The ancient Romans supposedly believed that the gods of fate would make the lives of the villainous extra-sweet so that when their earthly comeuppance finally arrived, it would be that much more dramatic.
Yates Management Group
Starts at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 16. Call 314-241-1888 for tickets, priced from $10-$40.
The excitement comes courtesy of an awfully young Clippers squad who bounce and leap like the pack of college players they so recently were. East St. Louis High-straight-to-the-pros forward Darius Miles is the big draw here. Last year he made the league's all-rookie squad, and you'll see that the 6-foot-9 beanpole has bulked up, too. He's got a rep as one of the good guys, and St. Louis loves him.
With any luck, this game will get going and the high-flying millionaires will put on a show. But will anyone care?
"I think there's a base of about 8,000 or 9,000 dyed-in-the-wool, love-the-NBA-type people in St. Louis," says game promoter Joe Yates. "I'm not convinced that St. Louis is an NBA market."
The unprecedented simultaneous dominance of the Cards, Rams and Blues in their leagues also means that sports fans would probably be impatient with a mediocre team. "Do you go out and chase the [Charlotte] Hornets right now?" says Yates. "You better bring a winner in here for St. Louis to support it the way an NBA team would need to be supported."
As the tepid vibe of this preseason scrimmage gradually yields to sweat and speed by midgame, you'll be seeing, as the excitable Bill Walton says, "the greatest athletes in the world" -- but not for long.