This One’s For You, Dad

 

Hi, my name is Sarah George, and I’m a diehard, bleeding Blue, rabidly-in-love, fan of the St. Louis Blues. I was invited to write for Bluesrants.com, and thought it would be a fun chance to spitball my ideas about my favorite team. It seems almost fitting that my introductory entry as a writer is on Father’s Day though: like many who share the same passions for our beloved sports teams here in the ‘Lou, my dad helped to shape why I became a sports fan.

Well… kinda.

I like to say that I’ve been a St. Louis Blues fan since the day I was born, but it was my mom who I inherited my fanaticism, not my dad. Growing up, I watched anything from NCAA basketball to NFL (I’m still not a football fan by the way… not sure why). But there was this one, tiny, off-the-wall anomaly that captured my heart: NHL Hockey. I watched Gretzky touch the ice for the first time. I remember Hull and how painful it was to see him leave. I remember Twister and Chaser beating the crap out of everyone else on the ice (and calling them the “Bash Brothers”, since around the same time, the Mighty Ducks movies came out, and the name seemed appropriate). It was a fun time. It was a glorious time.

And my dad had nothing to do with hockey, except in teaching me the true meaning behind loving the game.

Though my dad hated sports, he loved us: my mother, my brother, and me. He still watched them on TV with us. On rare occasions, he took us to Busch Stadium II for Cardinals games, and I remember one in early 2002, where it wasn’t just any old game: he had seats right above the dugout, and my mother called my brother and me in sick at school. We played hookey to watch one last game with Mark McGwire, and one of the first with an up-and-comer named Albert Pujols. My dad made it about family. He made it about community. He made it about us. Whatever we cared about, he made it a priority to care about it too, even if he didn’t like it.

I lost my dad very shortly after that game we went to. But, I remember what he taught me: whatever it takes, you make it about the ones you love. You step into a community of people who you can give back to, and then you take it to another level by not only giving back, but giving better. Enjoyment is not what you’re doing, but what you’re feeling at any given moment, and you have the capability to make lemons into lemonade, no matter where you are. He hated sports, but my dad taught me the best way to love them, and the players who played them.

When I step into Kiel/Savvis/Scottrade/Enterprise (however you want to call it), I feel my dad there.  And no matter where I go or what I do, I know he’s proud of the way I turned out, Blues-loving nut that I am. I try to be better because he taught me how, and I’m going to stick with it.

Happy Father’s Day to all the Blues dads out there, in every capacity: staff, alumni, players, fans. You guys are heroes to the children you raise. Thank you for raising them to be better people, so generations afterward can enjoy the game too.

Thanks for reading. I’m excited about this opportunity, and can’t want to share more. Let’s begin!

 

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