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Readers Happy To Have Professional Football Back In St. Louis

February 26, 2020 Featured, Popular Culture Comments Off on Readers Happy To Have Professional Football Back In St. Louis

Professional football is back in St. Louis and many couldn’t be happier.

The St. Louis BattleHawks kicked off their XFL home schedule in style Sunday, blowing by the New York Guardians 29-9 before an inspiring crowd of 29,554 at The Dome at America’s Center. (Post-Dispatch)

Football fans parked as far north as 7th just before Cass Avenue during the first home game.

Here’s a more colorful quote:

After some 1,530 long, excruciating days, St. Louis football fans were finally able see their sport of choice at the Dome again, no thanks to the NFL or a certain toupee-sporting team owner who shall remain nameless.

Yes, February 23, 2020 will forever be remembered as the day Ka-Kaw Nation was truly born, thanks to St. Louis’ new XFL franchise, the mighty BattleHawks. As early as 8 a.m. beer-thirsty Hawkamaniacs were setting up grills and rolling out coolers; by 9:30 a.m. the parking lots and even the top levels of some of the parking garages located around the dome were filling up with rowdy tailgaters. (Riverfront Times)

Those who responded to the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll were generally enthusiastic.

Q: Agree or disagree: I’m excited the St. Louis BattleHawks are playing their first home game today.

  • Strongly agree: 5 [27.78%]
  • Agree: 2 [11.11%]
  • Somewhat agree: 4 [22.22%]
  • Neither agree or disagree: 5 [27.78%]
  • Somewhat disagree: 0 [0%]
  • Disagree: 1 [5.56%]
  • Strongly disagree: 1 [5.56%]
  • Unsure/No Answer: 0 [0%]
Event workers outside the Dome during the BattleHawk’s first home game.

I’m glad to see the Dome getting used, and compensated. It appears, initially at least, that promoter Vince McMahon has a modest hit with the reboot of the XFL.

Week 4 will be important. The NFL has taken back the news cycle with the scouting combine happening this week. The XFL is getting to the point of the season in which the novelty has worn off, yet it’s too early to hype up a stretch drive for the postseason. It will be a real test to reverse the ratings decline.

The XFL is doing better than expected through three weeks. The numbers still compare favorably to other options on the sports menu. But the challenge will always be to retain most of the audience that has had only three weeks to get used to a new football league. (Yahoo Sports)

Hopefully for the St. Louis fans the XFL will do well enough to continue.

— Steve Patterson

 

‘Die Hard’ Is A Christmas Movie If You’re A Fan

December 25, 2019 Featured, Popular Culture Comments Off on ‘Die Hard’ Is A Christmas Movie If You’re A Fan
Our leg lamp ornament — a reference to the 1983 classic: A Christmas Story.

The recent Sunday Poll was about the 1988 Bruce Willis action film Die Hard being a Christmas movie, or not. Here are the non-scientific results:

Q: Agree or disagree: The 1988 movie ‘Die Hard’ is a Christmas movie.

  • Strongly agree: 7 [31.82%]
  • Agree: 2 [9.09%]
  • Somewhat agree: 3 [13.64%]
  • Neither agree or disagree: 1 [4.55%]
  • Somewhat disagree: 2 [9.09%]
  • Disagree: 2 [9.09%]
  • Strongly disagree: 4 [18.18%]
  • Unsure/No Answer: 1 [4.55%]

My husband loves this movie as much as Home Alone, so my opinion doesn’t really matter. The following comes closest to my own thoughts:

The film is a deceptively rich text that crucially hinges on John McClane flying across the country to reconcile with his estranged wife over the holidays. That is, all things considered, pretty damn Christmas of him. Pair that with the bond he builds with Sgt. Al Powell via walkie-talkie over the course of the film (the moment they finally meet at the end of the movie and greet each other as old friends gets me as good as any great Christmas Movie) and you’ve got the makings of all the naked sentiment and emotional exploration required of a Christmas Movie.

The catch is that while the events of Die Hard are technically instigated by the holiday season, Christmas isn’t the lens through which these relationships are explored so much as the trauma stemming from the attack on Nakatomi Plaza is. John and Holly don’t reconcile because it’s Christmas so much as they reconcile because they’ve both seen the other narrowly escape death (multiple times) and had to contemplate living in a world without one another. Al and John’s friendship stems from survival and personal growth, neither of which have any concrete tie to the holiday. It’s a great movie, a great movie that takes place on Christmas. But don’t get it twisted: it’s not a Christmas Movie. (Geek)

Being set during Christmas doesn’t make a movie a Christmas movie. At least not for me, maybe for you it does. I think a movie you like a movie set during Christmas can become a classic Christmas movie for you.

Enjoy your day!

— Steve Patterson

 

Sunday Poll: Is ‘Die Hard’ A Christmas Movie?

December 22, 2019 Featured, Popular Culture, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Is ‘Die Hard’ A Christmas Movie?
Please vote below

There are many films out that are undisputed Christmas classics. Esquire recently published a list of the top 40 Christmas movies, here’s their top 10:

  • 10. A Christmas Carol, 1951
  • 9. The Muppets Christmas Carol, 1992
  • 8. Bad Santa, 2003
  • 7. Miracle on 34th St., 1947
  • 6. Scrooged, 1988
  • 5. Home Alone, 1990
  • 4. White Christmas, 1954
  • 3. A Christmas Story, 1983
  • 2. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, 1989
  • 1. It’s a Wonderful Life, 1946

Further down the list is Meet Me In St. Louis, at #16:

Vincente Minnelli’s 1944 musical is comprised of vignettes set during a variety of seasons, but none are as famous as the one featuring star (and Minnelli’s future wife) Judy Garland singing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” (Esquire)

You can watch Garland sing this here.

Today’s poll is about the movie at #25 on their list — Die Hard, 1988. Here’s an intro to the plot:

On Christmas Eve, NYPD detective John McClane arrives in Los Angeles, intending to reconcile with his estranged wife, Holly, at the Christmas party of her employer, the Nakatomi Corporation. McClane is driven to the party by Argyle, a limousine driver. While McClane changes clothes, the party is disrupted by the arrival of a German terrorist, Hans Gruber, and his team: computer hacker Theo, Karl and Tony Vreski, Franco, Alexander, Marco, Kristoff, Eddie, Uli, Heinrich, Fritz, and James. The group seizes the tower and secures those inside as hostages except for McClane, who slips away, and Argyle, who gets stranded in the garage. (Wikipedia)

And this is the trailer:

I can’t think of a movie that has been debated more about being a Christmas movie or not.

This poll will close at 8pm tonight.

— Steve Patterson

 

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

 

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