Sports offers an escape from some of the harsh realities of life, it’s a way of escaping. With that in mind lets take a look at some things I am thankful for as a sports fan.
PATIENCE- Three years ago Mizzou fans were calling for Gary Pinkels job. Despite numerous injuries and being in their first year in the SEC, fans wanted him gone. Forward to present day and Pinkel has led the Tigers to an SEC East title with a chance tomorrow for a second title. Pinkel has been a fixture for the program and made them relevant. I am thankful the Missouri administration stayed with Coach Pinkel.
CRAIG KULIGOWSKI- Who? Well he is the defensive line coach for Mizzou. Sure talented players come to campus and it is up to the players to work hard. But with him coaching he has gotten the players to push themselves and be better players. The list of players he has coached that have gone on to play in the NFL is incredible (CJ Mosley, Ziggy Hood, Aldon Smith, Sheldon Richardson, Kony Ealy, and soon to be Shane Ray and Markus Golden).
BILL DEWITT and TOM STILLMAN- These two owners of local teams do things right. They both focus on the fans. Both emphasize tradition. Both want to win. And both are present in the community and accessible to fans and the media. I have heard numerous interviews with them on radio programs over the years and that is how you build a fan base. If only a certain football owner took cues from them he may have more support for a new stadium.
THE MADDEN FRANCHISE- Pretty soon the Madden franchise may be the only hometown football I get to see. It’s obvious by now that Stan Kroenke wants a team in L.A. This isn’t about fan support. The Rams attendance is still strong despite not having a winning season since 2004. This is about Kroenke improving his revenue stream which means he wants full control over a new stadium, parking, and entertainment options. At least with Madden I have been able to take over the Rams and run the franchise as many St. Louis Rams fans wish it would be run. (Told you sports is an escape haha) So thank you for creating that EA Sports.
FOX SPORTS NET- Yes this channel has taken a beating early on but I am thankful that someone is challenging ESPN. It is never a good thing for one company to dominate. While there are good things about ESPN, the 30 for 30s are great and their ability to cover a wide range of topics and events, ESPN also has drawbacks such as being East coast-centric and pushing their own agenda while regurgitating the same topics over and over and over. Fox Sports may struggle now but it is early in their development. Remember even ESPN was showing low level wrestling and strong man competitions back in the day.
VLADIMIR TARASENKO- Wow. What a promising young player. The Blues have had some recent success but they never had that “face” player. David Backes was good, Alex Pietrangelo shows signs of being an All-Star defenseman but in Tarasenko the Blues finally have that player people will go to see. The last player the Blues had like that was Brett Hull. Let’s hope Tarasenko has a similar career.