While the 2000’s were a fun decade, there wasn’t much for St. Louis to hang it’s hat on. Here are my top five memories from the 2000’s…
1) The Cardinals win the 2006 World Series. After stumbling badly down the stretch of the regular season, the Cardinals catch fire against San Diego in the NLDS, surprise the Mets in the NLCS, then watch Detroit implode in the World Series. Most amazing post-season ever, as Adam Wainwright
struck out Carlos Beltran to wrap up the NLCS, and Brandon Inge to win the World Series in five.
2) The 2004 Cardinal season. An amazing run. All summer long, when you looked at the the right side of the standings, the Cardinals were 8-2 in their last ten games. One of the best Cardinal lineups ever was supplemented by the August acquisition of Larry Walker. As one who appreciates the journey, I wasn’t devastated by the loss to the Red Sox in the World Series. It was a great journey.
3) Mizzou advances to number one in the nation in 2007. That had never happened before. Led by Chase Daniel, Jeremy Maclin, Chase Coffman, a great offensive line and a representative defense, Mizzou turned in their best season ever. With a chance to advance to the national championship game, they lost to ninth ranked Oklahoma in the Big XII Championship Game, 38-17. However, during the season they knocked off Rose Bowl team Illinois, drilled Nebraska, and toppled number two Kansas to ascend to number one. The Mizzou program was revived, and reached heights it never reached before.
4) The 2001 Rams season. The most dominant regular season in St. Louis or Rams history. 14-2. Marshall Faulk was spectacular, Kurt Warner won his second MVP, and the Rams went to the Super Bowl for the second time in three years. Unfortunately, the Patriots cheated with their incessant holding that wasn’t called, Mike Martz refused to completely commit to the run against the Patriots defense, and Warner was knocked woozy on Mike Vrabel’s hit that led to an interception that Ty Law returned for a touchdown. But once again, I look at the journey, even though the end was shattering.
5) The Blues advance to the conference finals in ’01. But, as usual, their goaltending let them down. The offense wasn’t great either, scoring just seven goals in their four losses. With the Blues down two games to one, Roman Turek disintigrated in game four and couldn’t come through in game five, and the Blues lost the series in five to the eventual Stanley Cup Champs.