Such a silly little franchise. Always has been, always will be. I remember one summer day back in 2002 when I was trying to decide which item from the Red Wings’ latest Stanley Cup championship I would buy. Do I buy the hat? The shirt? Both? Oh, but I also need the DVD. And a window flag. Sigh. Being the fan of such an awesome team is hard work. Then I got to thinking about Blues fans and how they don’t have to worry about this kind of thing. Ever. I got mad.
Mad, I tell you!
Ha! Not really. It’s a great problem to have.
Well, since you made the jump, I should take the opportunity to talk about St Louis a bit. The team, the fans, the history… All will be discussed in this post.
A couple years ago, I was driving through St Louis when I drove by that big arch they have there. That arch is so typical of St Louis.
Engineer: “Let’s build the tallest structure in the world!”
*Builds half of it*
Engineer: “You know what? Never mind. Let’s head back down.”
So often the Blues thought they had what it took to be the best. So many times they were wrong. So very wrong.
If you’ve read Bob Probert’s book, Tough Guy, you’ll know that he was offered over $2 million a year to play in St Louis. Probert said something to the extent of “No @#$%ing way.” Chicago offered about half of that and he signed there. That really says a lot about a franchise when an enforcer turns down over a million dollars to avoid it. Let that sink in for a bit. Especially if you’re a Blues fan.
If you think about it, we should all love the Blues. (We don’t and won’t, but hear me out.) The Blues are sort of like an AHL team for superstars. Guys like Hull, Shanahan and Pronger spend year after year learning how to lose and lose hard, then they take their strong desire to win to actual hockey teams. It’s fitting that St Louis was the only team that Pronger couldn’t take to the Stanley Cup finals. Even Edmonton made it, for crying out loud. Edmonton! But not the Blues. Hull couldn’t win there, Shanahan couldn’t. Dallas Drake. All had to leave St Louis in order to have a shot at the Cup.
St Louis is also the go-to place for aging relics to prove that they no longer have what it takes. Gretzky was there for a few seconds, but bailed as soon as he had the chance. Grant Fuhr lost a bunch of weight and went on to prove to the world that he had the ability to lose in the first round to the Red Wings, just like most other starting goalies.
The following teams have been to more Stanley Cup finals in the last 30 years than the Blues:
That means St Louis is one of the 8 teams left from the last 30 years who have not been to the finals. Let’s take a look at those teams:
Some are chokers, some are bottom dwellers. The Blues have been both. It’s glorious.
Blues fan: “Datsyuk elbowed Jackman in the face! Darren Pang said so!”
Shrink: “It looked like it was his shoulder. Here, look at this picture and tell me what you see.”
Blues fan: “That’s an elbow! It’s an elbow!” *rips up picture, throws it, curls up in the fetal position, sobs* “You believe me, don’t you?”
Shrink: “I believe that you believe it.”
I would usually feel bad for the Blues and their fans, like I would feel bad for stray dogs and cats, but they’re in our division, so they they must be destroyed. And they will be. Again and again, because it’s what Detroit does best. What was your favorite series/game/victory of the Blues? And you can’t say Yzerman’s OT winner in game 7, because everyone would say that. And for good reason: