It's a great time to be a sports fan in St. Louis. Improbably, and for the second year running, our beloved Cardinals have advanced deep into baseball's postseason. A few blocks north of Busch Stadium III, the
Los Angeles St. Louis Rams are putting together an intriguing campaign under the mustache leadership of head coach Jeff Fisher. And the Blues? Well, you can't have everything. But even the NHL lockout provides fodder for St. Louisans' most fanatical obsession: talking about sports.
Believe it or not, if you were to listen to every minute of sports-talk programming on local radio on a typical weekday, it would take you 43 hours. And that's just radio! Add in the games themselves, plus television and newspaper coverage, and you're likely looking at closer to 72 hours — that's three days' worth of rumination and punditry every day. Indeed, so consumed are we with our teams that the local-media men and women (mostly men) who cover sports have become celebrities in their own right. Is there another city that can claim a journalist whose entire beat amounts to covering sports media? Ladies and gentlemen, we give you Dan Caesar. Not only that, but Caesar's weekly column is often one of the most-read articles on stltoday.com!
In a sense, our sports-media glut is truly an embarrassment of riches. But there is such thing as too much of a good thing. And, truth be told, in another sense our sports-media glut is just an embarrassment, period.
With that in mind, Riverfront Times resolved to cut through the crosstalk of local sports-squawk and sort out who's worth listening to and who needs to be tuned out (or, better yet, turned off). We sat down with an assortment of Schlafly products, six different kinds of snack foods and Matt Sebek, one of the savvy minds behind our favorite St. Louis sports blog, Joe Sports Fan, and set to work ranking our local sports-media windbags from best to worst.
Going on the theory that anything worth doing is worth doing right, we also enlisted the help of an acquaintance who passed a course in introductory calculus at an accredited university. Together we devised a proprietary relative power index, the RFT SportsMediaRPI (patent pending), which is based on the mathematical formula for determining the mass of an ellipsoid — i.e., blimp — of uniform density p:
m = pV = p 4/3 πabc
And now, sports fans, we present the 2012 Riverfront Times St. Louis Sports Media Power Rankings: