While St. Louis isn’t participating in the NFL playoffs, the Blues are in last place in the NHL Western Conference and the Cardinals are avoiding free agency like the players have winter flu, there was some good news for St. Louis sports fans this weekend.
On Friday night, Doug Weight of the New York Islanders garnered his 1,000th career point. The former Blue became the 8th American born player to achieve that milestone, joining current Blue Keith Tkachuk, fellow former Blues Joey Mullen and Phil Housley, St. Louis native Pat LaFontaine, Mike Modano of the Stars, former Ranger Brian Leetch and veteran center Jeremy Roenick.
Several years ago, I did a weekly show with Weight, who is one of the classiest individuals I’ve ever covered. He’s never in a bad mood, he always wants to talk sports, and he’s the consummate team leader. I sent Weight a text to congratulate him, and he once again reiterated that he loves and misses St. Louis and the Blues.
After Weight’s achievement of Friday, Kurt Warner upstaged the former Blue. Playing in his first playoff game since Super Bowl XXXVI vs. New England, Warner threw a pair of touchdown passes in Arizona’s 30-24 win over Atlanta. He looked like vintage Kurt, with his long touchdown to Larry Fitzgerald, and his key 3rd down hookups in the closing moments. While Weight is one of my all time favorite St. Louis sports figures…in my top half dozen, Warner is on a pedestal at number one. No athlete I’ve ever met combines excellence on the field with humility, grace and generosity like Warner. Except when he’s playing the Rams, I want him to win. And I always want him to play well. It was great to see him succeed against Atlanta, and it gives me a team to root for next weekend, too.
My favorite Warner moment didn’t come on the field. It was the day before that Super Bowl in New Orleans. All year long, we’d recorded a pregame show before the game, and had agreed to meet in the Rams public relations office after the team walkthrough. I waited about half and hour for Kurt to show up, and eventually one of the Rams PR guys said “did Kurt find you?” He hadn’t. He was waiting in the PR lounge, up an escalator. Here’s the NFL’s MVP, literally 30 hours before the Super Bowl, waiting 20 minutes for a radio reported who was waiting somewhere else because of a communication error. He’s always like that, and people that know him will always appreciate him for it.
We’ve always been a community that roots for our guys as much as our teams, and our teams are struggling right now. It’s great to have had such great people make a stop in St. Louis that we continue to root for them wherever they go. Weight and Warner are two of ’em, so I congratulate them…and continue to root for their success.