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MOTHER COURAGE: Can't recall the last time we saw a sports expose on the problems fathers have combining coaching with parenting, but the Post-Dispatch ran "College Coaches Tackle Motherhood" by Elizabethe Holland last week. Imagine such an article with interviews of, oh, let's say Norm Stewart, Charlie Spoonhour and Bobby Knight. Can you hear those old roundball warriors reminiscing about their "feelings of guilt over not being an always-present parent, the difficulties of juggling parenthood and career and the loss of control?" Probably not. But not because they've never had them. More likely, they were never asked. And they were never asked because no one ever expected them to be good parents and good coaches -- as coaches of the other sex are. (ES)

AT LEAST HE WENT TO THE RIGHT HIGH SCHOOL: The Los Angeles, er, St. Louis Rams, are finally starting to learn the turf. New quarterback Trent Green, as anyone who isn't stone-deaf or blind knows by now, is from Vianney High School. This being life in the provinces, high school is of supreme importance. It's a tribal stealth code for who-are-you-and-where-are-you-from. Normally, which college a prospective pro QB played at is vastly more noteworthy than where he played in high school. Readers of the local daily paper of record had to suffer through four articles about the idea of signing Vianney alum Green before it was revealed on Feb. 13 that he had played at Indiana University. As far as replacing do-rag-wearing, dog-named-Felony-owning Tony Banks with a Golden Griffin from South County, well, what was left unsaid said enough. Treated as the lead item on the 10 o'clock news on KMOV (Channel 4), four white folks at a bar all said dumping Banks for Green was a good idea. Two African-Americans, interviewed on the street, said it was too soon, that giving up on Banks was a bad idea. As for the marketing sense of pumping up hometown heroes, anyone remember Cliff Politte, the Vianney graduate who started the second game of the season last year for the baseball Cardinals? From there it was on to Class AA ball in Arkansas, then being dumped in a trade to Philadelphia. On the whole, maybe Banks, too, would rather be in Philadelphia. (DJW)

FLASH ME SOMETHING: Amid all the bogus boosterism about how St. Louis' Soulard Mardi Gras is the third largest in the Western Hemisphere (or the world, or the Milky Way, behind Rio and New Orleans) or second largest in the country behind the Crescent City, did anyone bother to consider Galveston, Texas, which gets hundreds of thousands of drunkards and exhibitionists to drive down from Houston? Or even Shreveport? And as for a Mardi Gras with some depth, some krewes and some events other than public drunkenness, how about Lafayette, La., or Mobile, Ala.? In Soulard, Mardi Gras boils down to a Strassenfest with beads. One promising addition this year was the increased notoriety of flashers. This is a Mardi Gras tradition of sorts, complete with smarmy Web sites (try www.mardigrasflashers.com). One thing the Soulard Mardi Gras didn't need was a puritanical, uptight police chief and a bunch of testosterone-addled cops. Laissez les bon temps roulez, indeed. (DJW)

WE KNEW HIM WHEN: In the transition from Mayor Marion "the bitch set me up" Barry to new Washington, D.C., Mayor Anthony A. Williams, a name familiar to St. Louis City Hall-watchers has surfaced: Lloyd Jordan. The chief of staff to former Mayor Freeman Bosley Jr. is in a dust-up with the Washington City Paper, the capital's alternative weekly. In the Jan. 29 issue, Jordan was billed as the "Grand Marquis of DCRA," a derisive moniker referring to Jordan's decision last year to order a Mercury Grand Marquis (starting at $22,000) instead of a Ford Taurus (starting at $16,000) to use in his position as director of D.C.'s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. In an angry rebuttal letter published in a recent City Paper, Jordan responded that the Grand Marquis and a $20,000 top-of-the-line desk set the paper referred to as an "office ensemble worthy of Michael Eisner" were not picked out by him. The zingers aimed at Jordan, which ran in City Paper's "Loose Lips" political-gossip column, went on to speculate that Jordan might not last long in his position. There's the carping that Jordan, who is national president of Omega Psi Phi fraternity, is keeping too busy with frat duties and disappears on Fridays and Mondays. Jordan denies all this, saying he's working "60 hours per week." Jordan has been on this job for about five months and was brought in to reform what a recent Washington Post article described as "one of the most reviled agencies in city government." Mayor Williams, who once headed St. Louis' Community Development Agency, states on the record that Jordan is not headed out the door, but if there isn't any fire present, it sure seems a lot of smoke follows Mr. Jordan around. (DJW)

Contributors: Eddie Silva, D.J. Wilson

 
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