Hearne: Star’s Mellinger Trips on St. Louis Rams Column

Pittsburgh-Penguins1Journalists love it when people critique their stories by sniping, “Slow news day!”

Meaning of course, the writer must have been truly bored to have choked out something so disinteresting and mundane. Sometimes readers play that card because they disagree with or simply don’t like what they’ve just read. And sometimes it’s legit.

The fact is, when you’re a sportswriter for a small midwestern city and the jig is up for the home teams, things can get a little dicey…a lot dicey even.

Such is the case the past two days in the columns by one of the local newspaper’s brightest sports stars, Sam Mellinger.

Are Kansas City Chiefs fans really so bored they need to relive the 13 worst plays of the past season by quarterback Alex Smith? Maybe.

In a world where “fantasy sports leagues” are now a mainstream proposition, no pursuit seems too trivial for some jock sniffers and sports geeks.

Then again, drumming up sympathy for dreaded rival St. Louis is going too far.

It doesn’t even make sense.

First off, few locals give a damn about what happens to our stuck up neighbors to the east.

Short of North Korea blowing up the arch, there’s little love lost.

And how dastardly can it be for Los Angeles to attempt to reclaim its Rams football team – the very team St. Louis stole from that fair city 20 years earlier?

That’s called payback, friends.

Come to think of it, I don’t recall anybody at the local newspaper of record crying crocodile tears for LA when St. Louis pinched the Rams.

Face it, professional sports has long since become a dog-eat-dog game. From athletes to owners,  when money talks NFL players and teams walk.

Los-Angeles-Rams-return-to-Los-Angeles-FOOTBALLPHDSRemember in 2005 when sportswriters and columnists at the Star put on sexy cheerleader getups and kicked up their heels telling voters KC would be able to steal an NBA or NHL franchise from another city if they’d approve building a new $250 million downtown arena?

Which sad sack city were we feeling sorry for back then when KC was the one that stood to benefit from another city’s frugality?

“Hold out St. Louis,” Mellinger’s headline yesterday shouts. “(The) city should not give in to billionaire owner eager for better NFL stadium.”

But Kansas City and the Star were the suitors in 2007 as owners of the Pittsburgh Penguins fluttered in and out of town kicking the tires on the new Sprint Center while trying to force Steel Towners to choke out $290 million for a new arena so their team wouldn’t move here.

“Tell ’em to bugger off, St. Louis,” Mellinger wrote yesterday.

Did Mellinger offer that same advice to Pittsburgh when the shoe was on the other foot? 

hypocrisy1-carousel1Of course he didn’t.

Instead he wrote a piece in the Star bagging on AEG for lying to Kansas City voters by not stealing an NHL team from Pittsburgh or Nashville as they’d all but promised to.

“Funding for the building was passed in large part because of the carrot of attracting a major pro team,” Mellinger groused.

Thus instead of advising Pittsburgh to tell its owners to “bugger off,” Mellinger more-or-less told AEG to “bugger off” for lying to voters by not trying hard enough to steal another city’s team.

That’s hypocrisy at its finest – do as I say, not as I do.

You know, but those are the sort of slip-ups one can make on “slow news dayx.”

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19 Responses to Hearne: Star’s Mellinger Trips on St. Louis Rams Column

  1. hahhararley says:

    any time sam writes something….its pure b.s.
    anytime the liewickes say something its pure b.s.
    they write/talk well but they are know nothings.
    from the comets to aeg’s promise to bring in a team….tim was
    a con artist along with his brothers.
    aeg knew full well from previous ventures (spirit fest/comets/royals) etc.
    that nothing makes money in kc for a long time.
    small market…small numbers of people who will pay big money for
    games…andthey knew full well that the numbers played out bad for
    an nba or nhl team. Sorry…you need big corporations to pay for those
    stadiums (ask jerry jones)….or a large corporate base or more importantly
    a winning team…of which we had none.
    nba was shaky andwith the big sponsors you’re dead.
    Royals and chiefs have done well because #1 royals had 80 games to make
    their money…and chiefs saw that with a winner you fill up 80,000 seats
    and get the sponsors who will pay some extra cash to be part of the
    so sam…stfu…..st. Louis will lose that team and still survive. they’ve
    got the cards with over 3.2 million seats filled and adozen major sponsors.
    Losing the football team doesn’t matter….they still love hockey and soccer.
    Kroenke was always trying to beat st. Louis out of the money but for
    10 games a season didn’t make sense especially since they lost interest
    after their super bowl win.
    Rams belong in l.a……but will be interesting to see attendance on
    sundays in a place where people really have a choice of entertainment
    AEG pulled a good one over kc…but according to numbers it’s worked
    I can predict that power and light will become even stronger now that
    the economy has turned. Wasvthere for 3 royals games and new years
    eve and they are on fire!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Watch the plaza though…they
    just lost 3 tenants.
    And as long as the cities suck the d8k of the pro owners they will stay put.
    Whats interesting is that that mccaskill and other senators and reps aren’t
    screaming about this move. They could stop it real fast if they had some
    political power…but right now MO> legistlators are basically powerless
    to scare the nfl into staying in st. Louis.
    Besides …the l.a. market is so big….nfl will make millions more by the
    increase in households alone that are added…and as everyone knows…
    it’s all about the eyeballs to the nfl and networks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  2. Stomper says:

    Au contraire my dear admin.

    While there is certainly some lingering friction from the ’85 World Series and maybe even the Governors Cup competition in football, I do believe there are more than just a few locals who care about St. Louis and the state of Missouri in general. Going beyond just our metropolitan perspective, there is some pride in the fact that while the Show Me State is well down the list on population, the list of states with two MLB franchises and two NFL franchises, is a short one. And what other state can claim two Federal Reserve districts?? ( yeah, that was a reach)

    I can comfortably coexist with the supposed hypocrisy of being upset when outside states tamper with our franchises, but supporting it when our state tampers with California or Pennsylvania, or whomever.

    Yep, it’s true I live in Kansas now but having been born and raised in Missouri, I would not want to see the Rams leave our sister to the east. Siblings may fight among themselves but when someone outside the family takes a shot at us, we should close ranks.

    Just sayin’

    • the dude says:

      He wrote the article because when Clark Hunt decides Camarohead needs public money KC can point to STL and tell them to go piss up a rope. It sets bad precedent if they pony up when Kronke wants to go to LA anyway.

    • Libertarian says:

      Feeling it.

      Aptly put, Stomper.

    • the dude says:

      Personally, I would be happy with the Cardiac Cardinals sans Bidwell if I had my wish. The Rams could go back to LALA land for all I care.

    • admin says:

      That’s fair, Stomps…

      Never said that negative thoughts about St. Louis were universal. And most people today who aren’t – wait for it – oldsters, really don’t give much of a darn about the 1985 World Series.

      And if they did, they’d be smug about KC winning it.

      St. Louisans of a certain age are the ones who are more likely to be carrying a grudge from that experience.

      However, there are very real feelings of animosity between the two cities. And not everyone considers St. Louis “family.”

      I too was born and grew up in KCMO and I’ve never had such thoughts.

      They compete with KC for tax dollars, sports subsidies, bragging rights – you name it. And if a billion dollars in public funds is coughed up, chances are those tax dollars will not be limited to St. Louis only.

      St. Louis stole the Rams from Los Angles after nearly 50 years in that market.

      Before that the team was known as the Cleveland Rams for nine years, during the last of which they won the NFL championship.

      So it’s not like the franchise doesn’t have a history of divorce and remarriage.

      Returning to LA would probably be a very good thing for the NFL and arguably, the righting of a wrong.

      If the St. Louis market deserves an NFL team, chances are they’ll get one.

      Did Kansas City deserve an NHL (or NBA) team, as voters were practically promised?

  3. hahhararley says:

    nice article hearne….good reading

  4. NoMoreMoney says:

    I happen to agree with Mellinger about stadium financing. ESCPECIALLY football. I used to manage a major service business near the stadium. We didn’t care two licks about football season. Its 8 games. Baseball is the bread and butter, 82 days of increased traffic and a TON of out of towners.

    Stadium investment is not a good investment. If there is money lying around, fine, but it would be better served to fund school or I hear MoDOT says they need money for roads. Don’t blame the owners for taking free money if its there, but they don’t need it.

    • admin says:

      Not arguing that point, NoMoreMoney…

      However I am noting that Sam is conveniently dead set against St. Louis providing tax dollars to retain its team, while a handful of years ago his focus was on KC’s taxpayer subsidized Sprint Center deserving to get an NHL team because the voters were tricked into subsidizing it with every indication being that that’s what the payoff should be.

      I don’t recall him campaigning against KC chipping in half a billion to upgrade Arrowhead either.

      Do as I say, to as I do?

  5. hahhararley says:

    If stan wants to move to l.a. he can do it. He’s got 30 billion in the bank.
    If he wants to stay in st. Louis and just watch the teams value skyrocket
    whether there’s any fans there or not…..he can do it.
    If he really wants to stay in st. Louis and get a new stadium he can do it.
    he has the cash to buy up every politician in st. Louis and jeff city.
    Money means nothing to stan. He’s got so much hewill get whatever
    he wants without really even touching his 30 billion.
    guys like this make a decision and they do it……he could do this all
    himself in st. Louis andstill have ateam worth a billion bucks.
    And he’s done it using the American taxpayer to pay his help and so called
    associates while puttinghis workers on food stamps and welfare while
    his family (not him…he married this money) gets richer and richer!

    • mike t. says:

      actually makes sense Harley. I agree, and with Stomper above as well. that’s the issue with the super wealthy, tho’ I don’t really begrudge them this – that they can do what they damn well please. when, however, they do so with arrogance and as a “blackmail” ploy, it’s out of bounds in my book — throw the flag.

  6. Nick says:

    Whatevah: 42 days until pitchers & catchers report to camp.

  7. balbonis moleskine says:

    He wrote a column today where he advocated the Chiefs cutting Hali. It appears from his tone he does not understand the difference between a 3-4 DE and a 3-4 rush Linebacker.

    His advice was to cut a 9mil player with no backup behind him for reasons unspecified. He does allude to “needing” to play Dee Ford, seemingly unaware of the idea of sunk costs.

    He should stick to baseball and the Star should at least have someone who played the game past the pop warner / midget fb level.

  8. Rick Nichols says:

    Rams owner Stan Kroenke is apparently so anxious to leave St. Louie, Louie, he’ll build a stadium in LaLaLand using his own money, and the city’s leaders are so desperate to keep an NFL team there they’ve now announced plans to build a new stadium. Sounds like they’ve all come down with a bad case of “arch madness”.

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