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Coin Toss Corner

St. Louis takes the gold and silver medals for urban maladies: first in gonorrhea, second in chlamydia. Oh, and last in the National Hockey League.


Either Unreal's mayonnaise went bad on us or that was ex-Gridbirds head coach Jim Hanifan we heard last week, subbing for Jack Snow on the Rams-Texans radio broadcast.

Coulda sworn that as the game went into OT knotted at 27-27, we heard Hanifan second-guess the coin toss. Yessiree, when the Rams called "heads" and the flip came up "tails" as overtime commenced, we clearly heard Hanifan say the result was unusual. In response to play-by-play man Steve Savard's dumbfounded request that the former Big Red coach elaborate, Hanifan proceeded to explain to Ram Nation that coin tosses usually come up heads.

Reached by phone on Monday, Hanifan tells Unreal that the Texans tilt was his debut as a Rams color commentator (he'd volunteered to step in for an ailing Jack Snow).

And was it also Hanifan who, when Adam Archuleta got beat for a Texans first down early in OT, confessed to Ram Nation that he was "going to regurgitate"?

"I thought I was being a little classier," Hanifan notes of the latter elucidation. "I didn't want to offend the populace."

And what, pray tell, is the lowdown on coin tosses? Contrary to the findings of Unreal's fourth-grade science project, do they indeed disproportionately turn up heads? "More often than not, yeah," Hanifan swears. "Through the years, I always begged my guys: 'Call heads, call heads, call heads.' It's an old Irish superstition."

The Big Red may have compiled a lackluster 39-49-1 mark during the Hanifan era (1980-'85). But you can be damn sure they rarely lost a coin toss.

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Author: Kelly Houlihan

About the blogger: Kelly is a 26-year-old Florissant man whose blog topics include his brother, a Special Forces Captain serving in Iraq, and his five-year-old son.

Recent Highlight (November 12, 2005): They had a medium U-Haul truck, a pick-up truck and Poopstain's SUV. They were on their third trip. We took four in all.

Veronica and I had to split up (she was gonna stay and help Poopstain clean and pack (yes, pack, none of her shit was packed...her mountains of crap were in tact when those people got there this morning...we took the desk with the drawers filled to the brim with crap...none of her dishes were packed...THE CAT CRAP WAS STILL EVERYWHERE!!!), while I went to help unload at the new apartment), which was sad. It was like that part in "Strange Brew" when Bob and Doug have to split up to fight Breumeister Smith.

Anyway, I ride with Yowl, who did not say "yowl" once to me while I was with him.

We unloaded the truck in record time, but there wasn't much of an apartment left since Poopstain was moving from a two-bedroom to a one-bedroom. The cat was locked in the bathroom.

Let me tell you about this cat. Let's call him "PleaseKillMeNow." PleaseKillMeNow is a little black cat who is missing his lower lip. He's covered in matted black fur and drools continuously as he tries to rub against your leg. PleaseKillMeNow drags his pathetic carcass around the room and shits wherever he pleases, but he is nice enough to pee in the catbox.

Yeah. We would have to take care of PleaseKillMeNow the old-fashioned way — with a BB gun on a gravel road (have I ever told y'all that story?)

Anyway, so we go back for a second load and Poopstain is sitting on her ass in the living room telling people what to do next. The entire night all she did was smoke cigarettes and offer tips on cleaning shit. We both wanted to take care of Poopstain the old-fashioned way — with a BB gun on a gravel road.

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Double Play

Seeking to augment a burgeoning pro-sports empire, Riverfront Times columnist Unreal has assembled an investment team to relocate the Florida Marlins to the St. Louis metropolitan area.

Last week Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria received formal permission from major league baseball commissioner Allan H. "Bud" Selig to explore relocation options after failing in his efforts to have a publicly financed retractable-roof stadium built in south Florida.

"St. Louis can now atone for the Browns' unseemly flight to Baltimore and regain its rightful status as a two-club town," said Unreal, who owns naming rights to a two-year-old colt in training at Fairmount Park and has made a qualifying offer to buy the St. Louis Blues and Savvis Center.

Unreal declined to name the other members of the relocation committee, but a source who has seen the St. Louis proposal said the roster includes erstwhile Cheers stars Ted Danson and John Ratzenberger, as well as Corbin Bernsen, John Tesh, watermelon-smashing comedian Gallagher and St. Louis-born celebrities Robert Guillaume, Phyllis Diller and Dick Williams.

The source said the 76-year-old Williams, whose path to baseball's Hall of Fame was diverted by an indecent-exposure arrest when he was caught masturbating outside his hotel room while attending a baseball fantasy camp in Fort Myers, Florida, in January 2000, hopes to manage the team. Williams would follow in the footsteps of Jack McKeon, who at age 72 was brought onboard in 2003 amid a losing campaign, only to lead the Marlins to a world championship.

Joe Girardi, recently hired to manage the Marlins, was unavailable for comment.

Unreal confirmed that tentative plans call for a privately funded ballpark on the East St. Louis riverfront south of the Casino Queen, to be named Benson DuBois Commons at Unreal Grounds. The Marlins will be rechristened the St. Louis Browns, reviving the golden years of the mid-twentieth century when the Gateway City was "First in Booze, First in Shoes and Last in the American League."

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