We may or may not have borrowed this idea from our friends at Pension Plan Puppets. They said we owe them Pietrangelo in return. They will probably get Steve Ott instead.
Today, you get to know Donut King--links coordinator, occasional columnist, half of the Beyond Checkerdome podcast and paper contributor to St. Louis Game Time.
1. Why/how did you become a Blues fan?
It starts before I was born. My parents were married in the late 60's, in the heyday of the Blues squads led by the likes of the Plager Brothers and Red Berenson. Mom and Dad--lifetime residents of the Illinois side of the river--would get cheap seats in the upper reaches of the St. Louis Arena, and though they were not fully familiar with everything they were watching, they were already big sports enthusiasts and were greatly enamored with the violence the game delivered. They went to a fair share of Blues games in the 70's, and became quite familiar with many of the nuances of the game, despite never playing it. I was born in the early 80's, and I've basically been a Blues fan from birth.
2. How many years have you suffered?
I'm 34 years old now, so I guess it's been THAT long.
3. Favorite player/moment
Brett Hull, hands down, is my favorite Blue. I sometimes jokingly say that Jamal Mayers is my favorite, and I adore the guy, but I'm not going to be crazy about this. I've had a great long-range admiration for Bernie Federko and Brian Sutter, but to put it mildly, they didn't bring anywhere near the excitement that Hull did. And I admired Hull's honesty and brashness, something you do when you're the loud-mouthed kid of a loud-mouthed mother.
My favorite moment closely mirrors that of our fearless Managing Editor, hildymac. That 1993 opening round series with the Blackhawks was incredible, but I'll go a bit deeper--Mom, Dad, my brother and I were at the final regular season game of that season. It was a home contest against the first-year Tampa Bay Lightning(s). The Blues needed a victory to ensure their spot in the postseason. They won . . . 6-5. And they blew a lead and nearly gave up a game-tying goal in the final second to boot. I was 12, and just couldn't believe what the fuck I was seeing.
4. How did you begin writing for Game Time?
Around the beginning of 2010, I decided to help a long-time friend of mine--Jeff Quirin--with a blog he was running called The Bluenote Zone. By then, I had been a commenter at Game Time for a couple years, and a loyal reader of the paper. Brad noticed that I had started to write, and began to wonder if I would mind writing over here. So I told him, "sure". Eventually, I'd become the Fight Club writer in the paper for a couple years, and now I write links here and columns in the paper.
5. Are you an out of towner? How does this impact your fandom?
I'm writing this as I prepare to move from Missoula, MT to some as-of-yet-unknown place in Missouri (at least temporarily, it may be the Jefferson City area). Montana is beautiful, but not if you're a hockey fan. I've had to get GameCenter the last couple years, and it really sucks when your team is good, actually, and . . . well, the Blues have been good lately, so a lot of their games are nationally-televised and thus blacked out. If I end up in Kansas City (which is a distinct possibility at this moment), I will have to order some kind of streaming service. It will not be GameCenter. But being well away from your favorite team(s) is not exactly a great thing when you're a fan, even in this day and age.
6. Do you have other hobbies other than hockey?
Where do I start?
I am a huge sports nut. Those who follow me on Twitter know that I am also an avid fan of the Cardinals (though don't get me started on this "Best Fans in Baseball" bullshit). I'm trying to stay away from the NFL this year, but I'm also a lifelong Denver Broncos fan. I've recently gotten into soccer a little more, and I root for Newcastle United F.C. in the premiership, Timbers F.C. of Portland in MLS and the new Saint Louis F.C. of the USL (and will begin rooting for an MLS team in St. Louis, if that ever comes about).
Music is basically the lifeblood of my existence outside of sports, and I tend to gravitate toward what I grew up with (90's alternative, classic rock) and indie artists. I'm a huge internet junkie and will consume just about anything that has to do with technology, especially podcasting and listening to podcasts. I've also become a bit of a business and currency news addict. I absolutely love to travel, which has been the greatest thing about spending a few years in the inland northwest. I don't drink as much now as I used to, but I have become a bit of a beer connoisseur in the recent past, especially since CCR and I started the podcast. Last but certainly not least, I enjoy spending time with my wife (whom you all know as BluesMay, whom you'll hear from later on in the series) and our two cats, Vladimir and Greta.
7. Favorite beer/beverage
I am admittedly the world's biggest IPA apologist. I don't really have a favorite beer or type of booze, but if it's an IPA, you bet your ass I'm drinking the whole thing. And if it's a shot of good whiskey or scotch, especially if it's poured over ice, I'm not going to deny it.
Though if you had to put a gun to my head, I'd probably tell you that Powder Hound Winter Ale from Big Sky Brewing Company in Missoula, MT is my favorite. It's not an IPA, but it basically tastes like one. And it is amazing.
8. How many more years do you think it'll be before the Blues win the Stanley Cup?
Had the Blues fired Ken Hitchcock this offseason as I had expected (and kinda hoped, after that turd of a playoff series), I probably would've told you it was happening next year. As it stands now, it might not be until the current "young core" makes it to full hockey maturity . . . and has a different coach. I'd like it to be sooner, but it may be five years at the earliest.
One thing I am adamant about, though . . . is that it WILL happen at some point. It's not a matter of "if", it's "when". For my sanity's sake, I want these fuckers to prove me right.
9. Most important lesson learned as a Blues fan?