Feb 2, 2000 at 4:00 am
Now that the celebration is winding down, isn't it time to put things into perspective, to reaffirm that football isn't life itself and that there are many more important priorities than a Super Bowl that must be addressed by the people of St. Louis?


The sociologists don't gotta go to work yet. Whatever it says about us, that we owe our ultimate civic moment to the triumph of a heisted football team that first donned St. Louis uniforms some 53 months ago, the fact remains that no single event has ever jolted this town with quite this much voltage.

It's an amazing ride. Just go with it.

Here are some happily scrambled thoughts and questions:

· Could they open the Trans World Dome next Sunday and replay the Super Bowl broadcast on the video screens at 5:18 p.m. so everybody can go through it one more time? Charge 10 bucks a head, all proceeds going to charity. Or maybe use the money to make a monthly payment on our Dome debt.

· How would Kurt Warner or Marshall Faulk fare if one of them were to establish residence in the 1st District and run for that open congressional seat?

· Have we beaten anybody yet?

· Did you know that linebacker Mike A. Jones -- enshrined permanently in our hearts for The Tackle -- primarily played running back at Mizzou? Wouldn't the Tigers have won a national championship if he hadn't been used out of position there?

· Isn't this a good time to talk city-county merger?

· Not that it really matters to us, but can you imagine how football fans feel right now in Los Angeles? Imagine this: It's 1993, five years after Big Red owner Bill Bidwill fled to Phoenix, leaving us without a team. The Cardinals storm out of nowhere to win the Super Bowl and, in accepting the Lombardi Trophy, Bidwill says, "This just proves we made the right decision to move to Phoenix." Then the whole world applauds that city and watches its giant victory parade -- with our old team that never won one for us -- on ESPN SportsCenter. Yikes.

· Speaking of cities wallowing in misery, consider the "Super January" that Atlanta just enjoyed. The booming city that likes to proclaim its world-class status was hammered mercilessly around the globe for a disastrous Super Bowl week kicked off the previous weekend with a rare ice storm that left thousands without power and seemingly huddled in fallout shelters.

Then came more bad weather, which really wasn't all that terrible but was greatly magnified by the city's skittishness from the previous storm. Schools were shuttered at the mention of snowflakes, nervous hometown Delta Air Lines canceled scores of flights last Friday and Saturday -- while TWA's and others' arrived without a hitch -- and somber local TV bubbleheads offered motorists hints on how to turn into a skid, to the amusement of visiting sports scribes.

And that was just last week. The rest of the month featured international humiliation in fallout from the idiocy of Braves reliever John Rocker; the breakup of local First Couple Ted Turner and Jane Fonda; the Super Bowl-eve announcement of thousands of layoffs by top corporate citizen Coca-Cola (including 2,500 in Atlanta itself); Madonna saying she'd appear at the Super Bowl and then changing her mind and backing out; the critical illness of beloved Willie B., a prized gorilla at the Atlanta Zoo for the past 39 years; and then -- as a nice footnote -- a double stabbing murder in an entertainment district of the posh suburb of Buckhead, featuring the arrest of a Baltimore Ravens Pro Bowl linebacker just to give the story some legs for at least another week or so. At least there wasn't a bombing this time.

· Do you remember that one short year ago Atlanta was on top of the world as the shocking National Football Conference champions playing in the Super Bowl?

· Have you heard the phrase "Enjoy this while it lasts"?

· Have we beaten anybody yet?

· Isn't there a little irony in St. Louis' fans' being the 12th man for our champions? Just over a year ago, watching Tony Banks flail away, by the end of each game there were something like 12 men in the stands.

· If you were Coach Dick Vermeil, wouldn't you -- just once -- want to parade around à la Harry Truman with clippings and tapes of now-loyal fans and sports-media types calling for your firing? If there's a Hall of Fame for magnanimity, he's in. And why, in his greatest moment of glory, should people want him to retire?

· Do Missouri senators and other politicians wax eloquent about family values and fiscal responsibility when they party in the Rams' owners' suites?

· Are you aware that St. Louis is under serious consideration by the NFL to host a Super Bowl? We're tentatively scheduled to be the site one year after the year hell freezes over. Has anyone forgotten that commissioner Paul Tagliabue has spent more time here in our federal courthouse -- as a defendant in a bitter and unsuccessful lawsuit filed by Our Town (with much support from the Rams) -- than he has spent in the Trans World Dome? Did anyone notice that owner Georgia Frontiere stopped just short of doing the bob-and-weave and spiking the Lombardi Trophy on Tagliabue's head with that "this just proves we made the right decision to move the team to St. Louis" comment, standing next to the commissioner on the world's largest stage? Did you know that league standards for a Super Bowl require a 70,000-seat venue, which we don't have? Does our balmy January weather make us a prized winter vacation resort? Can we move on to something else?

· Did you know that even though there have been 34 Super Bowls, only 12 other cities have won one (and that's counting San Francisco and Oakland separately)? Plus, we didn't have a riot during our celebration, which is more than you can say about Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Denver and Dallas.

· Wouldn't you rather have your team play in a Super Bowl than host one, anyway?

· What would people be saying today if Jones and another linebacker had been injured during the Super Bowl and The Tackle to save the game had been made by backup linebacker Leonard Little?

· When will you be able to say "St. Louis won the Super Bowl" without getting a rush?

· Don't you wish Jack Buck had been doing the broadcast so we could have heard "Go crazy, folks!" one more time?