There has been a fan-run paper sold outside Blues home games since January 1995 when the Kiel/Savvis/Scottrade/Enterprise Center opened. If you bought the paper in the early days, it was run by a different guy under a different name. Hopefully the paper you read today has the same spirit and dedication to following the St. Louis Blues.
In the beginning, it was called Game Nigh Revue — many still just call it GNR. Sorry, Axel. It was pioneered by a South City gentleman known as Jeffio, and it offered an unbiased look at that night’s Blues game. Jeffio was inspired by an underground publication in Chicago aimed at calling Hawks owner Dollar Bill Wirtz every name in the book. Jeffio wanted to give voice to regular Blues fans who had felt disenfranchised moving into the new building he affectionately called Yuppie Heaven. Maybe the season ticketholders who got booted from their seats felt the same this summer during the second round of renovations.
Anyway, Jeffio lived by his motto. No, not “willing to call a piece of shit a piece of shit,” but get drunk and be somebody. Through 10 seasons, Jeffio cranked out the GNR. It got me hooked. After reading my first GNR, I had to get one for every game I attended. I read and reread every page.
And then in 2004, the NHL shut down. Into 2005. The league cancelled an entire season. And during that long layoff, Jeffio realized he had better things to do with his free time than publishing the paper. He called it quits and produced one last issue at the beginning of the 2005-06 season. That’s when front page writer Gallagher stepped into the breach.
Insanely embracing the next man up philosophy, he fired up the fan-run publication. He called his Game Time. Early in November 2005, GT hit the streets during one of the bleakest seasons in franchise history. Fun fact: Gallagher got to write about zero playoff round wins during his time as publisher.
For seven seasons, Gallagher ran the GT ship. For some reason he let me write and then he asked for me to write more. When the next lockout hit in 2012 and bled into 2013, he called it quits. The paper was close to ending. Well, I couldn’t allow that to happen. I picked up the torch and I ran with it. And now at the beginning of the 2018-19 season, this will be my seventh year as the guy in charge.
I’ve made this analogy before. Say John Bon Jovi’s favorite song is “Livin’ On A Prayer.” Not too hard to imagine. And his favorite song, he loves to hear it live. I mean, loves. He gets aroused hearing that song — especially live. But the only way to hear it live is to play it. So he schedules a tour and rehearses and gets even tighter leather pants so he can hear his favorite song live.
I love Game Time. I would feel naked, like I was onstage without ridiculously tight leather pants, without carrying the publication inside the game and having it to look at throughout the night. If I have to make the paper to carry it, that’s fine with me. I’ve made some of my coolest friends, laughed the hardest, done the most shots with and enjoyed being a Blues fan most with people I’ve met through Game Time. That’s why I’m back for another season. Plus the Blues could be really good and I’d hate to not do the paper a season where they could be really good.
There isn’t anything like the publication in the NHL. There’s a monthly newsletter in Toronto. Monthly. And there have been papers sold outside Wrigley and Fenway. The guys who picked up the torch in Chicago gave it up and went with a website only after the Blues eliminated the Hawks in seven games in 2016. That can’t be unrelated.
I hope you give the paper a try. It’s made by Blues fans for Blues fans. If you’re not a big fan, you probably won’t get it all. If you’re a diehard Blues fans, you will probably think it was made for you.
Thanks for reading.