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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

I Love the Blues and That's Why I Am Not Watching Them Tonight

Posted By on Tue, May 7, 2019 at 6:30 AM

click to enlarge Let's Go Blues! - JAIME LEES
  • Let's Go Blues!

I've given up watching the St. Louis Blues play hockey. Not because of the 41 straight years of watching them crash out of the playoffs, or fail to make them entirely; no, I gave it up for the good of the city.

All fans have that moment when they deceive themselves into believing some action they took — or did not take, in my case — determined the outcome of a game they care about deeply. It could be a pre-game ritual, a piece of team-branded clothing with special powers, a rally cap (or squirrel, or cat); the choice of delusion is yours.

When Mike Yeo was relieved of his duties this season for coaching like Mike Yeo and Craig Berube took over, I stopped watching. Although I liked the Berube hire (he was a warrior in his playing years), it felt like a desperation move. Berube and Co. debunked that theory, but by that point I had to not watch — the more I didn't watch, the more games the Blues won. Just like that, I tricked myself into not watching the Blues play well after months of watching them play poorly. It's idiotic.

By the time the playoffs started, I'd screwed myself out of watching what turned out to be an entertaining Blues post-season. Now I'm stuck with it. Even worse, I'm afraid to wash my vintage NHL team logo coffee mug (it still has the Whalers' and the Nordiques' logos on it — it's magic). I stopped cleaning it when the playoffs started, and now it's got a crusty rim and a sour smell. I have to hold my breath while I'm drinking coffee.

But the Stanley Cup demands sacrifice and perseverance, and I'm willing to pay that price. It's all up to me now, or so I've convinced myself. Dare I sit in the car and listen to the radio call of tomorrow night's game? I answer that question with another question:

Would St. Louis hockey fans forgive me if I did and the unthinkable happened?

Paul Friswold is the RFT's resident hockey fan. He is also our arts and culture editor.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story wrongly identified Mike Yeo as Craig Yeo. Thank you to the readers, who are far too numerous to note, who let us know about this error.
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