By Sean Gallagher
I really hope the Blues are upset right now. Mainly because I am. Yes, I may have partooken in too many giant Coors 2x4's in the old-school Coors-can beige container beezos tonight, but it struck me nonetheless.
I love playoff hockey. I hate playoff hockey when my team isn't playing. I'm used to watching the Blues lose a playoff series and then taking off the next series because I'm too mad to watch anyone play on past them. I'm used to then hating and rooting against the team that knocked mine out.
Tonight, as I looked at my computer's desktop, which is a Bobby Plager/Barret Jackman montage I thought about how much Bobby Plager has given to the franchise over all 40 years of its existance. From the first penalty minute in Blues history to the first assist in franchise history to serving as an alternate captain, assistant coach, minor league coach, head coach for the Blues and "special assistant/media guy", Bobby Plager has lived and breathed this team more than anyone in the world. I assume he is upset when the Blues miss the playoffs. I'm sure he is torn up by it.
Barret Jackman better be torn up by it. He's seen the playoff battles and I'm sure he wants to go back. He'd better know that the kicks at the can that a pro gets are usually limited to fewer than 10. And that's if you have an exemplary career. He wears an "A" for this team. He'd better be pissed.
Just by happenstance, I looked from the computer desktop to the floor. There lay my copy of the "Note By Note" book, with its hardcover shell embossed bluenote staring back at me. And that's when it hit me that I'm really upset about the Blues missing the playoffs.
And suddenly I thought, "they all better by upset". Because it's just not fair that they get to be paid like rockstars, be treated like superheroes, play a game for a living and I have to feel bad when they underperform.
I've heard people be upset when Chris Pronger was spotted smiling at a Cardinals' game the day after his team was ejected from the playoffs and people who were stunned to see Jay McKee atÂ a Sabres playoff game this year after the Blues' season ended. At the time IÂ thought those people were crazy. Athletes are allowed to be people, I thought, and should be allowed to put their jobs behind them.
Until I got sad looking at that bluenote on the ground.
Why the hell do I have to be upset if they aren't upset? Better yet, why aren't they upset if I'm so upset? Tell me that the Seinfeldian "we root for uniforms" cliche is not true. Tell me that beyond the millions they actually care. Tell me that my season tickets and personalized jerseys and bluenote gear and bluenote books aren't stupid monies wasted on just rooting for a uniform.
Tell me those guys care. Tell me that they shed tears like a pansy when they let us down. Tell me that they worry about disgracing the Bluenote. Tell me that they feel bad for the fans when they have a bad season.
Tell me that I'm not rooting for "sports entertainment".
Tell me I'm not wasting my time.
Tell me that Bobby Plager lives in these players.