I’m not here to write about the Blues impressive win over Vegas last night, the goaltending situation (did that in Thursday’s paper), or the disgusting power play. I want to talk to you about the St. Louis Game Time paper, the best Blues commentary in the country, world, and even galaxies far, far away.
A paper that stands as the ONLY fan-made paper in the NHL (suck it, Hawks), and a publication that has been going on for over 20 years (in other words, Jay Bouwmeester’s rehab assignment). However, if you’ve read the paper this season or listened to our editor in chief, Brad Lee, the current season has been a struggle for vendors, sales, and the distribution of the paper in general.
Quite simply, not enough people are buying papers, and since this is a passion project by Brad’s family and everyone at the paper, that makes the continued production more difficult as the calendar months drop and the years pass. This doesn’t mean the paper is ending-I don’t make those decisions, thank god-but it does need some help, or a boost. So, let me tell you why this paper is so fucking great.
Pour a beer or glass of red wine, and allow me to Don Draper the fuck out of you.
The first reason also happens to be the most important: Game Time has the best Blues coverage in town, hands down. All it needs is a greater reach. St. Louis needs the Blues Game Time wildings, and we need you.
Who else can give you a front page story with gold on the ceiling (Jeff Jones variety), pages of commentary with biting humor and fan loving profanity, beer buying tips, cartoons, ridiculous record when tabulations, and a fleet of writers who aren’t all bald and clueless? The answer is no one.
How about those vendors out there braving the brutal winter wind chill in order to provide you with a paper? You could give them an ass tap for their hard and often selfless work. They don’t make a ton of cash, but do it for the love of the game instead. Their efforts can sometimes add up to zero sense, but repeats itself due to passion. Nothing happens at the Game Time paper alone. It’s all a united effort of maniac hockey fans who have a definite need to impose their will, and a route to do it. Fox 2 finally caught on and interviewed mad hat vendor Jeff Smith recently-that is, after his face thawed out from the frigid temps.
Recently, Lee and Jeff Jones hosted a Game Time Drive Time podcast from The Gaslight, a recording studio near the Hill. President Chris Zimmerman came out, Jeremy Boyer provided the soundtrack, and Steve’s Hot Dogs on the Hill provided the grub. Readers, writers, and Blues fans hung out and watched. A couple made it on the Facebook live stream, and there will be more.
A podcast, a paper, a website, legions of fans, and respect from inside the organization can only mean one thing: this damn paper works and is beloved, but needs your help.
I get asked every week how they can be acquired and the method is as simple as pouring a cup of hot coffee into your mug: an old school physical copy costs four dollars outside Scottrade for two hours before every home game, but if you can’t make it downtown, the PDF version can be sent to your email in the morning. For that and subscription offers, you just contact Brad at firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s right, folks. Hot coffee, a paper in your email, and a bagel in the toaster. Let’s millennial the shit out of this thing!
Suddenly, you will be one of the cool Blues kids who has the goods that others want. Like Steve Stifler in American Pie. Billy The Kid in Young Guns. Judd Nelson’s John in Breakfast Club. Like You’ll crank out a one liner about Allen not being good enough to hold Cujo’s jockstrap, and a mob will gather around you in protest-but in the end, good hockey conversation will erupt. You’ll make a case for trading Jordan Kyrou, and while death may be at your doorstep thanks to the futuristic stat fortune telling nerds, the bravery will be worth it due to the paper being clutched like a weapon in your hand.
You know what the coolest sight at a Blues home game is? It’s not Angella Sharpe connecting with a youngster, or Vladimir Tarasenko tapping on the boards at his wife and kid before puck drop. Both of those things are absolute delights, but even better is seeing a Game Time reader hand off his paper to a complete stranger. It’s like a father handing his son a copy of “Catcher in the Rye”—if the novel had a bunch of fucks in it and pictures inside. It’s the Game Time way of paying it forward.
We need more of that. Tell a friend about the paper. Meet me on the Hill for a cup of coffee and I’ll bring you a paper. You can grill me over calling Jake Allen a timeshare prodigy. Trust me, I can handle it. Call out Jason Fink for defending Alex Steen. He’s tough. Convince Brad Flick that Allen loves him dearly. Do it all. Supporting the paper includes praise, criticism, and plenty of drawing between those lines.
I know what you are thinking: a thousand words about supporting a fan-made paper may be too much, but I don’t know how to keep things short, and the length here only defines the depth of the passion. I give a shit about Blues prose in this town. So should you.
The first time I got in a paper came on a whim. I had written for the site for a few weeks and got some courage to ask Brad about a published piece. I didn’t know who Brad was, on the phone, in an email, or face to face. He could be Mr. Rogers with a beard or Vader without a cold. It turns out he was a gracious dude looking for writers, even ones who bordered on incoherent nonsense. I’ve written for over 100 papers, and it’s something I’m proud to do.
Let’s keep it going. Spread the word about the paper. Here are the next few home games:
Jan. 9, 20, 23, 25, 30. Subscribe beforehand. I’m sure Brad will toss you a copy of yesterday’s paper to lure you in. I’ll be your Doug if a roasting is needed.
Let’s. Do. This!
Thanks for reading, please buy more bourbon, and tip your waiter.