Here’s what I think as fall approaches:
1. Remember when sensational Stan Kroenke said things like St. Louis lags and will continue to lag and the NFL would be on its way to financial ruin if it stayed in St. Louis? Apparently, MLS feels a little differently. When you have two power families and a quarter-of-a-billion-dollar stadium in a city with an incredible soccer heritage, well, that’s too good deal to pass up. What a stretch of sports in downtown St. Louis: a new soccer team, a Stanley Cup champ and the storied St. Louis Cardinals!
2. Mike Shanahan, the late, great owner of the Blues, once told me that you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. That statement really applies to Barry Odom and the Mizzou Tigers. I think he’s on the cusp of something special at Mizzou. His recruiting, his facility and his persona are all on the way up. However, he can’t lay an egg out of the gates. Mizzou has been brutal in these beginnings. They need to fly. I think they will.
3. I don’t spend my life bashing the NCAA like some in the media do. However, there’s enough there to fill quite a few columns and talk shows. They haven’t done much right. I wonder how they can allow coaches to leave at any time and now allow players to do the same without having them sit out. The scholarships aren’t four-year deals – they’re one-year deals. So if a player wants to leave – and this is America, so why couldn’t a player leave freely? – the coach can take his scholarship at any time. The coach can leave at any time. Why not the athlete, too?
4. If you want to know why the Bommarito 500 is so successful, all you have to do is look at the companies or the individuals involved. You have John Bommarito sponsoring the event. He’s kind of figured out business, hasn’t he? You have Dave Steward buying the naming rights to the track. Do you think Dave, the founder of World Wide Technology, has an idea of what will work? Then you have Curtis Francois, who owns the facility and who’s brilliantly guided the track to an incredibly successful stretch.
5. I have no idea as I write this if the Cardinals are going to be playing baseball in October, but there are some encouraging items about the season. Jack Flaherty looks like he could be elite. Paul Goldschmidt comes as advertised. I wonder, though, if there are enough stars in the organization. Let’s say the Cards lose Marcell Ozuna, which is likely. What outfielder do they have coming back that you know will hit 25 homers and knock in 85 runs? Last month, the Cards honored the 2004 team. That was a team that had star power. How many stars are in the organization now and in the near future?
6. With the exception of sports, I didn’t watch many TV shows for about 15 years when the kids were growing up. Instead, I worked and then watched them play their games. Now, though, I’ve become a fan of several scripted series . The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu may be the most riveting series I’ve seen lately. The Loudest Voice on Showtime is pretty good, too. I can’t get enough of Netflix’s Mindhunter either. The most enjoyable 45 minutes of my day is getting home at 11 p.m. and watching one of these shows with the lovely Monique. When she watches one without me, I feel almost as if she’s cheating on me.
7. Things I love: BEAST Craft BBQ in Belleville and now the Grove business district of St. Louis’ Forest Park Southeast neighborhood. I love audiobooks . I love fantasy football even though I’m not wild about the NFL itself. I love producers who get guests on the radio like Brian Hoffman. I love producers who put together great documentaries like the one Andy Mohler did on Mike Shannon.
Frank Cusumano is a 17-time Emmy Award-winner on KSDK-TV; he also hosts The Pressbox on The All New 590 the Fan from 10 a.m. to noon each weekday and contributes to The Dave Glover Show on FM NewsTalk 97.1. Follow him on Twitter @frank_cusumano.