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Me and the Blues


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#1 Nuclear Dish

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 07:27 AM

On January 20, 1985, I opened the Baltimore Sun Sports section, and realized that I didn't have a rooting interest in any NHL team. This bothered me, because as a sports fan, I thought I should root for a team in every sport.

The Caps? No way. They were from Washington, and as a Baltimoron, I never rooted for Washington teams (although, of all the Washington teams, the Caps are the least problematic).

As an O's fan, I knew that you absolutely did NOT jump onto a bandwagon. It always bothered me that the Spankees picked up so many fans around the world that way.

On the other hand, I didn't want to root for a loser, either.

So I went to the standings and looked for the absolutely most average team I could find. That team, it turned out, was the St. Louis Blues, sitting at 18 wins, 18 losses, and 8 ties (you can look it up).

The team finished slightly better than .500, and got swept by the North Stars in the first round, but I was encouraged. The next year, they again finished slightly above .500, but this time they made a playoff run, all the way to the 7th game of the Campbell Conference Finals, only to lose a heartbreaker, 2-1 to Calgary. Now I was hooked.

The next couple years weren't pretty (not that they were so awful either), but then on March 7, 1988, everything changed. That's the day Brett Hull came to town.

The 10 years that followed were nothing short of breathtaking, at least to watch. No championships still, but at least the hockey was exciting.

And then, times changed. Things went sour, Hull left for Dallas and won a Stanley Cup there in his first season (a dagger to Blues fans hearts). In 2006, the team missed the playoffs for the first time in over 20 years, and it just got ugly.

Finally, finally this year, the Blues are back! They won their first division championship in 11 years, narrowly missed winning the President's Cup, and with the Canucks on the ropes, are about to become the favorites in the Western Conference.

Is this the year they finally break through and get to the Stanley Cup Finals? (I know, they made it a few times in the '70's, but that was before I knew what hockey was.)

Let's Go Blues!
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"Three thousand years of beautiful tradition, from Moses to Sandy Koufax..."

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#2 Adam Wolff

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 02:30 PM

I'm not even a hockey fan, but as a sports fan, that was an awesome post!

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#3 JeremyStrain

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 02:52 PM

Sorry, I can't forgive you guys for Scott Stevens... ;)
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#4 You Play to Win the Game

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 03:13 PM

The Blues are a fun team to watch this year - I think the series between them and the Preds will be one hell of a matchup to decide the West. (If it comes to that, which I think it will)

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#5 Pedro Cerrano

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 04:27 PM

As a Red Wings' fan I wish nothing but the worst for your team (unless you're playing the Blackhawks).


Sorry!

There is baseball, and occasionally there are other things of note

"Now OPS sucks.  Got it."

"Making his own olive brine is peak Mackus."

"I'm too hungover to watch a loss." - McNulty

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#6 Nuclear Dish

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 04:56 AM

As a Red Wings' fan I wish nothing but the worst for your team (unless you're playing the Blackhawks).


Sorry!


Ha! That's funny. I feel the same for your team (although I'm not sure whether I hate the Wings or Hawks more)!

So I need to ask... how did you get to be a Red Wings fan? I'm full-well expecting it to be a bandwagon thing. Why else would anyone outside of Michigan root for them?

"Three thousand years of beautiful tradition, from Moses to Sandy Koufax..."

-Walter Sobchak


#7 Pedro Cerrano

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 08:54 AM

Posted Image

They were the best team (or at least the most fun) to play as in that game. Sergei Federov was a freaking beast, faster than anyone else on the ice.

I always played as them, combined with the fact that the Wings were one of the few national teams that were usually on TV back then (and, sure, they won) and it just stuck.

They're #2 in my heart, though, as I can't forsake my beloved Caps.

There is baseball, and occasionally there are other things of note

"Now OPS sucks.  Got it."

"Making his own olive brine is peak Mackus."

"I'm too hungover to watch a loss." - McNulty

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#8 Nuclear Dish

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 09:00 AM

Honestly, I've never heard that one before. Someone becomes a fan of a team because they were the best team to play in a video game. [Shaking head] Modern technology.[/Shaking head]

I tend to root for the Caps a bit too, simply because I don't have anyone else to root for in the East.

And I've had to start rooting for the Canucks because my wife is from Vancouver. I dread the possibility of VAN-STL in the conference finals. You should have seen how tense it was in my house for the Gold Medal game in the Olympics 2 years ago. She wasn't speaking to me when it was close, and she blamed me for my son rooting for the US instead of Canada. Had the US won, I am convinced we might have had to seek counseling.

"Three thousand years of beautiful tradition, from Moses to Sandy Koufax..."

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#9 Nuclear Dish

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 09:02 AM

You know what, I sort of take that back... I became a HUGE Bo Jackson fan because he was unbeatable at TecmoBowl. I didn't root for his team (I hate the Raiders because I was became Chargers fan when the Colts left until the Ravens came to town), but I did root for him, so I guess I can see what you are saying.

"Three thousand years of beautiful tradition, from Moses to Sandy Koufax..."

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#10 Pedro Cerrano

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 09:04 AM

Haha, you didn't ask me, but a word of advice. Ingrain in your son all of his sports teams in every sport but hockey -- leave that one to the wife.

A fair trade off, if you ask me, although I can't blame your patriotism for wanting him to root for the Good Guys in the Olympics.

There is baseball, and occasionally there are other things of note

"Now OPS sucks.  Got it."

"Making his own olive brine is peak Mackus."

"I'm too hungover to watch a loss." - McNulty

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#11 Nuclear Dish

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 09:08 AM

Believe me, he roots for the Canucks. It's a requirement in my household. I even root for them when the Blues aren't involved, just for the sake of peace.

But my son roots for the Ravens, the Orioles, and the Tar Heels like I do. He secondarily roots for the Blue Jays, since we lived there for 3 years until he was about 6 years old and he went to a few games (and because the O's have been so disappointing to root for during his lifetime).

"Three thousand years of beautiful tradition, from Moses to Sandy Koufax..."

-Walter Sobchak


#12 SBTarheel

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 11:34 AM

Wow, I never knew that story, very cool.


I sort of did the same thing with the Cubs, as I didn't have an NL Team to root for, so I picked the absolute worst team in the NL in 1980 or so, it's been a fun ride with them, but as I get older, I find myself caring less and less about them.

I'll tell you what, the 1989 season between 'Why Not", and "The Boys of Zimmer" was my favorite Baseball season ever!
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#13 Nuclear Dish

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 05:51 PM

Why the worst team, Seth? What kind of a kid wants to root for the worst team?

Do you also root for the Lions in the NFC? The Clippers in the NBA West? The Blue Jackets in the NHL West?

"Three thousand years of beautiful tradition, from Moses to Sandy Koufax..."

-Walter Sobchak


#14 SBTarheel

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 07:18 PM

Why the worst team, Seth? What kind of a kid wants to root for the worst team?

Do you also root for the Lions in the NFC? The Clippers in the NBA West? The Blue Jackets in the NHL West?


I have no idea, it just happened. By '84 they were in the playoffs, so I didn't suffer too long.

Not really a Football or a Hockey guy.
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#15 glenn__davis

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 04:57 AM

Wow, my story is nearly identical to yours, ND.

Decided I needed a hockey team...didn't want to root for Caps...didn't want to jump on a bandwagon. I also didn't want a west coast team because I wouldn't be able to follow them. And I could never bring myself to root for a team from NY.

So with all of those qualifications I looked through the standings and thought, who is a perfectly unoffensive team in a city for which I hold no ill feelings whatsoever? And the team that fit the criteria most closely was the Blues. So I decided I was a Blues fan.

Now, having said that, I can't say I'm actually a Blues fan because I don't watch any hockey and couldn't tell you a single player on their roster. In fact I'm not sure I could name 5 players in the entire NHL. But if I ever decide I want to watch hockey, I'll be rooting for the Blues.

Now I just need an NBA team... :)

#16 DJ MC

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 03:34 PM

Interesting: a lot of Caps angst around here. I've never had a real problem rooting for the Capitals, and certainly not the conflicted feelings I have for the Wiz-lets. I think part of that is simply not being enough of a hockey fan to seriously consider choosing another team. Since the Capitals are the team that is broadcast in Baltimore, when the tides of my hockey fandom reach a high stage they are the one that I follow.

Let me ask a question though. If Baltimore ever does get its act together and builds a new arena (I realize this is an extreme hypothetical, but bear with me), and a hockey team makes the decision that this town would be a better hockey hotbed then its current (likely warmer) location, would anyone here in the Baltimore area with rooting interests lying elsewhere jump ship to the newly-reconstituted Clippers (I hope, maybe Skipjacks)?

#17 Nuclear Dish

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 04:10 PM

Let me ask a question though. If Baltimore ever does get its act together and builds a new arena (I realize this is an extreme hypothetical, but bear with me), and a hockey team makes the decision that this town would be a better hockey hotbed then its current (likely warmer) location, would anyone here in the Baltimore area with rooting interests lying elsewhere jump ship to the newly-reconstituted Clippers (I hope, maybe Skipjacks)?


I'd root equally for them and the Blues. Since I no longer live in Baltimore, it would be hard for me to just adopt a new team without being able to attend games. When the Ravens came to town, I bought season tickets immediately and followed them wholeheartedly.

I'd root for the Baltimore team, no question, but I'd still root for the Blues just as hard.

"Three thousand years of beautiful tradition, from Moses to Sandy Koufax..."

-Walter Sobchak


#18 Pedro Cerrano

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 09:36 AM

Welp, the Canucks are officially gone. The Blues and Kings will play in the quarterfinals. I think the winner of that series likely goes to the Cup Finals as I'm not a huge believer in Nashville (although Pekka Rinne could get hot at the drop of a hat) or the winner of Phoenix/Chicago (although a Blues/Blackhawks WCF would be pretty fun to watch).

There is baseball, and occasionally there are other things of note

"Now OPS sucks.  Got it."

"Making his own olive brine is peak Mackus."

"I'm too hungover to watch a loss." - McNulty

@bopper33


#19 JeremyStrain

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 11:09 AM

Interesting: a lot of Caps angst around here. I've never had a real problem rooting for the Capitals, and certainly not the conflicted feelings I have for the Wiz-lets. I think part of that is simply not being enough of a hockey fan to seriously consider choosing another team. Since the Capitals are the team that is broadcast in Baltimore, when the tides of my hockey fandom reach a high stage they are the one that I follow.

Let me ask a question though. If Baltimore ever does get its act together and builds a new arena (I realize this is an extreme hypothetical, but bear with me), and a hockey team makes the decision that this town would be a better hockey hotbed then its current (likely warmer) location, would anyone here in the Baltimore area with rooting interests lying elsewhere jump ship to the newly-reconstituted Clippers (I hope, maybe Skipjacks)?


I don't think you'll have to worry about that. This area can't support two NHL teams, too many bandwagon fans rooting for the Caps now that will bail as soon as they start to struggle.

I DO think you might see a minor league team a la Hershey show up there though, which could really work and would be a great agreement if the Caps could lock that down.
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#20 Nuclear Dish

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 11:32 AM

Welp, the Canucks are officially gone. The Blues and Kings will play in the quarterfinals. I think the winner of that series likely goes to the Cup Finals as I'm not a huge believer in Nashville (although Pekka Rinne could get hot at the drop of a hat) or the winner of Phoenix/Chicago (although a Blues/Blackhawks WCF would be pretty fun to watch).


Yeah, I've avoided the topic with my wife all day. It's like this big unspoken gap that is weighing on us, and it's not going to go away so quickly. Worse yet, my son grabbed my cellphone at one point today and checked scores, and when he saw the Canucks were out, he mentioned it out loud. I had to kick him under the table to shut him up.

I'm hopeful that by the time the second round gets underway, things will have cooled off enough that I can openly root for the Blues, but I get the impression that if I do, I might get some resentment from her.

"Three thousand years of beautiful tradition, from Moses to Sandy Koufax..."

-Walter Sobchak





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