Born to Run

Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz follows his bliss

The Worm digs deep, and it's not just dirt he's shoveling. Contact the Worm at [email protected].

From a worm's perspective, sports and music aren't much more than play and noise. Thousands pay big bucks to watch grownups play ball; thousands listen to goofs yell into microphones.

The Worm doesn't get it.

Bernie Miklasz, on the other hand, does get it, and the Berniemeister's made a cushy living staying ahead of the rest of the local jock-sniffing wolf pack.

But Miklasz, it seems, is getting tired of being the town's number-one sports pontificator and instead plans to indulge his Bruce Springsteen obsession full-time.

"It's a death trap," says Miklasz of sportswriting, "a suicide rap."

Back on August 7, Miklasz sat ten rows up at the left side of the stage as Springsteen opened his tour in East Rutherford, New Jersey. He offered to cover the Boss' premiere for his employer, giving local readers a preview of Springsteen's August 30 concert at Savvis.

But the wankers in charge of arts-and-entertainment coverage at the Post-Dispatch said no.

Hurt by the snub, Miklasz indulged his rock-music jones by riffing about being a Brucehead on, giving the playlist of the New Jersey concert and describing how in Phoenix he stood in line for seven hours to get a general-admission spot right in front of the stage. During that concert, Miklasz got a hand-slap from Bruce and a nod from Clarence Clemons for his Miles Davis T-shirt.

Scribbling notes in darkened music venues and posting his musings on a Web site has Miklasz hooked -- the Worm's snitches say he's leaving the Post to write for, one of dozens of sites for Bruce-o-philes.

Not only does Miklasz want to escape his day-job print duties, he quickly has grown to dread his new evening gig as a sports-talk host at KMOX (1120 AM).

"It's a town full of losers," Miklasz says of St. Louis sports fans. "I'm pulling out of here to win." He says he's sick of the whining and the grief he gets from fans. "You end up like a dog that's been beat too much," Miklasz says, "till you spend half your life just covering up."

Miklasz hints that after the European leg of the Springsteen tour, he may return to St. Louis in time for the NHL playoffs.

"I guess everything dies, baby -- that's a fact," Miklasz says.

"But maybe everything that dies someday comes back."

FLASH: In an effort to reach more listeners, community-radio gabber D.J. Wilson tells the Worm he plans to talk louder on his Monday-night KDHX-FM show, Collateral Damage.

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