Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Why I Bleed Blue!

The Blues have always been the team of the people. A real working man’s team. Besides the days of Brett Hull and the brief Wayne Gretzky stint, we’ve always had some of the lower paid players, but the players with the most heart. People come and stay in St. Louis because they know even in the worst seasons, the fans don’t turn their back on the team.

I went to a few games at the end of the season last year when playoff hopes were gone, and the crowds still came out to drink over priced beer and scream until their voices were gone. That’s dedication. Hell, the Phoenix Coyotes were doing great last year, and they could barely keep the place open.

It’s not a one way street either.

Buy a ticket to a Blues game and include your phone number on the ticket site. I’m telling you, it’s worth it.

For months after I purchased tickets, the Blues would have a PR guy call me every few weeks just to talk hockey. He didn’t pressure me into getting more tickets or trying to recruit other people. He literally just called to talk hockey. Then at the end of the conversation he’d ask if I were going to any games soon, and if I said no, he would give me his personal phone number and say if I wanted to go to a game, call him and he would get me a deal on tickets. That’s real PR.

It’s not just the back office either that’s accessible.

I follow several Blues players on Twitter.

@DP_57 – David Perron

@bradwinchester – Brad Winchester

@pberglund21 – Patrik Berglund

@erikjohnson6 – Erik Johnson

They update pretty regularly and you get a great insight into their non-hockey activities. Not only do you get to see that these guys are just normal people, but they use their celebrity. At least once a week there’s some charity event or skate with the fans that the boys in blue attend or run. They are constantly giving back to St. Louis somehow.

There’s a lot of talk this year about how the St. Louis Blues really don’t have a strong offense and there’s no way we’re making it to the playoffs again, but I tend to disagree.

See, last year we had a fairly competent offense. We didn’t have giant scorers, but we had heart. If not for the rocky start of the season, the Blues would’ve been a force to reckon with. I know, there’s a lot of excuses you can make when your team doesn’t make the playoffs. Oh, if it wasn’t for that one injury, or damn if the Blackhawks didn’t sweep us in December we would’ve made it. But it’s true. The Blues had one of the best records in the NHL during the last half of the season. (This is also a curse, because its been true for two or three seasons now.)

If you look at the bottom two or three teams that made the playoffs from the Eastern conference, you’ll notice that the Blues had more wins and points than them.

A lot of people complained about the home record last year too. I must say, it was a very rare and very odd occurrence for a team to lose that much at home. The thing is, I happen to be lucky. Of the four games I went to last year, the Blues won all of them.

So, tactic one for the Blues to win the cup this year. Buy me season tickets. I’m obviously good luck. Before the season even starts we have 41 wins in the bag, and if the Blues play as well on the road as they did last year, we’re looking at something like 63-64 wins for the season. The Sharks didn’t even come close to that many wins last year.

Now there’s another reason I think the Blues are going to do great this year, and that’s the playoff beard.

Most the young guys on the Blues can’t grow the facial hair so well, which is why I think they’ve struggled so much in the past. I’m sure TJ Oshie and Brad Winchester try their hardest to get that facial hair going, but from what I’ve seen in pictures, it’s not a strong enough hockey beard.

I started growing my beard as a “Get Well Sallie” playoff beard, but I’ve decided that I will officially dedicate my beard to the Blues. I will only trim it up and keep it clean enough for corporate America. By the time the Blues are hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup above their heads next spring, I’ll be able to braid my beard like a Reggae artist.

Blues fans, you can thank me next spring.