With all due respect to the folks at firedupmissouri.com for their epic Tiger Blood match ups from previous years, we make a tribute band-attempt at hosting our own – The Whispering Gallery Invitational for the prestigious David Barklage Cup.
The rules are simple, and if you are familiar with the old Tiger Blood Tournaments, then you will be in good shape. If not here is the concept in short:
– The bracket is run like the NCAA tournament with a field of 64 leading to one winner.
– There are four regions. Winners advance to the final four. The seeds are below.
– When the Senate is gaveled into session on Monday, voting will open.
– Vote for whoever you want, for whatever reason you want, but we suggest taking into account social-media presence, quality of posts, responsiveness, opposition to the DH, and quality hair styling.
– No whining. Complaints about seeding, tournament administration, or anything else can be emailed to email@example.com. Don’t take this more serious than it is.
The winner’s name will be inscribed onto the prestigious David Barklage Trophy and will receive an exclusive prize package including: autographed door poster of Jeff Mazur, $5 gift certificate to Bones, and become an honorary coach on the championship legislative softball tournament team. The Missouri Times employees are not eligible for entry.
God bless the St. Louis Cardinals,
King of All Media Region (members of the media in some form or another)
1 Tony Messenger
16 Michael Calhoun
We start off the media region with a Post-Dispatch/KMOX standoff. Messenger has to hope he does better than the Broncos did being heavily favored in a big game. Calhoun is one of the hardest working up-and-comers on the St. Louis media circuit and is a favorite to score better seeds in years to come.
8 Eli Yokley
9 Dave Drebes
It’s the battle of two of the masters of the internet. Yokley is an up-and-coming journalist who produces his own website and writes for his hometown paper. He is the Raven of the Rotunda. Drebes starts the day with the political news like many political junkies. The web is their domain so it should be a competitive 8 vs. 9 matchup.
5 Jo Mannies
12 Rudi Keller
Its an old-school battle here with two veteran political correspondents squaring off in the King of All Media region in the Beacon vs. Tribune battle.
4 Jason Hancock
13 John Hancock
Hancock on Hancock violence is set to break out when the best beard in Kansas City, Jason Hancock, brings all the gravitas of the Kansas City Star – who touts Ernest Hemingway as a former employee – to tilt against KMOX radio personality and favorite son of St. Louis, John Hancock. Note: Seeding was set before John Hancock’s monumental case against the social decay of the designated hitter was outlined on his radio show last week.
6 Virginia Young
11 McGraw Milhaven
Can the KTRS/Post-Dispatch alliance withstand this inter-squad first round tilt in the King of All Media Region? Can McGraw use his KTRS morning show’s prowess to overcome Virginia’s years of institutional knowledge?
3 Mark Reardon
14 Jennifer Haro
This 3 vs. 14 matchup is a sleeper. Reardon has earned his high seed with his afternoon show on the “Voice of St. Louis”, a city where Haro has grown from her Missouri roots to foster an impressive internet presence with Upworthy. Keep an eye on this one.
7 Jonathan Shorman
10 Steve Kraske
Shorman is the new face of the Springfield News-Leader in the Capitol and this is his second session. Kraske has been unnerving Republicans (and Victor Callahan) for years. Compliment to Shorman for being favored over the Kraske institution.
2 Jason Rosenbaum
15 Marshall Griffin
Your tax dollars at work in this face-off of St. Louis Public Radio stars. Luckily the merger was finalized before the Whispering Gallery Invitational. Either would no doubt relish having possession of the prestigious David Barklage Cup back at the office for the other to have to see every day.
Political Hack Region (people who work the media in some form or another)
1 Jane Dueker
16 Missy Pinkerton
It’s gladiator vs. gladiator in this one. Duecker is a social media titan and Pinkerton is the lady-in-waiting to replace Rep. Colona. Polls will be closed before Thursday night so they can both concentrate, but ladies – one rule: Huck is not allowed to weigh in.
8 Ed Martin
9 Roy Temple
We have all been waiting for a confrontation between Martin and Temple since they both came to lead their state parties. Martin is a former candidate for several offices who has always been receptive to new media. Temple, also known as the “Puxico Punisher,” has a history in Democratic politics dating back to the infamous Crites campaign. This one should be bloodfest.
5 Caitlin Legacki
12 Gentry Trotter
Both of these masters of media know how to twist a tweet. There is no doubt that with both of their large followings and highly developed senses of humor that the prestigious David Barklage Cup would be in good hands.
4 Michael Sean Kelley
13 Megan Shackelford
The commissioner’s favorite first round match up here. In a quirk of seeding fate, two members of The Kelley Group are set to face-off. Mike (MSK) is all over Twitter and is the consultant most likely to be hired by Tim Jones’ doppelganger. Megan (MRS) is one of the rising stars in Missouri Democratic politics, frequently appearing on KMOX and being involved in most of the civic campaigns in and around St. Louis. Note: We suggest taking a look at the profile pictures of each prior to voting. Your heart will tell you the right woman to vote for.
6 Jeff Mazur
11 Sean Nicholson
Ahhh, teacher vs. student here in a match between these two men who seem to always be #winning. You would think that Mazur would be the last person in the field interested in winning a full length door poster of himself, but not so. In fact, he might covet it the most. Nicholson runs Progress Missouri and if this one gets nasty, some Tiger Blood could be spilled.
3 Richard Martin
14 Sarah Felts
Martin is a frequent poster on Twitter and a top Democratic consultant in Kansas City. Felts is a top tweeter and has now moved into a new communication position as well as being an effective advocate for newspapers to be diligent in recycling their beer cans. Star this one for one of those 3 vs. 14 seed upsets we see every year to happen.
7 Jeff Aboussie
10 Mark Jones
Ever tweet about unions or teachers? Then you know about these two. Aboussie heads the Trades in St. Louis and Jones is the best friend a teacher ever had. We actually should ask Sara Schuett to be the special guest referee in this one.
2 Richard Callow
15 Eddy Justice
Both of these men are those people in their respective regions to not piss off. Callow, close to the Mayor and all things St. Louis, is one of the top tweeters in Missouri politics. Justice has found new ways to use Facebook to elect Republicans in outstate Missouri. This one will be an interesting tilt, and for the record, we are fond of both!
MissourAH Region (not St. Louis or Kansas City areas)
1 Peter Kinder
16 Rocky Miller
The Republican Party’s top tweeter earns his #1 seed hailing from Cape Girardeau in Southeast Missouri with his frequently and often entertaining tweets. Representative Miller is a rising star from the Lake who is known to be heckled on this Twitter account by liberals from coast-to-coast.
8 Jason Crowell
9 Barry Aycock
Its a north vs. south battle here – North Southeast Missouri vs. South Southeast Misssouri that is. These two could not be more different. Crowell is a lawyer, Aycock a businessman/farmer. Crowell is a Republican, Aycock is a Democrat, and we could go on and on. This one will be interesting for sure and one has to wonder what would become of the David Barklage Cup if either of these two win it all..
5 Eric Burlison
12 Carl Bearden
One is right wing and the other is conservative. We will let you decide which in this match up of who is the #tcot.
4 Caleb Jones
13 Robert Ross
This will be a great outstate battle between a receding hairline and no hairline. Could the employees of Doe Run be the difference in pulling off an upset or will the man with the largest list of iPhone contacts in Missouri politics advance?
6 Caleb Rowden
11 Doug Libla
If we had to pick a sleeper here, it would be Rowden. Being a freshman, we handed him a #6 seed, but he has all the tools to rest the prestigious David Barklage Cup on the desk of the Gentleman from Boone. If there were gentlemen in the Senate, Senator Libla would be one. One of the rising stars of his caucus, can he convert that support into online votes? Either way, a good person advances in this one.
3 Todd Richardson
14 TJ McKenna
In a battle of second generation stars, future-Speaker Todd Richardson – the “Pride of Poplar Bluff” – has to ward off an upset from TJ McKenna, who is part of the third generation in the McKenna family representing Jefferson County. Could the gentlemen who is from the county that has been described on the Senate floor as “first in meth, last in math” pull an upset and take home the prestigious David Barklage Cup?
7 Elijah Haahr
10 Joe Don McGaugh
It’s a battle of #moleg freshmen lawyers, and we will see who can best mobilize their social media followers. Will McGaugh’s decision to actually hire a legislative assistant carry the day? Will Haahr’s Spanish language Twitter feed be a factor? Will the fact that Elijah – at last count – has 37 Twitter feeds payoff? Who knows how these #7 vs. #10 contests will turn out.
2 Chris Kelly
15 Dave Schatz
Many of you are likely asking if Rep. Kelly qualifies as MissourAH? Thats a fair question, but we chose to round up Columbia and give Boone County the benefit of the doubt now that Caleb Jones lives there. Kelly secured his seed by locking in a debate between himself and Peter Kinder. However, Kelly had better hope that Schatz doesn’t do to this field what he has done to the field of the 26th Senatorial District. Could the fact that Jane Cunningham even considered challenging Schatz mean the firefighters engage on his behalf? Will Mark Habbas interject himself into this first round match?
MissourEE Region (St. Louis and Kansas City areas)
1 Mayor Slay
16 Jon Carpenter/Jay Swearingen
The Mayor is such a prodigious social media player that we set this one up as a double team with representatives from the Kansas City area – Jon Carpenter and Jay Swearingen – in a handicap match. With Carpenter having a background in marketing and Swearingen having made the rounds as an auditor candidate, let us not forget Richard Callow has his own quest for the prestigious David Barklage Cup to consider.
8 Robert Cornejo
9 Mike Cierpiot
It’s old school vs. new school in this match up that spans the state. These two are pretty evenly matched. While Cierpiot has more experience in life and the House, Cornejo is a Cardinals fan who has karma on his side while Cierpiot continues to deny the “Travesty of ’85”. Let’s hope this one is a fair fight. If there is a close call, we promise to call in Helen Keller instead of Don Denkinger.
5 Jeff Smith
12 Antonio French
How about a little St. Louis Battle Royal reminiscent of Wrestling at the Chase? Jeff Smith knows how to use the internet and French is an alderman and former purveyor of PubDef. We just hope that whoever wins remembers the old adage, “Don’t hate the players, hate the game”.
4 Jason Kander
13 Ryan Silvey
And you thought we couldn’t find two Royals fans to square off… Kander contributes a great deal of quantity of social media activity, but Silvey does some quality tweeting including throwing some elbows at the King of All Media region. This is as close as a #4 vs. #13 match-up can be.
6 John Diehl
11 Mike Colona
Both attorneys, both from St. Louis, both Cardinal fans….and those are literally the only three similarities we could come up with. It could be the stylish new press head shots the slim and trim speaker-elect took before session that makes the difference.
3 Tim Jones
14 Tishaura Jones
Its Jones vs. Jones in this first round match up. One tries to cut your taxes and the other tries to make sure you get the hell out of downtown in under 30 minutes. Many will give the advantage to the Speaker – but look out for the lady who could be the future mayor of St. Louis to make this a tight match up. If this one ends up being settled in the ring, we are hoping Michael Sean Kelley is the special guest referee. The winner of this one could leave the rest of the field trying to keep up with the Joneses.
7 Jamilah Nasheed
10 Eric Schmitt
Jamilah runs one of the most honest and entertaining Twitter feeds in Missouri politics and Schmitt has a go-to account for Cardinals tweets. Some are asking why is the Senator from the 15th a #10 seed? Well, I’m glad you asked – his inability to stand up for our American way of life and offer legislation to outlaw the use of the designated hitter in our state would be why. While we have the Arch and not the Brandenburg Gate, its time for our leaders to stand up and say, “Mr. Selig, tear down this wall of tyranny that is the designated hitter.”
2 John Lamping
15 Jason Grill
Lamping earns his #2 seed by having both interesting and biting tweets. If our newsroom could only follow one feed, it would be his. Grill will put up a great fight in the first round as he has know how to drive web traffic. This will be one of the more interesting #2 vs. #15 match ups to watch.
Scott Faughn is the publisher of The Missouri Times, owner of the Clayton Times in Clayton, Mo; SEMO Times in Poplar Bluff, Mo.; and host of the only statewide political television show, This Week in Missouri Politics.