(ED. NOTE: This article appeared in the January 29, 2015 print edition of St. Louis Game Time which, if you may recall, was a special edition marking the 20th anniversary of fan-run papers in front of the
Kiel Savvis DrinkScotch Proud Mary Scottrade Center. I have decided to share this story with you because, much like the existence of Game Time, is relatively irreverent and somewhat inane, yet something that pulls together so many people. I hope you enjoy. And, as always, thanks for reading. -- DK)
As you have read about on the pages before this, you know, this is the 20th season that a fan-run publication has been sold outside this Yuppie Palace currently referred to as the Scottrade Center. You know that it started with Jeffio and the Game Night Revue, then continued with Sean and St. Louis Game Time, with Brad continuing the GT run.
It got me to thinking how I got my start here. It was rather weird, actually.
I want to say it started somewhere around 2007. I was working as a front desk person and "Copy Manager" at a small radio station in Litchfield, Ill. (about 15 miles north of my hometown of Staunton--which, if you've read this paper long enough, you may know is ALSO the hometown and town of birth of our Prospects Department). One of our regular on-air guests, who attends games from time to time, brought in this document-looking thing he'd bought at a recent Blues game. It featured a mean-looking logo and some really foul language. Now, this was an older gentleman, and if I recall correctly, he didn't particularly like what he was reading. So he gave it to our News Director, who at the time was a partial season ticket holder. He ended up showing this paper to me.
I was enthralled with what I was reading. These were MY people. Blues fans, lots of instances of the word "fuck" and so on. There was a website posted in this document, but I figured I'd find out about it soon enough, and I didn't even bother to remember the name of the damn paper before I gave it back to my coworker.
Fast-forward a couple weeks, and I started looking for this site. What was the name? Blues Game Time? Game Face? St. Louis Game Night? Fuck, I couldn't remember. I gave up the search.
Then, a friend (I wish I could remember who) forwarded me a link to a WordPress blog post previewing the 2008-09 Blues, thinking it would be right up my alley. Holy shit, was it. And holy shit, it had that logo! Oh, it's St. Louis Game Time! How could I fuck up that name so terribly?!
I lurked for a bit, enjoying everything I was reading. But I stayed out of the Game Day Threads for a bit because I didn't really want to engage yet. Then November rolled around, and I had a bit of free time on my hands following another high school football season spent broadcasting games in Central Illinois for the radio station. I decided to dive in under the moniker "Donut King," a combination of my college nickname (Donut) and a take-off of my ability to make myself look full of my own shit. I started meeting not just the other commenters, but some of the staff. And I was thrilled to find out that one of the writers (the aforementioned Prospects Department) was originally from my hometown. Small world, man.
Game Time's website was only on WordPress for another month before James Mirtle (now a Leafs beat writer for The Globe and Mail) asked the gang aboard SB Nation's burgeoning hockey blog network. The threads changed, but the tone didn't. This is where I started contributing from time to time in the form of FanPosts and FanShots. Late during the 2008-09 season, I met several of the principal writers of Game Time and folks who then were just commenters, like Poor College Student (who you now know as Tim Wiemers), Dan (DanGNR) and CrossCheckRaise (another Tim), who I now do a weekly Blues podcast with under the Game Time umbrella. All cool people.
Fast-forward to the middle of the 2009-10 season, my long-time friend and fraternity brother, Jeff Quirin, asked me to start writing at his blog, The now-defunct Bluenote Zone. Since the team was utter horseshit that season (if I recall, I started about the time Andy Murray was fired), I decided to write about fights. And I did for every game. It was a great way to let off steam because it was a tumultuous time in my life. My mother had just died a couple months prior, and after the season so would my father (FUCK CANCER). Writing about the Blues and their would-be fighters was the best way to get some pent-up energy out of my system.
This was noticed by current publication editor-in-chief, Brad Lee. ("Wait, when did you start blogging about the Blues?" "Well, just now, actually.") He asked me aboard the web portion of the publication. Ahead of the 2010-11 season (and, as it would turn out, a few weeks after Dad died), we had a gathering at Gallagher's house that I barely remember any of. But during this gathering, Sean asked me if I would write the "Fight Club" portion of the paper the next season. I gladly, and drunkenly, accepted. I wrote that section for two seasons.
My life changed again, in a much better way. I met this girl at a Blues game during an intermission gathering on April Fool's Day 2011. A few months later, we started dating. Less than a year after that (May 2012), I left radio to go into insurance sales. After that bombed out a couple months later, she and I decided to move to Montana for a fresh start.
Fortunately, there was a lockout around that time. When the lockout ended, I took a brief hiatus from writing (inadvertently leading to the death of Bluenote Zone--sorry, Jeff) which lasted until about the time I got an internet connection out here. By this point, Sean had handed the keys to the paper over to Brad, and Brad had handed the keys to the website over to Laura. I didn't write for either site or publication that season, but shortly after the season ended, I returned to write links posts at the website.
The next season, Brad started seeing crazy screeds about the Blues from some asshole whose name he recognized in his inbox. I can't remember how many games I was printed in last season, but it was more than five. Maybe 10. Definitely all the playoff games. But it was there.
This offseason, that girl I was dating (you may now know her as BluesMay) turned into my wife. We drove back to Central Missouri for a lovely ceremony at a secluded farm this past August. CrossCheckRaise, Jeff and Dan served as my groomsmen. Website "Behind The Numbers" writer, Robb Tufts, served as our officiant. Aside from the couple of people who stayed at the property overnight, the Game Time folks invited to the wedding stayed the longest. To say I've made lifetime friends out of the deal is to say very little.
Shortly after the wedding, I told Brad I'd write for him every home game this year. So far, I've delivered.
That's my Game Time story. When you think about it, it's rather innocuous. But I cherish every bit of it. And I kinda shudder to think how my life would have ended up had I not been sent that blog post reminding me of the name of that silly document with that awesome, mean-looking logo.