more profitable, run in Las Vegas than Cher, Celine Dion, Sammy Davis Jr., and Frank Sinatra combined.

So, what is it that landed the Hollywood-based Lambert in the bottom of America's three last night? One has to believe that personal and presentation characteristics are hampering his appeal to the masses. His voice and performance surely aren't.

Lambert is the closest thing to a champion of Bohemianism that supporters could hope to see succeed on this show. I tend to believe that its only because his performances have been consistently off-the-charts amazing, that he's still in the running at this point. Because we all know there is a significant portion of the population that is majorly uncomfortable with anything "boho". Lambert hasn't denied or declared anything about his sexual least not to my knowledge. Although, it's easy to do a Google image search and find photos of him kissing other guys. Hard to determine if they're authentic. He also regularly sports a group of friends and family in the AI audience that appear to be highly non-traditional. And his glam outfits and sweeping hairstyles are, no doubt, also uncomfortable to the conservative masses.

So, has America acknowledged that Adam is the front-runner and boycotted the voting because of who he is and what he represents? Or, have his fans just become complacent, a la Daughtry in Season 5, and allowed his support to slip? Whatever it is, now that the competition is down to the final 4, and with Rock Week coming up (guest mentor Slash), Lambert should have a genre' in which he can blow the place apart.

The other fascinating aspect of the competition at this point is that the remaining four competitors-- Lambert, Danny Gokey, Kris Allen and Allison Iraheta-- may be the most talented top four in the history of the show. And, as I've said here before, at this stage it becomes more of a likeability contest than a talent contest. Danny and Kris probably have the mainstream "warm and fuzzy" vote wrapped up. The quirkiness of Allison and Adam no doubt hamper them. If each performs up to his/her ability next week, I expect the voting to turn into a referendum on likeability and talent, but maybe more so America's values. If the playing field is level, and without prejudice, Adam should win as best performer. If not, I believe an unwillingness to accept him as a person will be his doom. How many votes would Elton John get in such a competition if he were in it now, "out" with his values, and wearing all of his whacky get-ups? Something to think about...Sir Elton getting voted off a talent show.

To say the least...interesting....very interesting.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Future Blues

-As I mentioned on my Facebook page today, I'm not about to get disappointed in the Blues during this playoff series with Vancouver. There's just no sense investing that kind of emotion in it. Sure, I'd like to see them win, but we all know that with this team right now its all about the future. And the future is not yet now.

I'm of the mindset that whatever happens Tuesday night and beyond during the playoffs is a bonus to St. Louis fans. We all know that when we moved from 2008 to '09 there was no believing in a chance for this squad to even make the playoffs. Everyone was talking about what the roster would look like for 2009-10...and was excited about that. So the improbable stretch of games in January, February and March was thrilling and way more cake icing than was expected.

Now, we have the comfort of knowing that even the players that were counted on little to be high-calibre NHL talent have proven we should re-think that. I don't need to name names know who I mean.

The playoff experience alone will be invaluable for our youngsters. Coming back in September for training camp guys like Oshie, Berglund, Perron, Backes, Polak et al will have the experience of a Cup series to draw upon. They will know that its a different game come playoff time. They'll go into each regular season game next year with an understanding of what hockey at its highest level is all about. They'll know that regular season games are simply played to get there...and that's what ultimately really matters. They'll also know that no matter how great they think they are in the regular season... that the level of play there is not where you are ultimately judged in the sport. You must be able to produce in the playoffs or it will follow you around forever...much like it has the Sedin twins up until now.

The job going forward, if anything, becomes more difficult for JD, Pleau, Armstrong and the player mangement personnel. Yes, the pipeline is full of highly thought of prospects. But this now becomes a high-stakes game of sports Monopoly. Who stays? Who goes? Which guys do we see as cornerstone players for the future. Which guys are expendable in return for a veteran who may help us book a Market Street parade in a few years? Which of the young guns about to come to training camp later this year (Eller, Sonne(pic), Palushaj, Cole, Pietrangelo etc.) really have a shot at turning heads in the NHL? Who do you pay the big bucks to stay? Who do you let walk away? The answers to these questions now will be of most interest to me.

So, I'm hoping for the best in '09...but I'll be more concerned about '10-'11-'12 etc.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

The Man

-This post is meant as a simple tribute to the wonderful story in last Friday's St. Louis Post-Dispatch and on written by Dan O'Neill.

Dan drew a fine word portrait of the hero of my youth. The athlete that was much more than an athlete to most of us who grew up baseball fans in the Midwest. Like many, I have a vivid memory of crying my eyes out the day Stan played his last game in 1963. I also recall spending one night at old Busch just watching him the entire game. No matter the score...I examined his every move...hoping that somehow I could absorb some of what made him great, and somehow he might feel the affection of his young fan.

As an adult, I've been in his presence several times...but have never had the occasion to converse. I hope that perhaps that might happen while we're both still able.

For those who missed it, here's a link to Dan's story. Enjoy. And thanks Dan for rekindling those old feelings.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


-With two games left, the Blues are in position to control whether they make the playoffs. Win and they're in.

-So, after some urging by my sons, you can now find me on Facebook. Amazing!

-I picked North Carolina to win it all...and play Michigan State in the championship game...on one of my brackets....but so did someone else with more total points.

-Stewart heads for Texas next week to begin shooting for The Eves...full-length, slasher film.

-I can't wait for the cold weather to stop.

-When will MLB learn that it's still cold in late March and early April in certain cities?

-I can't ever remember working on Easter I will this Sunday at KMOX...but I'm sure I must have.

-Have you ever had Pritchard's rum...distilled in Kelso, Tennessee? Regular..and several flavors. Picked up some yesterday on a recommendation.

-Jason Motte's opening game experience proves you could shoot a baseball out of a cannon and most good hitters would still hit it if it goes straight.

-Please don't spread the word about David Backes. He's going to be expensive enough when his contract is up.

-Have you noticed that about every week some bit of news comes out that makes it evident that A-B isn't the wonderful place to work that it always used to be.

-I watched a little of the ACMA awards the other night. And I've always liked Reba...but I don't reckon she'd be havin' such a heavy drawl if you woke her up out of a deep sleep...y'all. I ain't sayin' she's a fakin' it or nuthin'. Just sayin'.