FAIR: A bouquet to Frank Viverito and his St. Louis Sports Commission for landing another three-year contract with the Missouri Valley Conference to hold its post-season men’s basketball tournament here. The commission is keeping the region’s basketball history and tradition rich. “Arch Madness” brings fans from all over the Midwest to the city each March to join local hoops junkies who play hooky for the tournament. The event will celebrate its 25th anniversary in St. Louis when the contract expires in 2015. Competition is heating up to get the event in other league cities, such as Chicago, Omaha and Des Moines. Absent the Arch, how could they host the madness?
— Deborah Peterson
FOUL: As of Wednesday morning, 16,495 people had signed a petition at the “We the People” section at Whitehouse.gov requesting that Missouri be allowed to secede from the union. Only 8,505 more names by Dec. 10 and the magic threshold of 25,000 names will be reached and someone in the Obama administration will “review” the request. Since there are secession petitions filed from 39 other states, the review could take some time. As an independent nation, Missouri would have to get treaty agreement to export F/A-18s to the United States, which would be unlikely to let us keep the nukes and B-2 bombers at Whiteman Air Force Base and the troops at Fort Leonard Wood. We could probably get by without a navy, but we’d need our own army, so taxes would be going up. We’d have to station guards and customs inspectors along eight different international (formerly state) borders. We’d have to buy the highways and bridges from the feds. The Park Service might repossess the Gateway Arch. We’re all for First Amendment right to petition for redress of grievances, but this is just a silly exercise in petulance.
— Kevin Horrigan