By Brad Lee
With the Blues playing well and selling out five of their six home dates so far, game nights are fun again in St. Louis. So the Blues organization should start acting like it and improve the game presentation.
Now it's not nearly as bad as the train wrecks they put on down the street at the Edward Jones Dome a few Sundays a month, but there's definitely room for improvement. For instance, I've had enough with the 1980s soft rock music. The Metallica they've been playing to cross-promote the upcoming concert has been a nice change. But I know I've heard Journey or a band or bands that sound like Journey. Where's the Rush? Hockey crowds are also Guns N' Roses crowds. Keep Axl, AC/DC and Rage Against the Machine coming. Burn the Duran Duran, Eddie Money and Men At Work.
And speaking of music, what's the deal with playing music during the fights? Hockey wants to be taken seriously, including the fighting. Enough do-gooders want to take it out of the game, don't cheapen it by putting on the "Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting" song. Don't put any song on. Fighting is a part of the game. Don't make it look like a circus sideshow.
And speaking of circus sideshows, please Blues, never, ever play the goddamned "Cotton Eyed Joe" song ever again. I'm begging you. Let me explain.
Several times a season they mistakenly play the "Cotton Eyed Joe" song. It's rock. It's country. It's Hoosier. And every time they play it, some douche bag runs up to the stairs by the Top Shelf and does a dance. They even have a flashing strobe light making sure people know where to look to find this dancing fool. Unfortunately, he does it no matter what is happening during the game he's attending.
During the 2002 playoffs, the Blues were facing the hated Red Wings. Detroit led the series 2-1, but the Blues had a chance to send it back to Murder City knotted up. That was until Chris Pronger took a run at Steve Yzerman. Stevie-Y ducked the oncoming hit, Pronger flew out of control over the turtled Yzerman, landing on his knee and writhed on the ice in pain. He had to be assisted off the ice and it was clear his series was over. You could feel the air leave the building. Detroit pounced and took a 4-1 lead late into the third period. The season was ending in front of our eyes...and then they played that fucking song. And like some Richard Simmons attention whore, a Nathan Lane wannabe, the guy did his dance. The Blues, despite the horrid song, scored two goals to make it competitive but fell 4-3 and ended their season back in Detroit.
I get it, dude. You have a dance. A lot of people apparently enjoy it. Fine. Only play it when the Blues are winning. Otherwise, if they play it during a losing game and I'm in the area, I will get in your way and stop your dance. As long as I don't get arrested.
Speaking of attention whores, can we please stop putting Towel Boy on the ice before the home opener? Can we keep him off the jumbotron? He tries to act like he's a super fan. But where was Towely during the ice storms the last two years? Why does he autograph his towels before the game? Why does he have his own hockey card? Personally I think it's funny when section 307 urges him to jump. It was also funny when he tried doing his shtick during the Frozen Four a few years ago. He was quietly ignored.
I've come to accept the mascot. Just give him pants and never, ever let him wear the "Blues Brothers" black suit and glasses costume. That movie glorifies Chicago. No thanks.
When someone other than Charles Glenn sings the National Anthem, I'm disappointed. My buddy Chris last year during a game almost turned around and told a guy to shut his mouth because he was singing over Charles. So Blues, just do whatever it takes to make sure he sings as often as possible. The alternative would be to show video of the 12-year-old girl who sang in the early 1990s before becoming a Britney Spears backup singer. No, that would not be creepy at all.
Keep Angellllla, the host of the TV timeouts and intermission contests. We give her crap in the Game Time paper and she's a good sport about it. She's much better than that moron Big Jake from two years ago or That One Guy who runs around Busch Stadium with Fredbird's girls. Jake was barely literate and Todd Thomas can sound a lot like a wedding reception DJ.
One of the more interesting things the Blues do is give the opposing team a hard time. It used to be cartoons. Then they had an employee dress in the other team's sweater to do something mean to him. Now it's 1,001 uses for the other team's jersey. The Kings sweater in the bathroom paper towel dispenser was a nice touch. It's smart. It's well done, just like many of the "Separated at Birth" segments where they find lookalikes to movies and TV shows. And when the woman who was compared to Pam from "The Office" last year flipped the bird on camera, it made it memorable.
I also like the organist out in the open next to the Top Shelf. Cool touch. Never get rid of the organ. Some fans feel very strongly about the organ.
What do you like during Blues games? What don't you like (other than them losing to Detroit again)? Tell me in the comments.