There are a lot of famous places to get BBQ in the St. Louis Area. From Pappy’s to Sugarfire, St. Louis has gotten a lot of recognition for their BBQ, but in my opinion, there is not a place better than Gobble Stop Smokehouse.
Located on the corner of Olive and Fee Fee, Gobble Stop is famous for their poultry. My go-to order there is the ‘Double-Up Platter.’ Orderings this from the menu allows for you to taste my favorite items from the menu plus two sides. The order comes with Turkey Ribs and Chicken Wings, and once you’ve tasted these Gobble Stop Specialties, you will never want to order pork again.
Turkey RIbs are not something that I was familiar with until my experiences with Gobble Stop, and let me tell you, they do not disappoint. I have not been able to enjoy traditional ribs the same way, due to the Turkey Ribs being a much more enjoyable experience. The Turkey Ribs from Gobble Stop are cooked to perfection, and slide right off of the bone. This is a must try from their menu, and I promise they won’t disappoint.
An item that I have had hundreds of times would be chicken wings, yet I can’t say that I have had much better than Gobble Stop. They offer a wide variety of sauces, but the chicken is so flavored, you do not even need sauce. If you do get sauce, I would recommend to get it on the side, so you can experience exactly what I mean.
All in all, I am very serious when I recommend trying Gobble Stop Smokehouse out for yourself. Their service is excellent, the smell is amazing, and the food will knock your socks off. If my recommendations for what to order does not suffice, then there are plenty of other options for you to order and I guarantee you will be pleased. St. Louis BBQ is underrated among the rest of the country, but I promise you that Gobble Stop is up there with the very best in town.
During the pandemic, a lot of movies were pushed back to 2021. There were plenty of Superhero films set to come up last year, but none were as anticipated as James Gunn’s ‘The Suicide Squad.’
James Gunn has brought plenty of fresh ideas to this genre through The Guardians of the Galaxy and The Guardians of the Galaxy 2, but in his first movie for the DCEU, Gunn has left it all out there. This movie was hectic from the very start with a lot of humor. The standout performances for me were John Cena’s Peacemaker and David Dastmalchian’s Polka-Dot Man. Both performances allowed for over-the-top humor with excellent delivery.
This was not a perfect movie however, as with this many characters, at times, it felt like some were sent on different missions because there was not enough for the whole team to do together. I would even argue that this movie did not need Margot Robbie back as Harley Quinn. She is amazing in this role as always, but after her own movie, I felt like she was only added to The Suicide Squad because the people behind the scenes knew they were guaranteed viewers if she were in the movie. I really enjoyed Birds of Prey, and I would prefer a Birds of Prey 2 before seeing her in another Suicide Squad.
Idris Elba establishes himself as the lead rather quickly, and he is a compelling character in everything he plays. At times, it felt like they wanted to keep Will Smith’s Deadshot as the lead, due to their similar skillsets, but I believe that Idris Elba was a lot better in this role that Will Smith was in his back in 2016. Will Smith had a lot worse of lines to work with, but I think that at the end of the day, Elba handles his role as the leader of the group a lot better than Smith ever did.
All in all, this movie set out to be a Summer Blockbuster, and I think it delivered. Suicide Squad (2016) was the worst Superhero Movie that I have ever seen. The Suicide Squad (2021) did a soft reboot, and I think that the movie checks all of the boxes that they set out for. James Gunn’s movies have gained a lot of hype throughout the years, and I do not think this movie is better than either of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, but I still would strongly recommend this film to anyone who wants to sit down for two hours and have a fun time. Overall, I would give this movie an 83/100.
In one of the most active Trade Deadlines in a long time, the St. Louis Cardinals elected to avoid any major moves, instead targeting established veteran Left-Handers J.A. Happ and Jon Lester. With Adam Wainwright, J.A. Happ, and Jon Lester all over the age of 37 years-old, this puts St. Louis at the oldest pitching rotation in the MLB.
The goal of the St. Louis Front Office is pretty clear. Acquire arms that can throw strikes. I do not hate the move, but by making this the only move in a ‘Win Now’ season, it is head scratching. St. Louis has a pretty severe need for Left-Handed Batters as well, but there were not any moves made. It would have been nice to see an aggressive play for a Left-Handed Bat, but I would have settled for a bat to begin with. At times, this team can be extremely frustrating to watch. Their Offense slumbers when the pitching is on fire, and then when we figure out the bats, out pitching can’t throw a strike!
The two pieces off of the 40-Man Roster that were traded were John Gant and Lane Thomas. I was very high on both Gant and Thomas entering this season, but both were in need of a fresh start somewhere else. Gant has been excellent at times out of the bullpen, but after being stretched out into the starting rotation, he lost nearly all of his control. I would not be surprised if Gant figured it out with the Twins, but it felt like it was his time to go.
Lane Thomas was an exciting prospect in the 2019 season. Thomas came up, and showed flashes of being a professional hitter with average to below average fielding. He would miss a lot of time with injuries and never returned to the same player he was in 2019. With the emergence of Harrison Bader and Tyler O’Neill as strong defensive outfielders and average to above average right-handed bats, there really was not a path to playing time with the St. Louis Cardinals.
All in all, there is a lot of negative feelings towards the lack of moves at the deadline for the St. Louis Cardinals, but I do not see this as a bad thing. I like a lot of our prospects, and the asking price of the top tier guys was too much for my taste. It is also important to remember we will be getting Miles Mikolas and Jack Flaherty back soon. St. Louis will also be expecting Jordan Hicks back sooner rather than later. I hope the offense can step it up soon, because that was more of my concern entering the deadline. All moves can look good on paper, but it is important that they work out on the field. As of July 31st, the St. Louis Cardinals are undefeated in the Lester-Happ Era.
The Offseason for the St. Louis Blues has been a busy one through the first few days. As of July 30th, St. Louis has elected to let Jaden Schwartz, Mike Hoffman, and Sammy Blais go in order to add Pavel Buchnevich and Brandon Saad.
I have previously discussed the Sammy Blais and a Second-Round-Pick for Pavel Buchnevich, but the interesting aspect of this move that has happened since is the contract extension that has been offered to Buchnevich. St. Louis and Buchnevich have agreed to four-year 23.2 Million Dollar Deal. This solidifies that Pavel will be a member of the St. Louis Blues for a while, and hopefully shows signs that the Blues will be able to keep fellow Russian Forward Vladimir Tarasenko.
The other major move that St. Louis has made is acquiring Brandon Saad through Free Agency. The Pittsburgh native was a thorn in the side of St. Louis in the previous Postseason, scoring three goals in the Avalanche’s sweep of the Blues. Saad and the Blues agreed to a five-year 22.5 Million Dollar Deal. This is five million dollars cheaper than the deal that Jaden Schwartz signed with the Kraken, so it will be very interesting to keep track of their production compared to the value of their contracts.
All in all, I would be shocked to see the Blues being content with the current roster before the season. As I mentioned before, they lost three starters from the previous season in Blais, Hoffman, and Schwartz. I would like to see them at least take a chance on an established NHL starter like they did late in the offseason last season with Mike Hoffman. It is hard to trust the younger guys to step up that have limited experience, but if this is the case, The Blues need to see improvements from Jordan Kyrou and a few other young guys.
After an exciting Expansion Draft, the St. Louis Blues were left with Tarasenko and Blais still on their roster following the Kraken taking Vince Dunn with their pick. With many questions still looming over the fate of Vladimir Tarasenko, the Blues have made a move, shipping out Sammy Blais and a Second Round Pick for Pavel Buchnevich.
Pavel Buchnevich is a 6’3″, 196 lbs. Forward who has spent the previous 5 seasons with the New York Rangers. In the 2020-21 Season, Buchnevich recorded 48 points through 54 games, with a Plus/Minus of +12. Buchnevich also managed to record a career high in penalty minutes with 42.
This move has the potential to lead to a lot of things for the St. Louis Blues. Turning Sammy Blais into a Top 6 Forward hedges the bet of if Blais can fully develop. A lot of St. Louis Media thinks of this trade as a steal for the Blues, and I tend to agree with them. This could lead to the Blues letting Jaden Schwartz walk in Free Agency due to no longer needing to overpay to keep Schwartz. If this is the case, I would hope St. Louis can lock in an extension with Buchnevich, as the 26-Year-Old is on a one year rental at the moment.
Another hope that I can think of is the potential of keeping Vladimir Tarasenko happy. Adding another Russian Forward could be the Band-Aid that St. Louis needed to satisfy Tarasenko, and hopefully rebuild that level of trust that has been lost over the past two seasons. Only time will tell if this move will be a good one, but if St. Louis can make any of these potential outcomes happen from this trade, expect big things from the Blues this season.
The St. Louis Cardinals have entered the second half of the season looking like an entirely different team. There have been a few hiccups here and there, but the entire morale has been different than their horrid month of June. St. Louis has rallied behind strong defensive plays from the likes of Harrison Bader, Tyler O’Neill, and Edmundo Sosa, and these plays have shown signs of life from the once dead Redbirds.
It is easy to overlook the contributions of Edmundo Sosa now that Paul Dejong is back in the lineup and playing better than before, but Sosa has proven to be a spark in the lineup whenever he does get his chance. Sosa made a terrific play to get Rizzo out at home this past weekend, and this would come as no surprise for the St. Louis Broadcast. We have been told how great Sosa is as a defender, but making high IQ plays to save a game is better than we could have anticipated entering the 2021 Season.
Tyler O’Neill and Harrison Bader were question marks entering the season, but have shown significant improvement on their all-around games. I was one of the many fans who believed that O’Neill was a fluke Gold Glove Winner due to the shortened season, but I have been proven wrong through the July 23rd Mark. O’Neill has shown a willingness to put his body on the line to save a hit for his team, and has become a fan-favorite because of it. He has also improved at the plate, striking out less, and holding his OPS above league average following his early IL stints.
Harrison Bader is also impressive in his approach at the plate. Bader flirted with the Mendoza Line in 2020, yet has shown to be a completely different player this season. Bader has had multiple stints on the IL as well, but has completely changed midseason and is as hot as anyone in the game of baseball at this point at the plate.
Harrison Bader is this team’s ‘Sparkplug.’ Bader has made heroic plays in the field, while batting better than anyone would have expected. I have always said if Bader can be around an 80 WRC+ and continue to be the best defensive Center Fielder in the National League, then I will take it. While he has been amazing in the field, Bader is currently batting a 108 WRC+ with his K% currently down from 32% in 2020 to 15.8% in 2021.
The St. Louis Cardinals have seen contributions from many different faces, but I wanted to give some shine to these three. Dylan Carlson had a great series against the Cubs, Goldschmidt has heated up since the All-Star Break, and out pitching has improved throughout the rotation, but none of this success would come without the significant contributions from Harrison Bader, Tyler O’Neill, and Edmundo Sosa.
With the upcoming Expansion Draft looming, fans around the league are trying to figure out which of their favorite players are going to be leaving their teams. In the case for the St. Louis Blues, it is really a three person race to see who will be headed to Seattle and become one of the faces of the Seattle Kraken.
The first and most likely person who will be taken according to many experts from the St. Louis Blues is Vince Dunn. Dunn is a 24-Year-Old Defensemen who has shown a lot of promise for the St. Louis Hockey Team. When healthy, Dunn is an Offensive Minded Defensemen who has shown a lot of growth alongside the likes of Colton Parayko, and the young pairing of Defensemen would be missed.
The next most likely person to be taken from the St. Louis Blues is disgruntled star, Vladimir Tarasenko. I have covered the Tarasenko saga in-depth previously, but in short, Tarasenko feels his health was not managed correctly by the St. Louis Medical Staff, and he would like a fresh start elsewhere. Tarasenko also believes he should have been named captain in the past. As a diehard St. Louis Blues fan, it would be tough for me to see Vlady in another uniform, but if that is what would make him the most happy, then who am I to be sad about it. If Tarasenko is the pick for the Kraken, I wish him the very best in Seattle.
The third and arguably most sad to lose for St. Louis would be 25-Year-Old Winger, Sammy Blais. Blais has shown more upside than Dunn throughout their young careers, and it is important to note that when healthy, Blais has improved the St. Louis third and fourth lines tremendously. Blais has shown flashes of greatness in his young career, but has also lacked the consistency to prove he is a top 8 Forward. There is a reason these guys are all left unprotected, but of the three, Blais is likely to have the best future as a member of the St. Louis Blues.
All in all, it is a tough scene to “hope” for one of your favorite players to be taken from the St. Louis Blues. I would love for none of these guys to be taken, but it just is not going to happen. Rumors are swirling that Dunn is the pick for the Kraken, which leaves a lot of questions for St. Louis. The Kraken taking Tarasenko is a no-brainer if money was not an issue, but no one really wants to payout his contract, including St. Louis. Dunn or Blais would be the two best options for Seattle, but any of the three would not be surprising to me. Only time will tell who will be the best choice for the Seattle Kraken, but let’s just hope they make the wrong decision.
When it comes to Fantasy Football, there is not as much value on a winning Quarterback as there is in the actual NFL. This distinction is important to remember when reading my list of the Top Five Fantasy Football Quarterbacks for the upcoming season.
5. Dak Prescott
Dak is going to be my most controversial pick of the group, and I believe that this is within good reason. Dak is on the Cowboys who have a terrible defense, but might have the most well rounded Offense in regards to talent, but the only thing holding this offense back is Mike McCarthy. I like the potential of Kellen Moore running the show, it just depends on McCarthy passing the reins and allowing some fresh blood into the offense. Dak places fifth due to the talent around him. If the Offensive Line can stay healthy, Dak will put up huge numbers in the shootouts that Dallas will be a part of, making him a fun own in Fantasy Football this year.
4. Lamar Jackson
You know what you are going to get when it comes to Lamar Jackson this year. He is going to run the ball well, and avoid hits to the best of his ability. I think Lamar has improved tremendously as a passer, but he is still League Average at best, and this is coming from of one of the biggest Lamar truthers in the world. I love Lamar, but the reason he only places Fourth on my list is the lack of Receiver talent in the offense, and the ability to rely on a receiver to bail him out. I believe that Lamar will be a better fantasy Quarterback than Dak for the simple fact that Rushing Touchdowns and Rushing Yards are worth more than Passing Touchdowns and Passing Yards. I see Dak being a better Quarterback in the passing metrics than Lamar, but let’s be real. You are not drafting Lamar Jackson to be a passing Quarterback in Fantasy Football.
3. Josh Allen
In a similar manner to Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen has improved exponentially as a passer through his young career. For my money, Josh Allen has had the strongest arm in football since the moment he stepped onto the field. Allen has a lot of athleticism and is a physical runner in the Redzone, and as played out as the comparison is, his season last year reminded me a lot of MVP Cam Newton. Allen could have easily been named MVP last season, and I expect Allen to continue to improve with even more weapons on the outside for him to use.
2. Kyler Murray
Does this pick surprise you? Well with Aaron Rodgers and Deshaun Watson looking more and more like they won’t be playing this season, it opens up some opportunities for Kyler and Dak to sneak into the conventional Top Five Fantasy Football conversation. If those two Quarterbacks were playing, you can slot Watson in at Three, and Rodgers at Two, but I am planning on Kyler having a breakout season regardless. Kliff Kingsbury has been doing a lot of things to bring the most out of Kyler. This includes a Spread Offense, Talent surrounding him, and a guy named DeAndre Hopkins to open up the scheme entirely. Kyler has a remarkable arm, and is one of the fastest players in the NFL. I would go as far to say that Kyler is the closest thing to Michael Vick that we have seen in the NFL and I only see him improving this season.
Because of course it is. Patrick Mahomes is the best Fantasy Football Quarterback and it isn’t even close. If you consider Rodgers and Mahomes to still be stride for stride in the talent department, you can’t deny the talent that surrounds Mahomes is 10 times as good as Rodgers has on the Packers. With Travis Kelce being the best Fantasy Football Tight End in the NFL, Tyreek Hill being the most explosive player in the NFL, and the Godfather of Forward Thinking Offensive Play Calling in Andy Reid, picking Mahomes as the first Quarterback taken in the NFL is a No-Brainer.
With the 2021 All-Star Weekend in the rearview mirror, I wanted to remember the last time the festivities took place in St. Louis, Missouri. This was the 80th All-Star Game in MLB History, and only the second game to be hosted in St. Louis.
The St. Louis Cardinals had Yadier Molina and Albert Pujols starting the game and First Base and Catcher respectively, with Closer Ryan Franklin in the National League Bullpen. This would be Yadier Molina’s first All-Star Game of his Hall of Fame Career, and it was really special to see two of the pillars for the St. Louis Cardinals representing the National League on the grandest stage.
The ceremonial first pitch would be thrown out by President Barack Obama, who was handed the ball by Stan Musial. Say what you want about Cardinal Fans claiming that we are “The Best Fans in Baseball,” but it was hard to argue that fact on the night of the 2009 All-Star Game. The ovation for their Redbirds was deafening, and it is a lot of fun going back and watching Yadi get honored for the very first time, as we have grown used to it by 2021.
I love the All-Star Game, but revisiting the Home Run Derby all the way back in the peak of power that was 2009 was special. Sluggers such as Prince Fielder, Adrian González, and Nelson Cruz had a lot of hype around their performances, but the two names that really stand out to someone from St. Louis are Albert Pujols and Ryan Howard. These two men were arguably the best hitters in their primes, but with the Derby being held in St. Louis meant that Howard and Pujols would be getting loud reactions.
Albert Pujols would get cheered for being one of the greatest Cardinals of All-Time by St. Louis, but it was special to see Ryan Howard attend the festivities in St. Louis because he grew up less than 30 minutes from Busch Stadium. Kids who grew up around St. Louis grew up idolizing Ryan Howard, even spreading stories about him hitting home runs onto rooftops in Ballwin, Missouri. Howard was a local legend to St. Louis, and it is really cool to see Howard get the respect he deserves that night.
All in all, I feel like this is the best All-Star Weekend that I can remember. I was not alive to see Griffey in the derby, so Prince Fielder’s performances were the best that I have ever seen. Am I biased because I was in attendance at this derby? Probably, but it is a memory that I will cherish forever and look forward to the next time the ‘Mid-Summer Classic’ rolls into St. Louis.
It is a sad day for St. Louis Blues fans. News has broke that the 29-Year-Old disgruntled star has requested a trade to leave St. Louis. Tarasenko has played 531 career games for St. Louis, over the past 9 seasons, but is reportedly frustrated with the current situation of the team.
Vladimir Tarasenko quickly became a fan favorite for the St. Louis Blues. In just his second season, Tarasenko tallied 43 points on the year, with 21 goals and 22 assists. This was only a glimpse into his bright future where Vlady would go on to record 73 or more points per season. This would include his only 40 goal season in the 2015-16 season. This 40 goal season would launch the then 24-Year-Old Star into worldwide superstardom as Tarasenko would grace the cover on NHL 17.
Vladimir Tarasenko would continue to be an elite Forward in the NHL following him grace the cover of NHL 17. Not only did Vlady continue to play well, but his team got even better. St. Louis would go on and win the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history, and Tarasenko was an impact player in that helped secure some important wins down the stretch. Little did St. Louis know, this would be the last full season from Tarasenko prior to requesting a trade earlier this week.
Vladimir Tarasenko has two potential reasons to be upset with the St. Louis Blues. It has come out that following his injury early in the 2019-2020 season, Vlady feels that the training staff of the St. Louis Blues has mismanaged his shoulder injuries which means he has missed more time than necessary. This would be extremely upsetting as a player, and I believe that this is a key component to Tarasenko being frustrated, but I do not see this as the only reason Vlady would be mad.
Entering the 2020-2021 season, the St. Louis Blues lost Alex Pietrangelo in free agency to the Las Vegas Golden Knights. With the long term captain of the team no longer a member of St. Louis, Tarasenko felt it was his turn to step up and be named Captain. This would not come to fruition, as Ryan O’Reilly would surpass Vlady and become the new Captain of the St. Louis Blues.
All in all, this whole saga is disheartening to the fans. Vladimir Tarasenko has become a staple of the St. Louis Blues, especially to the many new fans that surfaced in the recent team success. I do not remember a time where Tarasenko was not a fixture of the St. Louis Blues, and I am still holding out hope that this does not change.