Welcome to the refreshed St. Louis Game Time! To celebrate the new look and feel of our sports communities, we’re sharing stories of how and why we became fans of our favorite teams. If you’d like to share your story, head over to the FanPosts to write your own post. Each FanPost will be entered into a drawing to win a $500 Fanatics gift card. We’re collecting all of the stories here and featuring the best ones across our network as well. Come Fan With Us!
Hello. My name is Jamie and I am a St. Louis Blues fan.
When I learned about SB Nation’s plan to have contributors from every one of their NHL websites write about how they became a fan of their particular team, I have to admit, I wasn’t too thrilled.
For starters, my particular story is not that interesting and even less unique. I, like a lot of Blues fans, was introduced to hockey through my Dad. Not in a “you need to sit down and watch this with me” kind of way but more like “crap, Dad is watching the Blues game, I guess I will either have to watch it with him or go to my room and play” kind of way.
Even then, I never really paid much attention to what I was watching. I knew that when the Blues won that made my Dad happy, so that is why I cheered for them to score. Other than that, I really could not have cared less who won or lost the game.
I just wasn’t one of those kids who wanted to sit down and watch sports. I loved playing them and I loved talking about them but that is pretty much where it ended for me.
I think that is why it was hard for me to understand my Dad’s obsession with this franchise.
He would come home from a hard day’s work, change his clothes, grab a drink and then settle in for an agonizing three hours of Blues hockey. I just didn’t get it. Why would a grownup get so emotionally invested in a game they had absolutely no control over.
And the worst part was they always seemed to lose. Whenever it really mattered, whenever it really counted, the Blues always lost. In fact, that is how I knew that summer had officially started. The Blues would get booted from the playoffs and then we could move on to more important things like playing catch in the backyard or going for ice-cream on a weekday night.
That is pretty much how my childhood fandom would go. I would hear the names like Hull and Oates, The Great One, Chris Pronger, I would half-ass watch some of the games with my dad and then I would wait for the Blues to lose. All the while I remember my Dad just watching and waiting, waiting for something that never happened.
Yeah, it is kind of depressing.
It is funny how time can change a person. I went from a boy who loved playing sports to a man who is obsessed with watching them. I went from a kid who couldn’t understand why a person would become so emotionally invested in a team to a guy who arranges his personal life around the Blues schedule.
I have fallen in love with the game of hockey probably for a lot of the same reasons that my dad did. It is a tough game that is played by tough individuals. It is a game that combines physicality with finesse. It is a game that is played throughout the world but is still a mystery to a majority of Americans.
Because I love this game so much I, by extension, love the St. Louis Blues. I suppose I could cheer for any NHL team from Arizona to Montreal but I feel an almost civic duty to root, root, root for the home team. And there in lies the rub.
You see it takes a special kind of person to be a Blues fan. We could possibly be the most tortured fanbase in the NHL and it takes a special kind of someone to keep coming back year after year, season after season, to watch and wait for something special to happen.
And it will happen, I can promise you that. When exactly I don’t know but it’s coming. And I think that is what keeps me coming back for more. That’s what keeps me going to the games, that’s what keeps me writing for this website and for the only fan run paper in the NHL. It’s because it could happen at any time and, just like my Dad, I want to be there when it happens.
It’s not the losing that sucks, it’s the waiting that is the hardest part of being a Blues fan.
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