The beloved Bradley Braves made it all the way to the championship match on Sunday, before a live audience of millions on CBS. It’s there that they played one of their worst games, losing to Southern Illinois.
I was fine with that; after all, I got to cover THREE games during my extended weekend in St. Louis. And I really expected to be right back in Peoria on Saturday afternoon.
Work was gracious enough to let me return Monday morning, but there was one thing bothering me: I hadn’t done anything particularly St. Louis. Each day was pretty formulaic:
1. Wake up rather late, generally feeling unrested.
2. Trudge a couple of blocks to the Savvis Center.
3. Remain absolutely silent as sports writers and photographers all around me speak in terms of “RPI” and other things I nothing about.
4. Find a piece of paper taped to the court with my newspaper printed on it.
5. Shoot the game, cursing every ref who stood in front of my position.
6. Dump cards, start selecting images, caption and transmit.
7. Crawl back to the hotel, famished.
8. Try to find the first and only meal of my day, sometimes with another photographer, sometimes alone.
9. Walk back to the hotel, try answering email, but end up wanting to fall asleep and can’t.
A ten-step program! Not an ounce of room for sightseeing or even wandering aimlessly. So I decided to wake up a little early Monday and see the most obvious thing St. Louis has: The Arch!
Sure, I took pictures of it. But I made sure to TOUCH it before I left.
Goodbye, St. Louis.
This SIU cheerleader fell from a 3-story pyramid onto her head, went unconscious and then did the fight song with her hands as she was eventually carried off the court.