A sobering lesson for Cardinal nation

Laura K. Silver is a trustee of the Jewish Light who writes a blog for the paper’s website (stljewishlight.com/laura).  She owns The Paper Trail of St. Louis, a financial and legal concierge service. Laura is married and the mother of two middle school age children.

By Laura K. Silver

As any other self respecting St. Louisan would tell you, I too am a true blue, I mean red, Cardinals’ fan. I have countless shirts to show my pride.  My kids own Build-A-Bear Fredbirds. I even converted my Boston-raised husband.

I will tell anyone how great the Cardinals are. But on one point, I cannot defend you.

March 22, 2007. April 29, 2007. October 26, 2014. What do these dates have in common? Cardinals driving drunk.  

March 22, 2007, Manager Tony LaRussa gets arrested for a DUI after falling asleep at a stoplight. He fell asleep at a stoplight, partially in an intersection, and the light cycled at least twice. He’s lucky no one else was around or that his foot didn’t come off the brake. It could have been a lot worse.

April 29, 2007. Weeks later, Josh Hancock apparently missed the memo from his manager saying not to drink and drive. He died after crashing into a tow truck. A tow truck—we’ve all seen them—lights flashing so bright that you see them half a mile ahead.  He was texting, he was driving, he was twice the legal limit.  He’s the poster child of what not to do. 

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October 26, 2014.  This one speaks for itself.  A blood alcohol content of more than five times the legal limit in the Dominican Republic, the equivalent of 15 drinks in two hours. Yet, he got behind the wheel and took someone else’s life along with his own. 

The Cardinals need a big time reality check. Our kids look up to these hometown heroes and the message they are sending is an ugly one.  Our stadium is named after a brewery, but every game has reminders telling the fans to be safe and drink responsibly.  There are even rewards specifically for those who sign up through the Budweiser Good Sport Designated Driver Program.   It’s long overdue for our beloved Cardinal players to take heed, to look up and read the reminders too.

Cardinals players, in case you haven’t gotten the hint, here’s my advice to you: Take a cab, call a driver, even ask a fan to take you home. Believe me, most of us would be happy for a few minutes in the car with you. 

We’ll even let you take a nap after you autograph our headrest.