Time for a playoff backup plan

The news was good at the Scottrade Center last night – though those of us with Mediacom didn’t get to watch it – as the St. Louis Blues downed the Los Angeles Kings 3-1. People who use the initial “J” scored goals (B.J. Crombeen and T.J. Oshie), as did Paul Kariya. Hooray.

But let’s not tap dance around the issue, like the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s headline “St. Louis Blues clinch season series vs. LA Kings” did. In the long run, this win may not mean much.

The ‘Note sits 10th in the Western Conference, eight points back of the Red Menace for the final playoff slot. They’re also four points back of ninth-place Calgary. Making matters worse, Detroit has a game in hand on both St. Louis and Calgary. Let’s not mince words: The playoffs are likely out of reach.

Sad, yes, but the NHL playoffs are incredible and I’m not just going to sit them out. I’m also not going to cheer for a Western Conference team, meaning it’s time to pick a horse to ride from the Eastern Conference. This year, like others before it, will come down to the Atlanta Thrashers and the Boston Bruins. Boston has the inside track, sitting eighth, two points up on Atlanta, with a game in hand.

It’s easy to pull for the Bruins. They’re an Original Six team, located in an awesome town, with a fantastic-looking jersey. Their roster includes former Blues defenseman Dennis Wideman as well as Team USA backup goalie Tim Thomas.

They’ve also got the secret weapon in the competition for my temporary playoff affection: Fantastic marketing. Observe.

If you’ve got an hour to waste, go to YouTube and search “Bruins Hockey Rules.” Perfect way to burn a Friday afternoon at work.



If the Bears play ball, does it count if there’s nobody there to CIT it?

Allen Vaughn over at TAG Sgf sort of stole my thunder here, with his “Why the CIT should matter to the MSU Bears.” It’s a good read, which is pretty much a given when it comes to the 417’s best part time MC/sports writer (way better flow than Lyndal Scranton).

Photo via MSU Photographic Services

Red-hot Adam Leonard has the Bears one key win away from playing for a postseason championship.

It’s certainly worth nothing that Old Dominion, last year’s champ, pulled a first-round stunner, upsetting Notre Dame in a N0. 6 vs. No. 11 game. That’s certainly no guarantee for the Bears. Of the other 15 teams in the CIT last year, only Oakland made the field of 64 in 2010. There are plenty of reasons to think MO State could be next year’s ODU, or even Oakland, and having this young group together for a few more games could go a long way toward making that happen.

The angle I wanted to take, though, is that this tournament should matter to the fans. I was stunned to see some of the comments in the MSU Bear Nation forum. Most people were not just apathetic about getting tickets to see the Bears take on Middle Tennessee State, they almost seemed offended that they were going to have to pay $15 or $20 to see the game. Look, I know it’s not the NIT and I know times are tight, but postseason tournaments like the CIT and the CBI ask for a guarantee from host schools which, even after it’s paid for, still leaves the school to recoup its expenses.

Full disclosure, I haven’t gone to a CIT game. I’m either working or, in the case of tomorrow night, broke. But you also don’t hear me bellyaching about the prices. If I had a few dollars to spare, I’d be there making as much noise as possible. Not because they’re playing Creighton but because they’re the friggin’ Bears, man. It’s my team. I’d watch them play anybody and in my nearly 30 years attending games I think I’ve proven it.

MO State, to be fair, is doing something to help out, offering a Family Plan for the remaining postseason games. You get 4 bleacher tickets for $40. It’s not a cure-all, but it’s something to help get you in the door. This team has worked hard under Cuonzo Martin and have been a feel-good story for a basketball program that desperately needed one. Show them some support if you can afford it.

If you can’t, join me listening to Art’s call on KTXR or follow TAG Sgf’s live blog. Tip against Creighton is 7:05 p.m. March 24 in the Q. Winner plays for the championship March 30 on Fox Sports Net.


P.S. — You need something to make you excited about these Bears? Hit ’em Mr. Mallett!

I take it back, VDJ!

When Vincent David Jericho left KSGF, I thought their morning talk show couldn’t get much worse. I was so naive. It did.

I almost longed for VDJ this week as I listened to Bruce Delay hold court. His take on Nancy Pelosi’s meeting with all female Democrat party members in Washington was nothing short of…what’s the word I’m looking for here…asinine? He was downright concerned about what those women was doing.

Thank God I don’t remember what he said word-for-word, but his basic accusation was that Pelosi was going to have the ladies use their feminine wiles to get the menfolk to vote for health care reform. I believe he said something along the lines of  “Maybe write Obamacare on their butts, then drop their pencils? I just don’t know.”

No, Bruce, you don’t. And that’s the problem. He spent many minutes that morning telling me how horrible the health reform bill is, then later admitting he doesn’t really know what’s in there, hasn’t read it and probably wouldn’t understand it if he did read it.

And you’re hosting a radio talk show because…?

As if his lack of knowledge wasn’t bad enough, he used perhaps the worst analogy I’ve ever heard. Ever. In my life. He compared it to date rape. Seriously. The Democrat party, he said, kept trying to force itself on America no how matter how many times America said “No.”

If any of my conservative friends wonder why I have a hard time getting on board with the movement, I’ll be sure to share this anecdote with them. Putting admittedly uninformed people comparing Democrats to date rapists as the voice of the movement will only push people like me farther to the left. I’m not leaving you, Conservatism, you’re pushing me away.