Something has been wrong with watching hockey since the spring of 2020. Remember those St. Louis Blues games, the ones involving a tall, honest man named Jay Bo? Do we remember what it felt, looked, and sounded like with fans inside a hockey arena? Please remember!
I can’t wait for that phony, overwrought fake fan noise to be brought to a conclusion. There’s nothing like a millennial shouting, “SHOOT”, at the top of his lungs, as if Colton Parayko will have a chip activate inside his brain, thus setting off a collarbone-snapping shot. It doesn’t work that way, but damn do I miss it.
Watching games on television isn’t the same anymore. The advertisement seat pullover tent looks nice for a period, and then you start to wonder who stashed the fans away during the intermission. It’s like the pregame skate broke out in a game before everyone could show up.
Thankfully, news broke today via KMOX News that the Blues would be allowing up to 1,400 fans inside The Enterprise Center next month. The next home game will look a lot different. 1,400 isn’t 19,000 screaming heads, but it will due. It’s a start. The beginning of the roar, minus the bacon-unless we’re talking about Justin Faulk’s porn mustache. The origin tale of the double bacon cheeseburger is locked inside that beauty.
Hockey is the sport where you don’t need to be there in order to experience the game. The boards moving around after a thunderous hit, the echoing voices of hockey players communicating mid-action, and the overall chaos from the bench comes through on television. A live game is something else, but you can ruin an armchair watching a Blues game on an otherwise ordinary Tuesday.
A crowd means everything. It doesn’t have to be a large crowd. One of the biggest reasons playing ice hockey was the most fun I had with a sport was due to the fans. I was a goon for the Brentwood Eagles. You didn’t pass the puck to me for good intentions; coaches assigned numbers to me for hunting. And when I threw every pound I carried into another player, and saw the faces of the fans in attendance, I went ballistic.
The pros talk about it all the time. Cam Janssen raves about it on his 590 The Fan radio show. The fans make the game seem bigger no matter how you view it. February should see the return of fans inside the Blues home arena for the first time in eleven months.
As the first real snow falls on St. Louis, I’ll raise a glass to that.