Top Sports Stories-2016

The top Local Sports stories of 2016…..those that seemed to generate the most discussions and debates….
1st-Local Lou Sports Stories…
#1 Departure of R_ _ _–this story still percolates…most StL folks fall into 1 of 3 tents—a) have complete apathy towards R_ _ _ and often the entire NFL b) total revulsion towards the R _ _ _ & NFL c ) actual cheering when things go wrong, inappropriately, or awry for the R_ _ _ such as yet another putrid record on the field, very weak TV ratings, firing of Jeff Fisher, drafting of Jared Goof etc, etc
#2 Deep run of the Blues in the NHL Playoffs…1st time since 2000-01 season that the boys wearing the Blue-Note made it to the Conference Finals
#3 The early exit of the Cardinals from the competition for the Division Championship…while the Cards contended until the waning days of the season for the Wild Card…much of July & August had a real distinct, indifferent feel to it
#4 Trying to bounce back, some businessmen from the LOU are trying to assemble a package for a stadium that will bring an MLS team here..facing more hurdles than the Cards did to get a TIF for an extension of BallPark Money-Land
#5 Disappointing Mizzou football season that failed to make even one of the 40 bowls…the new PC NCAA standard is …everyone has to be in a bowl..that alone makes it a good season …. even if they only attain the high zenith mark of .500
#6 SLU & Mizzou women basketball team have very strong seasons in 2015-16
Some of the most recognized personalities of StL 2016 sports scene….
#1 Ezkiel Elliott (John Burroughs grad) stuns most everyone with a spectacular rookie season for Dallas in the NFL
#2 Jayson Tatum finally wins a State Basketball Championship @ Chaminade with a sterling performance in title game in Mizzou Arena
#3 The sudden, unexpected emergence of Aledmys Diaz as a star for the Cards.
#4 Colleen Quigley, StL native from Nerinx Hall, qualifies for the Olympic Women Steeplechase
Other top sports stories in the Lou—-
…. All the buzz in the Lou about the Cubs zeroing in on a World Series and then the championship…I haven’t heard so much talk about a non-Cardinal series….ever!
….continued smirks and smiles about the ineptness of Jayson Heyward in a Cubbie uniform
….The abrupt, rather harsh, departure of Jim Crews from SLU basketball—followed by the signing of the energetic, recruiting maniac- Travis Ford.
….Jake Allen moving up to the the full time #1 goal tender
….Yadi has one of his best hitting seasons of his career
….Washington U Women Soccer win the D-III championship
….all the talk around town about these blogs 
Outside the borders of the Lou metropolitan area….some of the major sports topics of 2016 that were part of many StL sports discussions
#1 Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt dominate week 1 & 2 respectively in Olympics
#2 Cubs take the lead in NL div race in April and end up coasting to Division title and a later World Series win for first time in 100+ years
#3 Leichester City shocks soccer world with what some call “Greatest Upset in soccer history”
#4 Villanova wins the NCAA Mens basketball championship as March Madness continues to dominate March sports as it runs rampart across the USA with brackets flowing over, under and everywhere
#5 LeBron James, almost single-handedly in final game, carries Cavs to NBA championship…with all the NBA talk in St. Louis…you’d never know that the league exists 

…some tidbits to throw out between bites of your favorite cookies…note plural of cookie 
….in a case of …I won’t do that again……Last Sunday, With the Tennessee Titans struggling to get an attempted 53 yd FG off in time as the clock was running and down to 2 seconds..Andy Reid (KC) called time-out but it was not signaled until the attempted kick was already taken…it fell short…the officials indicated no play…so the Titans regrouped, took their time … and banged home the winning FG as time ran out over KC and Andy Reid stood in disbelief.
…December– not so much ….30 year old Paul Stastny hasn’t enjoyed December much…offensively, he has a goal on Dec 6 and 1 assist on Dec 15 for the entire month…. This is from a skater who is 4th highest on the team in ice time….btw…the Blues have only outscored their opponents in the 3rd period ONCE in the entire month! That doesn’t bode well for playoff time.
… it’s all over but the funeral march…Jay Spoonhower’s E. Illinois team pushed aside the Mizzou Tigers last week and just about insured that Kim Anderson won’t be back next year
…it’s YOUR role……Aroldis Chapman now says that he didn’t like the way the Cubs used him in the World Series…they put the game in his hands…albeit a bit more and earlier than usual…what else would a closer want? Resigning with the Yanks ensures that he won’t have to worry about ever being overworked in a World Series game again….although…it’s highly unlikely that he’ll finish his career wearing pin-stripes
….it can be done…..NCAA says it doesn’t want to expand its D-1 championship to beyond 4 teams…too much time, too hard on players, yada-yada-yada…..yet the NCAA FCS FOOTBALL championship has a tournament of 24 teams…the top 8 teams get 1st round byes…their championship game this year includes #4 seed –James Madison vs Youngstown State (not seeded in the top 8)…the game will be played on Jan 7. This tournament requires 23 games total …Meanwhile, NCAA D-II championship brackets work for 28 teams, with the reseeding for the final 4….NW Missouri State just won this championship as they beat N. Alabama 29-3…there isn’t any reason that the BCS schools couldn’t form a larger bracket in the same way…maybe 16 or 20 teams….use the earlier bowls for the earlier round games…it can be done without limiting it to 4 teams.
…who would you rather watch?…Good for SLU women basketball…their game against Mizzou …while schools were out… drew over 6200 was apparently a good game between two good teams.
….I’m sure that you are still waiting anxiously for the Heart of Dallas Bowl…ranked as the worst bowl game of the 2016 season…North Texas 5-7 (ranked as the weakest bowl team this year of the 80 teams) faces an Army (7-5) team– run-first, determined, but not real exciting unless you’re a Cadet…or a former Frosh coach. These two teams met earlier with N. Texas winning 35-18 but N. Texas won just 1 of its last 5 games……This thriller is on Dec 27. Frankly…neither of these teams belong in a bowl….we have about 10 too many bowls. If you need some background buzz while you take an afternoon nap….this is your ticket.
…Jeff Fisher NFL coaching career is over…finally…he stayed about 8 years too long!..he joins some other illustrious names who stayed too long in the NFL also..David Shula (19-53—lost 50 games faster than anyone);Bobby Petrino (3-10—announced wiht 3 games remaining that he was leaving for Arkansas after assuring the owner hours previously that he was staying); Lou Holtz (3-10—when he quit he said,”God did not put Lou Holtz in the world to coach in the NFL”—at least he knew it in just one season… Steve Spurrier (12-20); Marion Campbell (34-80-1) and who could forget…Rod Rust (1-15-coached Pats in 1990)
…its me…or ..its…me…so Christian McCaffrey (Stanford) and Leonard Fournette (LSU) declare that they won’t be playing in their team’s bowl game. Football is truly a team sport… all the units must perform to have an excellent team…these two players have dropped their team in a game that most of the other players on that team want to win badly (since it’s their last game for many of them)…this is just another symptom of our societal—“it’s all about me baby” syndrome. Ex-athletes who are now talking heads-despised the decision..non athletic talking heads thought that the player had made a good decision….if you’ve never been on a REAL team….you’ll never get it!
….Grayson Allen (Duke) being suspended for repeated dirty play by Coach K will probably lead to his transfer….He needs Duke more than Duke needs him.
…It seems required in this bowl season that the winning team must score 50+ points….I know offense is ahead of defense but come on….is there NO defense out there…other than Alabama?

This wraps up 2 years of blogs….it’s been fun for me …. And I really appreciate all of you reading and responding (just send me an email if you want to keep it private)….thanks for helping to “spread the word” to others…and keep doing it…This is how it got started…I wrote an article on the Super Bowl 2 years ago. Two Washington DC sports talk show announcers on Monday thought that Bob Ryan (Boston Globe) had written the blog… so they call him up to interview him! It is a funny interview between these two lost souls and Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe instead of me… Listed below is my Super Bowl Article on Prepcasts—titled ….Super Bowl through the eyes of Bob Ryan

and……Here’s the Boston Globe’s article which includes the radio segment…
…you have to click the play button several paragraphs now (in box) to hear it

If you missed some of the “best” of 2016….I didn’t say that they were good….here’s some …and according to your reading numbers and my own enjoyment in writing them…

July 28th article—StL Sports Pokemon-Go was very popular..

The June 5th article-Wong must Go elicited many strong feelings…generally opposed to my title

On Oct 16, the Maddon vs Matheny Debate sparked accusations that I was biased …some said too much for Maddon…some said too much for Matheny….so I guess it was just right 

On June 14, the long time game show, Wheel of Fortune made its way to our blog.

Jan 16 was one of my personal favorites…the Yellow Brick Road to the NGL

The Dear Santa article….just recently done …was also a favorite but heck…you’ve got that link already.. 

Happy New Year….may all of you enjoy a prosperous and joyous 2017
See you next week with “New Years Resolutions for 2017”