As I sit here on this total eclipse day, with absolutely zero students present, I figured I’d accomplish something non-work related. Summertime kind of sucks, pre-season hockey feels ages away, and watching the Cardinals is more frustrating than anything else. We all need a distraction, and the Game Time crew is giving you one in the form of some introductions. Most of you guys know me, but hey, no harm no foul.
Also I may’ve self-plagiarized a bit. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned, it’s ok as long as you cite yourself (Hildy 2015). This is that.
Why/How did I become a Blues fan?
When I was a little kid, I was very spoiled by being able to watch Brett Hull and Adam Oates play in games televised on KPLR. I was never a super active child, preferring books to sports, but I really loved playing hockey in PE. Once I saw it on TV, on ice, and how damn fast it was just captivated me. I was hooked.
I have a grandmother who encouraged me to collect hockey cards as an investment, as I am sure every 8 year old little girl does. My mother, who was a Blues fan going all of the way back to the first season, was less than thrilled. I now have two boxes full of cards, old and new, in a closet that are worth about two grand. Who's the person throwing their money away now, Mom? (hint: it's still probably me).
I memorized all of the stats and players that I could, on the Blues and on other teams. I watched games whenever I could. I played the hell out of NHL 94. I love Patrick Roy and Jaromir Jagr thanks to Gran snookering me into spending money on tiny pieces of cardboard and nasty-ass gum.
My favorite moment will never not be this:
My favorite guy to ever wear the Note is Brett Hull, of course, and I was crushed when he left to go to Dallas. I owe a lot of my love of the game to him, and the older that I get, I really appreciate how lucky I was to be a Blues fan during his time here.
How did you begin writing for Game Time?
Back in 2008, Brad noticed my replies to posts and thought they were pretty ok. He asked me to do a weekly feature, Tuesdays with Hildy, which was me debating current issues in hockey and the Blues. This format worked because I was the debate sponsor back then for the school that I teach at, and because I am capable of seeing every side of an issue and then arguing with myself over it.
During the lockout, Sean and Brad both were pooped, so they asked me to take over the site in January of 2013. Sean wanted his life back from the paper, and Brad needed to focus full-time on running and editing Game Time. So, here I am. Blame them.
Are you an out of towner? How does this impact your fandom?
I live in Atlanta, which means that I have to watch ECHL hockey and my local university's club team. This is more fun than it sounds. The internet makes it easy to be an out of towner, since I subscribe to GameCenter Live - it's a pleasant change from when I had to move down here 23 years ago and I was forced to exist entirely on newspaper clippings sent to me by my grandmother. I will say that sometimes the quality of streaming on the app and the lag time make it feel like I’m watching on-line c. 1993, so maybe life isn’t much different now.
I wear Blues gear out and about, and once in a while I will strike up a conversation with another Blues fan. These conversations focus on both playoff disappointment and how "meh" they think living in Atlanta is. Both things are discussed without fail. There are a lot of other hockey fans around here too. It’s like a secret society, and seeing another team’s logo is like a secret handshake. It even works with Hawks and Wings fans.
Do you have any other hobbies outside of hockey writing?
I just wrapped up my doctorate, so I have my life back! Aside from hockey, which I freely admit is my numero uno hobby, I also like to cook, bake, collect cookbooks (too many), and read. I’m a history teacher so most of the books that I read are non-fiction books about Russian and English history.
I also am a giant 35 year old child who watches cartoons in excessive amounts as a form of escapism. I’ve been fascinated by animation since I was little, and I’ve also found that watching an episode of Bob’s Burgers or Steven Universe is a wonderful way to escape from the world.
Absolutely anything by Urban Chestnut, especially Zwickel, Apotheosis, and Schnickelfritz. I enjoy brewery tours, and the breweries down here are barred from selling food (because The South, apparently, wants people to consume alcohol with nothing on your stomach). I miss going to UC and having an awesome meal and a ton of beer.
I also drink entirely too much coffee and I, like most people of my generation, have an unhealthy addiction to LaCroix (Peach-Pear FTW).
Most important lesson learned as a Blues fan
I said it the last time we did this feature and I’ll say it again: patience.
And fuck Mike Keenan.