How deep does true passion run in a Blues fan? Go ahead and throw a log of wood on the fire up there and I'll keep going.
This dose found its way into the STLGT paper last month but I wanted our online readers to get it. Or pass it up quickly as they search for line arrangements for tonight's game or Ty Rattie's latest sad demotion ballad lyrics. I want to take a moment and celebrate the men and women who power the shit out of not only this great website but the paper that is sold outside every home game.
Let me tip my cap to a few true St. Louis Game Time warriors. After I dished out a few Cardinals Winter Warmup hot takes, I walked down to Scottrade Center last month to say hello to my Game Time partners in crime. Whenever I visit the Lou, there are a few things I need to do. Get some good coffee, eat some Italian food and maybe see some of my friends and colleagues. When I walked up Clark avenue from The Hyatt Regency Hotel and saw a man shouting, "Game Time. By the fans. For the Fans. 21 years and running. Four dollars of fun," I immediately knew what he was talking about.
Meet Rich, one of the tireless GT distributors that braves cold weather to dish out the goods on a game night as thousands of people walk past him. Rich(who officially enters John Wayne coolness because it's the same name as my dad) doesn't just sit out there like he's selling car insurance to a pack of electric car fanatics. He screams at the top of his lungs, politely, and truly sells the magazine. He may hand an enemy jersey a free copy to potentially make them less hopeless for night or he may just be offering up a fine batch of Blues talk(shameless plug). A lot of people in this world like to do something, do it, and then put it away. Rich doesn't just like Game Time. He believes in it. He breathes it. It's in his bones. He wears it like a badge of honor.
Fans, casual and addict sensitive, will walk past Rich and at least ponder the thought of what they are missing by passing up on a four dollar chance to get acquainted with hockey minded commentary manufactured for them. Instead, they will pound two piss water tasting Bud Lights and not buy a Game Time. Rich doesn't hold it against him. When they see someone else reading one a few seats down, they may ask to borrow it and read the Tom Stillman debate they missed out on. As players tells themselves after every loss, there is always the next game to get cozy with a fan made paper.
That's right. The people who sink their teeth into it, Brad and Heather, don't get paid for it. All the money made from the paper is sunk back into the production of it. They don't collect the funds and go buy Ken Hitchcock another Weight Watchers book specifically made for coaches who crave gumption tailored sweets. They redirect it back into it. It's all for the love of the game. For the love of explaining away a troubling team 24/7 for a season. According to Hughes, the only other team who does this sort of thing are the Chicago Blackhawks. Isn't that ironic? Not really. Fan bases that have a need to impose their will with the aide of ink do this.
I stood next to Rich and just listened. Enjoyed it. Let him do his thing. I didn't try to be that terrible karaoke singer who walks up to the person doing just fine and ruin the whole experience. At times, he noted I was one of the writers and I nodded. Rich and I talked hockey in between incoming crowds. I was tired when I first got up to Rich, the Game Time selling warrior. By the time I left, I was enlivened. Guys like him fire me up and I don't need a lot of firing up.
Sometimes I try to imagine if the St. Louis Blues hockey team put half as much effort into and finish into their ice play as Brad, Heather, Rich, and other distributors Amy(who I met in December), Bud, Clarence, Jeff , and Drunk Hitch. If they had as much passion as Jeffio, Childhood Trauma, Robb Tuffs, Hitch's Hat, Rick, Donut King, Franchise Goalie, Tim Wiemers, Drunk Girl, Brad, Brian and the block of contributors. Who knows what the record would be?
Call this a dedication or appreciation. I figured the rest of the paper carried enough juice. Magnus awareness. Tarasenko greatness and Robby Fabbri notoriety. Some Brian Elliott shoutouts for his testicle grit performance the past three weeks(or season).
Instead of filling another space with 800 words of maybe something you already heard(maybe not), I wanted to tell you about that guy on the corner of 14th and Clark telling you about a certain paper to buy. Remember this. It's all done for the love of the game. By the fans and for the fans. That at least was the founder Gallagher's original idea. The Lee's have kept it going for 21 years. Respect.
Oh, and go Blues! Full 60, 200 feet, good shots, and all that jazz.