This Is Not Flyover Country

Be ready Los Angeles. Be ready.

Dear L.A.

Hey, California. It's St. Louis. Yeah, put your pimp cup down, dig out your map app on your bedazzled phone and look us up. Hint: We're in the middle of the country.

You probably had to fly over us to get to California when you started chasing your dreams of being in the movies when you were a kid in Cleveland or Pittsburgh or Detroit. Now you're waiting tables and sitting in traffic six hours a day hoping to get discovered by a casting director who is illegally using the carpool lane.

Look, we know the weather is nice in SoCal. The scenery is nice. You have a beach. We get it. And we don't give a shit. Everything is too expensive, the people are all too perfect looking and the way of life is foreign to us. I've visited. I get it. My current playoff beard is almost as long as the one I grew while sitting in traffic driving from Long Beach to LAX. I could have walked faster. Or asked for a ride from one of those assholes who ride crotch rockets between cars in traffic.

If you weren't facing the Blues in this round of the playoffs, I might root for your Kings. Our teams have some history in common. Both started in the league at the same time. Zero combined championships. Not always taken seriously by the hockey establishment. Even when one or the other of us had Wayne Gretzky. By the way, sorry about that. It's not like he did us that much good either. And you did get Roman Vopat out of the deal. We got a turnover in the neutral zone, no backchecking and a rising puck over Jon Casey's shoulder in double overtime of Game 7. We're fucking even.

It's hard to really hate you, L.A. Because no one takes you seriously. Kind of like how no one takes us seriously. But that's only going to make this more bittersweet when your team gets sent to the beach and ours goes to the third round. Here's the difference between our team and yours: The Kings are happy to be here. The Blues expect more. Mark my words. The Blues will exert their will over your team. They will pressure your team. Your team will break.

So at the end of the series, you can head down the PCH to Huntington Beach and get a bite to eat at the pier, do a little shopping and watch the sunset. And then wonder what you're going to do tomorrow to enjoy your little congested, overpriced, plastic paradise. Meanwhile, we'll be getting ready for more hockey. But that's okay. Remember, we're just flyover country.

St. Louis

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