Bernie Miklasz says Super Bowl is reminder of St
ST. LOUIS Bernie Miklasz is a rocker but we’re not talking music. The 101 ESPN host often rocks in his chair during his daily 3 hour talk show before telling you exactly what he thinks.
“You don’t treat a Carlos Martinez as if maybe there’s something wrong with him just because his personality is different,” Miklasz told his audience during a recent segment about the St. Louis Cardinals.
There’s also framed memorabilia from the E Street Band: a photo with guitarist Steven Van Zandt, an autographed ticket stub. Miklasz said he’s seen Bruce Springsteen in concert 121 times.
With apologies to The Boss, baby he was born to write. Miklasz said his grandfather often wrote letters to the editor, while the late Bernie Senior encouraged his son’s love of newspaper writing.
“My father was so kind. Every day he’d stop and get every newspaper and then I would devour them and read the sports of course first,” recalled Miklasz. “So then we would go to games, Colts games, Orioles games, whatever, or even if we were watching a great game and I would get so fired up I’d go to my room and write a story about it and hand it to my father and show him.”
Before Miklasz left the St. Louis Post Dispatch after 26 years to concentrate on radio fulltime, he estimated he wrote over 10,000 newspaper columns.
That includes his column about Game 5 of the 2005 National League Championship Series between the Cardinals and Houston Astros, the night one column wasn’t enough.
“I’ve got a column filed. And the column is ‘Cardinals lose, season over,'” said Miklasz. “And I’m telling you as soon as we press the ‘send’ button, you know, Cardinals lose, boom! Pujols just hit a home run. He hit it halfway to Dallas. We gotta re write our whole stinking column.”
Surprisingly one of St. Louis’ most influential sports voices doesn’t have a college degree. Mizklasz dropped out of community college and learned journalism on the mean streets of Baltimore after the now defunct Baltimore News American hired him as a teenager.
“They’d say ‘c’mon kid we’re going to take you out. There’s a triple homicide in West Baltimore’ and I’d go out to these crime scenes and he’d say, ‘go talk to that cop.’ That’s how you learn journalism by doing it,” said Miklasz.
At times during his broadcasts Miklasz gets personal, whether talking about the death of a parent, or his lifelong struggle with weight.
“It’s probably the number one challenge of my life and the number one thing in my life from childhood on that has been the thing that has been with me every day,” said Miklasz. “It just pulls me down, the frustration, just feeling stupid, worrying about my own health, knowing that I’m putting family, knowing that I’m causing them to worry. Believe it or not I’m in a pretty good place right now so, really healthy, lost 50 some pounds. So, things are good. At least I’m working on it.”
It didn’t help that his grandparents owned a general store and let Bernie eat whatever he wanted.
“So that’s where this curse started, me just running wild through my grandparents’ store eating all the sweets,” he said.
Miklasz has covered 32 Super Bowls and thinks Philadelphia has a good chance to defeat New England. He came to St. Louis in 1986 to cover the St. Louis Cardinals football team which eventually moved to Arizona.
He’s also covered the Rams arrival and departure, so the Super Bowl is now a reminder that St. Louis has lost two franchises and is likely done as an NFL city, which doesn’t sit well with Mizlasz.
“It’s like this city was doomed as an NFL city. Incredibly poor luck and some mistakes made along the way,” said Miklasz. “I hate that stain on the reputation of St. Louis as a sports town because it’s terribly unfair.”