The following words are my article from Saturday night’s Game Time paper. I wanted to post it on the website in the hope that it helps people understand why the paper and this website are so important to so many people. Believe me, this is my least favorite article from Saturday’s paper so if you even mildly like what you read here I can guarantee you like what’s in the paper. Did I mention you can get every paper delivered digitally to your inbox? If you would like one and don’t know how to get it then email me at jmannigel01@gmail and I’ll help you out.
If you are reading this then its probably a pretty good bet that you read Monday night’s paper. And if you read Monday night’s paper I’m sure you read Brad’s article. It started out so upbeat and happy, talking about the fun we had at the game last Saturday night. Then it took a pretty steep nosedive. It went from upbeat and happy to down right depressing. I know he already talked to you about how the paper is struggling and needing some help but if it’s ok I’m going to give my two cents on the matter as well.
It used to be that when I first started going to Blues games I had a certain routine. I would sit in my seat, drink my drink, eat my food and watch the game. I might get up and walk around during intermission but for the most part I would stick to myself. I would watch the game and I would cheer or cuss and then I would go home. That was my idea of a good game.
When I was at home it was much the same. I would sit in front of my TV and drink my beer and watch the game. I would listen to J K call the game and I would get my commentary from Bernie. When the game was over, whether they won or lost, I would shut the TV off and go to bed. That to me was being a Blues fan. Sure I would have my own opinion of how the game went and if so and so should have played better but there wasn’t really anyone to talk to so that’s as far as it went. And deep down inside I always felt like I was missing out on something. Like there should be more to hockey than just watching the game and reading about it in the Post-Dispatch.
Then one day a friend of mine gave me this paper they had bought outside the game. I remember thinking that I had always seen guys outside selling something and I had always wondered what it really was. I honestly thought it was just some kind of program that was put out by the Blues.
It took me a couple days but I finally sat down and read it. I was blown away. Can they really say “fuck” that many times in a paper? Did they really just call our coach a fat ass? It was the wildest thing I had ever read. And the best part was it was all about the Blues.
It wasn’t long after that the same friend started getting the digital subscription. And although I don’t condone this practice, he would forward me his copy. After about a month I was hooked and I had to get my own. It was like my eyes had just been opened to a whole different dimension of being a Blues fan. I no longer just watched the games, I was looking for what they had been writing about.
And then I realized there was this thing, this social media thing were you could see what other people were saying about the game. You could pick who you wanted to follow, you could like what they were saying, and you could converse with them. And it occurred to me that all the people I followed had one thing in common, they all read Game Time. Finally, I realized what I had been missing. It was people. Not just any people, people that were as crazy about the Blues as I was. I had been missing Game Time.
I often wonder what Jeffio, and later Gallagher, were thinking when they started this paper. I wonder if they ever imagined how many lives they would touch through this rag. I wonder if they even realize it today.
Because you see, Game Time isn’t just a fan run paper. It isn’t just something you buy and read. It isn’t something you can describe to someone. It’s an idea. It’s a state of mind. It’s a belief.
It’s a belief that like minded people can get together and by doing so can make the game they love that much better. It’s an idea that fanatics of a particular team can join together in one voice. And with that voice they can ever so slightly alter the trajectory of their favorite team. It’s more than a group of people talking about hockey. It’s a family. It’s a way of life.
I think there is a common misconception that people who write for this paper do so in order to push their opinion onto the readers. And yes, one of the reasons some of us write is to voice a like or dislike we have with the Blues. But the biggest reason that all of us write for this semi-famous (regionally) fan run hockey paper is because once upon a time this paper touched us in one way or another and this is our way of giving something back. If there wasn’t a publisher to put the paper together or if there were no writers or if there was no one to buy the paper then this thing would not exist. Everyone has a part to play.
Maybe next time you buy a paper you buy an extra one and give it away. Or maybe you let the other hockey fan in your office read your digital copy in the hope that they too become addicted. Or maybe you don’t do anything. The decision is yours to make. All I ask is that you take a second to think about what your life would be like without this paper. Would your game day experience be better? Would you find a better group of people who are more dedicated to this team? Is this something you want to see disappear forever? I hope I know the answer. Thanks for supporting Game Time.