Here’s another guest post from @J_D_P, who previously shared some tough love for Ted Leonsis.
There hasn’t been enough hate of the Cardinals in the discussions of the NLDS series so I thought I’d lend my hand. I lived in St. Louis the past three years and was very happy to escape back to civilization.
Not all of it is bad. The baseball stadium is great, their sports talk generally blows ours out of the water, and the cost of living is cheap as hell. But now that that is out of the way, it’s time to get into the hate.
Any discussion of why St. Louis sucks has to begin with the crime rate. Take your pick of lists of violent crime in America and St. Louis is consistently in the top-three. The latest FBI survey put St. Louis at No. 3 behind Flint and Detroit Michigan. Congrats St. Louis, you aren’t worse than Flint!
I was mugged in St. Louis, and nearly everyone I knew there had either been jumped or had their car broken into. Obviously this happens in any big city, but the scope of it is more in St. Louis. There’s no clear demarcation line between good and bad area. Just bad and worse areas.
Basically, you should never feel safe being in St. Louis. Even more mind-numbing is the city’s response to their crime problem has been to cut the amount of police officers. I shouldn’t be surprised by any of this at this point.
2. Generally Insular Community
St. Louis does not have a central downtown. It would probably claim that the area near the ballpark is. But there is never a collective mass of people there like in any other city. Downtown there are barely any street-level businesses. None of the office buildings have store fronts and there are no convenience stores. There is nowhere downtown to get coffee or food.
St. Louisans don’t find this to be a problem likely because they all flee the downtown anyways. This probably gets back to point one about there being a ton of crime and thus nobody wanting to be downtown.
In the mind of most St. Louisans the pinnacle one can achieve in life is to have some fake store-bought McMansion with cheap vinyl siding out in the suburbs. The term “white flight” must have been invented for this area. They place no value on cultural or aesthetic aspects of their community. Thus the city is decrepit and full of vacant lots.
This isn’t to say the people aren’t nice. They generally are. And you have lots of Cardinals fans who come from the boondocks anyway. But essentially it’s an area of 3 million “Joe the Plumbers.” Why have anything cultural when you can get all you need at the Walmart. St. Louis is too insular and too stupid to realize it, and, worse, they’re complacent and defensive about it. Thus it will never improve.
St. Louis has several “iconic” food locations. Or so they claim. First, there’s their barbeque. It is massively overrated. The place that locals point to is Pappy’s which was also featured on Food Network’s Man vs. Food. Their big claim is they don’t put sauce on their meats because it is good enough without. Meanwhile they have jugs of sauces on every table that everyone douses their food in. Purely mediocre BBQ.
But rather than harp on what they claim is their best, its easier to pick out what is easily their worst product: provel pizza. This godforsaken creation is the worst abomination to masquerade as pizza. St. Louis-style pizza’s big claim to fame is that they invented their own cheese, which is so wildly popular that no one outside the city has heard of it.
Provel is basically a combination of the droppings of all other cheeses that is then melted together. Imo’s, St. Louis’ go-to pizza joint, then puts some tomato paste and this sham cheese on a cracker-style crust. Basically, never eat this piece of crap if you value your taste buds of intestines.
Maybe worse than the eating experience itself is when the rubes that live there defend it to the death. If you don’t like it you are some East Coast elitist. Well, if liking real pizza makes me an elitist, then give me my crown and bow down before me, you minions!
This goes beyond food actually. St. Louisans are incredibly defensive about their city and the Midwest in general. Granted, I’m spending my time here writing a post about why they suck, but it would be easier to accept St. Louis if they accepted the imperfections of their city rather than telling outsiders that they just don’t get it. I don’t want to get it.
Hear me out. I get that the Cardinals now have some great fans. They are pretty knowledgeable from my experience with them. They have great bars around the stadium. They win. Etc. But the other sports are insanely neglected.
The Blues made the playoffs last year and I went to games that weren’t even close to sold out. Nobody knew who any of the players were nor the coach that brought them to prominence. I’m sure many D.C. citizens didn’t know the Caps players until they got good too. So this goes beyond hockey.
The football team, which won a Super Bowl as the Greatest Show on Turf, can’t keep fans interested. Again, some interest will come with winning, but even in their near-playoff year when they lost to the Seahawks to miss out on a berth they couldn’t draw fans. All the complaints about their stadium are generally misplaced. It is nice enough and it’s at least in the city. Fans have no right to not go to games.
Don’t worry though, St. Louis has its own version of LaVar Arrington. DeMarco Farr, former Rams player, has a radio show in which he babbles about things he doesn’t know. Basically, outside of the Cardinals, the city is full of mediocre sports fans who don’t support their teams whether they have success or not.
5. Dumb Shticks
If you thought “Natitude” was embarrassing the Cardinals have you covered for a multitude of stupid shticks. They have their “Happy Flight” phrase, a Rally Squirrel, “Torty Craig” (Allen Craig’s pet tortoise), the hometown hero deification of David Freese (he of the two DUIs and public intoxication charges), and forgiveness of steroid user Mark McGwire. Then there’s the fickleness of their fans.
After Game 1 there were calls for manager Mike Matheny to be fired mid-series only to be lauded as a genius after pulling starter Jaime Garcia after two innings and then inventing an injury for him after the game. The Cardinals fans are all about their great tradition with luminaries like Lou Brock and Stan Musial. What do you think they would think about having a cheater as their hitting coach or a stuffed squirrel as their mascot?
Screw the Cardinals. I pray we win so I can gloat to all those rubes about how they suck.