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Awaiting NCAA Rules on Collegiate Athletes Getting Paid for their Image, Likeness

November 13, 2019 Education, Featured, Popular Culture Comments Off on Awaiting NCAA Rules on Collegiate Athletes Getting Paid for their Image, Likeness

During part of my undergraduate days, mid-late 1980s, I worked part-time at Toys “R” Us — I was paid $5.90/hour at the end. I also had a small 401k plan. Not the worst college job.

For the top college athletes their sport is their college job. Their scholarship may cover tuition, books, room & board, but it doesn’t help them if they have family that needs financial help. And what if they get injured during playing college sports? Yes, they’re getting a degree that’ll help later on, but to stay in college many of the top athletes pass on a lucrative professional contract that would allow them to help their family now — while hoping they don’t get a career-ending injury.

Most college athletes aren’t anticipating a big contract after graduation, nor should they expect big endorsement deals during college. Though I could see local businesses offering sponsorship to popular team athletes. I can also see problems with male players getting more & bigger deals than female players who’re just as popular/talented.

Chaifetz Arena is home to the Saint Louis University (SLU) basketball team.

Here’s the results of the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll:

Q: Should College Athletes Be Able To Get Paid For Their Name, Image, or Likeness?

  • Yes: 10 [47.62%]
  • Unsure: 6 [28.57%]
  • No: 3 [14.29%]
  • Don’t care: 2 [9.52%]

It’ll be interesting to see how the NCAA writes & enforces the new rules around college athletes.

Also, congrats to the SLU women’s soccer team for getting to play in the NCAA Tournament.

— Steve Patterson

 

New Book — ‘When The Blues Go Marching In: An Illustrated Timeline of St. Louis Blues Hockey’ (Championship Edition) by Dan O’Neil

October 14, 2019 Books, Featured, Popular Culture Comments Off on New Book — ‘When The Blues Go Marching In: An Illustrated Timeline of St. Louis Blues Hockey’ (Championship Edition) by Dan O’Neil

Regular readers know I’m not a sports fan, but I can get caught up in the moment when a St. Louis team is close to winning a championship. When the St. Louis Blues won the Stanley Cup one of my first thoughts was wondering when I’d see a Blues hockey book.

The answer was last Friday — that’s when I received a review copy of  ‘When The Blues Go Marching In: An Illustrated Timeline of St. Louis Blues Hockey’ (Championship Edition) by Dan O’Neil.

When I finished the first edition of this book, the Blues had gone 50 seasons without capturing the NHL’s ultimate prize. Then came their 51st season, unprecedented and improbable. Nineteen inconsistent games into the 2018-19 schedule, the Blues made a coaching change. Thirty-seven games in, they possessed the fewest points in the 31-team league. Playoffs were a pipe dream, and the Stanley Cup seemed more distant than ever. But steadied by an interim coach, lifted by a rookie goaltender, and sparked by a record winning streak, a storybook unfolded. And with it came a mandate to revisit this volume, to account for the most remarkable episode of all—the rags-to-riches tale of a Stanley Cup championship. (Reedy Press)

This is a new edition of a prior book. It’s entirely chronological starting  with the 1967 expansion of the National Hockey League (NHL) and concluding with the Stanley Cup win. In between these are important dates and the story behind that date — changes to players, coaches, and owners; memorable plays, etc.

There are some upcoming events that you might find of interest:

  • Presentation and Book Signing:

Wednesday, October 30; 7pm-8pm
Grant’s View Branch of the St. Louis County Library
9700 Musick Ave
St. Louis, MO 63123

  • Book Signing

Friday, November 8; 5pm to 8pm
Blend Salon and Spa
7401 Manchester Ave, Suite 200
Maplewood, MO 63143

If you’re a Blues hockey fan this is the book for you.

— Steve Patterson

 

St. Louis’ MLS Stadium Will Be Built On Site I Proposed In February 2016

October 7, 2019 Downtown, Featured, Planning & Design, Popular Culture Comments Off on St. Louis’ MLS Stadium Will Be Built On Site I Proposed In February 2016

In 2015 St. Louis officials were proposing razing historic buildings/districts in the North Riverfront area, between Laclede’s Landing and the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge, to build a new NFL stadium to keep the Rams in St. Louis.  It never happened, in early January 2016 the Rams officially applied to relocate to Los Angeles.

The next month it was announced a group had formed to attempt to get a Major League Soccer (MLS) team in St. Louis — they were scouting for sites. I’d opposed the North Riverfront as a site for an NFL stadium, I also felt it wasn’t the best site for a smaller MLS stadium.

I weighed in:

The site they shouldn’t consider is the North riverfront one previously targeted for a significantly larger NFL stadium — we shouldn’t tear down buildings when we have vacant land available. We have land, mostly state owned, without any buildings and a target for redevelopment for years already. I’m talking about the 22nd Street Interchange area — an area on the West side of downtown I’ve written about numerous times over the 11+ years.

In that February 8, 2016 post I imagined fitting a stadium in between Pine, 20th, Market, and the hotel to the west. Busch Stadium fits in a space 2 blocks x 3 blocks, so a MLS stadium with less seating should fit in a smaller footprint. I emailed my post to a contact at St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC)

Looking West from the Pear Tree Inn at 2211 Market in February 2016.

That first group proposed a stadium in the 22nd Street Interchange area, but south of Market Street, not north. I don’t know if they were already looking at this location prior to my post & email, but the entire year before development officials were so focused on the North riverfront I can’t help but think they wanted to stick with what they knew and had so much time invested in.

When the state & city residents opposed public funding a of soccer stadium the ownership group was out.  When the current ownership group entered the picture in October 2018 they’d privately finance a stadium in the 22nd Street Interchange area many, including myself, assumed it’d also locate south of Market St.  In April 2019 they showed some renderings, but no site plan. Again, many of us assumed the larger area south of Market St.

I can now guess this view is looking east. The parking garage roof seen at the bottom is the existing Pear Tree Inn garage. Pine, to the left of the garage, would not go through from 20th to the new 22nd Street

We were wrong, it will be the area I’d proposed in February 2016! However, instead of stopping at Pine the site will go one more block north to Olive. A few buildings would be razed, businesses are already being forced to relocate on short notice.

The tenants of these buildings on Olive have been told to vacate. May 2013 photo
On the sidewalk in front of the buildings that’ll likely be razed. I’ve been a fan of the 2-story buff brick building for years. May 2013 photo.

I reviewed the ownership records for these and the remaining buildings to the west, none showed a recorded change of ownership — yet. I don’t like seeing businesses and/or residents forced to move. Hopefully they’ll be offered a financial package to compensate for their time, trouble, and loss of business.

I’m also not a fan of closing streets, though Pine has been an awful one-way street for decades. Hopefully the one-way couplet (opposite directions) of Chestnut & Pine will both be returned to two-way traffic as a result of the existing on/off ramps going away.

I still want to see an official proposed site plan. Despite holes from parking lots, Olive has clung to a urban feel with multi-story buildings on both sides. I also wonder if we’ll see a revised I-64 on/off ramp that ends at Market Street — I’d be disappointed, but not surprised.  Even if that happens, a lot less land could be devoted to highway on/off so the area would support additional development and tax revenue.

— Steve Patterson

 

 

Sports Team Ownership Is A Billionaire’s Hobby

August 23, 2019 Featured, Popular Culture Comments Off on Sports Team Ownership Is A Billionaire’s Hobby

Earlier this week we got confirmation that St  Louis will be getting a Major League Soccer (MLS) team and the name of the new XFL football team that’ll begin playing at The Dome starting in February 2020 — the BattleHawks.

Often these announcements bring out civic pride even among the most jaded of us. What we shouldn’t do is let this civic pride cloud our judgement when it comes to public coffers.  Remember — one thing major sports team owners have in common is billionaire net worths.

There are 62 billionaire owners of teams in major sports leagues around the world, who are the majority shareholder of managing partner of a team. These billionaires sports team owners have a combined net worth north of $375 billion and collectively own 78 teams.

To find out, the CEOWORLD magazine used net worth numbers from the Forbes’s World’s Billionaires ranking as of Tuesday, September 18, 2018 to rank the 20 richest sports team owners in the world. (CEOWORLD)

Owning major sports teams is a billionaire’s hobby. It’s also a business venture. While some major sports teams lose money, others add to their owners wealth.

The Taylor family (Enterprise Rent-A-Car) is somewhat unique in major sports — mostly women. The family is also very committed to St. Louis.

In my 29 years in St  Louis I’ve seen so many companies be taken over by other companies in other cities. This is largely due to the owners of these former St. Louis companies cashing out by going public. Doing so increased their personal wealth, but put the fate of the company to a board of directors and shareholders.

The Taylor family, on the other hand, has kept Enterprise private. No listing on the stock market, no answering to out of state hedge fund managers. I applaud them for this.

We just shouldn’t let our enthusiasm get in the way of making sound decisions for St. Louis, and the entire region. I can guarantee you they’re keeping their emotions in check.

— Steve Patterson

 

 

Unfortunately Uniformed Police Will Be Allowed To March In St. Louis’ Pride Parade

June 19, 2019 Featured, Popular Culture Comments Off on Unfortunately Uniformed Police Will Be Allowed To March In St. Louis’ Pride Parade
Top of the Civil Courts building in rainbow colors for PrideFest 2013

Many are puzzled by the recent decision of Pride St  Louis to not allow uniformed police groups to march in this year’s Pride Parade. To many of us who are LGBT it made perfect sense.

For the first time in 40 years, uniformed police officers are not being allowed to march in the St. Louis Pride Parade.

PrideSTL, the non-profit that puts on the annual event, said the decision is out of respect for the 50th anniversary of the historic riots at the Stonewall Inn in New York City.

The June 1969 uprising, which began after police violently raided the gay bar, is largely considered the birth of the modern gay rights movement. (MSN)

Yesterday organizers reversed their decision.

Police will be allowed to march in uniform after all in the June 30 Pride parade, parade officials and Mayor Lyda Krewson announced Tuesday.
 
Pride St. Louis Inc. had asked police to not take part this year in the annual gay-rights parade downtown, citing sensitivities surrounding the New York police raid on the Stonewall Inn gay bar in 1969 that helped spur the gay-rights movement. (Post-Dispatch)

I personally wish they hadn’t reversed their original decision — it was the right one! No doubt they were pressured to change their mind — it’s important for St. Louis’ political establishment to at least give appearances that all is well. Or perhaps the big money corporate sponsors threatened to pull funding next year?

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots — several nights of rioting by LGBT who were fed up with regular police raids.

Yes, annual Pride events are a way of remembering the violent riot that kicked off the modern movement for LGBT civil rights. Society, via the police, were the oppressor.

You might think that’s old history…time to move on. Except that police forces are old school boys clubs — racist & homophobic.  Even LGBT officers find the conditions intolerable.

[Jay] Brome’s story is part of a wave of lawsuits alleging anti-gay workplace discrimination filed by gay officers against law-enforcement departments across the U.S. in recent years. The lawsuits describe abusive work environments, where being gay or lesbian often meant cruel taunts, hostile work conditions and limited career opportunities. Some officers said they faced different work standards, while others claimed administrators passed them over for promotion or denied them protection — all because of their sexual orientation.

In all, there were at least 11 such lawsuits filed since 2016, according to a review conducted by USA TODAY of public records and media reports. Experts on law enforcement and civil-rights activists noted that the problem of LGBT officers feeling unsafe at work isn’t new, but some officers are now heading to the courts to demand accountability after years of internal complaints that were often ignored.  (USA Today)

Similar stories from the UK.  A San Francisco police officer who had been suspended for sending racist & homophobic messages to fellow officers was convicted last month of bank robbery. Closer to home, a gay St. Louis County Police Sargent alleged he was told ‘The command staff has a problem with your sexuality, If you ever want to see a white shirt (i.e., get a promotion), you should tone down your gayness.” (Source: Washington Post)

And this month a member of law enforcement called for the government to execute people participating in Pride:

Knoxville sheriff’s deputy is being looked into by the county’s District Attorney after he delivered a series of hate-filled sermons calling for the government-sanctioned execution of the LGBT community.

Knox County Sheriff’s Office Detective Grayson Fritts, who is also a Baptist preacher, has grabbed headlines after denouncing members of the LGBT community as “freaks” and “animals.” He called for the state to execute them during his Pride Week sermons. (Newsweek)

A law enforcement officer advocating executing people!

The only uniformed police officers I want to see marching in the Pride parade are LGBT officers. Maybe I’ll check out the less-corporate Tower Grove Pride this year, or just stay home.

— Steve Patterson (out since 1983)

The following is the results of the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll:

Q: Agree or disagree: The 2019 St. Louis Pride Parade should be very inclusive, allowing everyone to participate — including uniformed police.

  • Strongly agree: 13 [37.14%]
  • Agree: 6 [17.14%]
  • Somewhat agree: 2 [5.71%]
  • Neither agree or disagree: 1 [2.86%]
  • Somewhat disagree: 0 [0%]
  • Disagree: 4 [11.43%]
  • Strongly disagree: 7 [20%]
  • Unsure/No Answer: 2 [5.71%]

 

 

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