How Our Family Became a Blues Family

I originally wrote this story on October 11, 2017. I wanted to share it again since the Blues are on the verge of hoisting the Stanley Cup if they can pull off one more win. I’ve added some more info at the end of the story from this season.

I’m sure there are lots of great stories about other families. Feel free to share yours in the comments below.

50 Years with the Blues

When the Blues came to St. Louis in 1967, I was 3 years old.  My dad was remodeling our old farmhouse, working in the attic in the evenings. For some reason, he started listening to the Blues games on KMOX while he worked.

I don’t know what he liked about hockey so much.  To my knowledge, he hadn’t ever been to a hockey game or played hockey.  But, he followed religiously.  By the time I was 4 or 5 he bought us our first pair of skates.  They were “double runners”.  You’d have to stop every few minutes and clean out the ice that got stuck between the blades.  We started skating on the lake next to our house every time we could. It seems like the lake froze over a lot more back then.

We started off with skates and sticks and dad built a couple of nets out of 2×4’s and chicken wire for netting.  Eventually, we had helmets and elbow pads, but we never had the “full gear”.  I remember dad wearing the old volleyball knee pads on the outside of his coveralls.  We didn’t care what we looked like.  We just loved playing hockey.

We got some of the neighbor kids skating so that we had enough to play games. Dad was a school teacher, so when we were out of school for bad weather, he was home too and we have lots of great memories of skating and playing hockey while we were growing up.

We never had a lot of money, trying to raise 4 boys on a teacher’s salary was kind of tight.  And living 90 miles from St. Louis in Southern Illinois made it tough to get to the games, but dad managed to take us to a game or two each year in the old arena and later on called “The Checkerdome.” We have a lot of great memories from those days as well.

Fast forward 50 years and we are still all hockey fans.  So are our kids.  And EVERYBODY is a Blues fan.  Each year, we try to take dad to a game.  Last year, during the 50th anniversary year, 10 of us went to a game.  We had 3 generations of Blues fans there cheering on our team. That’s us in the photo at the top of the story.

At the games, I catch myself just watching my dad.  When the Blues are making their way out of the tunnel to the ice he starts cheering and clapping, screaming “LET’S GO BLUUUUUEEESSSS!”  He gets so excited it’s just as much fun to watch him as it is to see the Blues come out. He’s 79 now and I don’t know how many more times we will have to enjoy this great tradition.

I hope he gets to see the Blues win a cup.  It would really seal the deal for him, and all of us.  But, no matter the end result, being a Blues family has brought us lots of great memories and gives us one more reason to get together and brings us closer as a family.

UPDATE

This year, 2019 dad was at the game with my brother when the Blues set a franchise record and won their 11th straight game. I posted the video on twitter of dad cheering after the game. It got over 20k views. Here’s that video.

My dad is a lifelong Blues fan. He is 80 yrs old. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen him as happy as he was after the win last night. Watch his face. #stlblues #TORvsSTL @bluesrantscom pic.twitter.com/QZDikYVsyb

Now, 52 years after the Blues first became a franchise, on Sunday night I have tickets to game six of the Stanley Cup Finals and I am taking my dad to the game. We have the opportunity to see the Blues hoist the Cup for the first time ever in franchise history if they win.

Someone suggested that I could sell my tickets for a lot of money, and cash in on my good fortune since I have tickets to the game, and since my season ticket pricing is significantly less than what the tickets are selling for now. I told him that I’m going to cash in by taking my dad to the game and make a memory that money cannot buy.

I can’t wait! Let’s go Blues!

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4 thoughts on “How Our Family Became a Blues Family

  1. As a life long hockey fan and 25 year transplant to St. Louis (okay Southern Illinois from yes the heart of hockey, Canada – just outside of Hamilton, Ontario). I am now a die hard Blues fan and we have raise our kids as such. I look forward to your recaps each game. You really have a great perspective. Now, as for your dad. This touched me so much. I am so glad you are going to the game. We too have tickets and would not sell them for the world. We did give away our tickets Game 4 and it was the best thing we did as we have them to our 22 and 23 year old children. It meant more to me that they we were there for that historical game then us. As my son said, he has waited his whole life for this! Thank you for the story. Thank you for enjoying each moment with your dad. Thank you for you recaps. But most importantly. LETS GO BLUES!!

  2. Grew up in Southwest Florida – home of the Everblades! – but yeah, been a Blues fan since the first year the Tampa Bay Lightning came around (1992) and we saw ice hockey, not roller hockey, for the first time. Went with a friend’s dad who got tickets from his work and they happened to be playing the Blues. I rooted against the Lightning simply because he was a Lightning fan and what else do eight-year olds do? Sure, I rooted for the Panthers when they made the Final, but I’ve never liked the Lightning.

    Brett Hull. Al MacInnis. Doug Weight. Adam Oates. I read about Bob Plager, Glenn Hall and the rest of them. Gassoff. TJ Oshie wanting the Blues to win… Pronger. How my father rooted for Detroit and Vancouver because he liked the Russian style… But he still liked Colorado because of their style.

    I wouldn’t change a thing.

    When I was in HS we got a minor league team in the ECHL. The Florida Everblades. We went to every game for four years until my parents moved. Man… Whoa.

    I’m losing my train of thought, reading your story, thinking off mine and all the countless others I’ve read the last few weeks and days.

    Even wrote Blues! on my backpack with a sharpie in the mid-90’s while in middle school, because that apparently was the thing to do back then. A sign of the times I guess.

    What can I say? I was eight and just picked them at random. From Southwest Florida. Basically on a whim. Now, living in Tennessee as a 35 year old not far from Nashville, I make the drive a couple times a year to see the Blues. Wearing my sweater. And my hat. With my ever-present Blue Note bumper sticker right next to my Florida Gators decal … My friends joke that of the 75 sports related things in my house and/or car, I’ve got it all Gators except for this weird little blue musical logo that seems out of place.

    Long live the ‘Note.

    Let’s Go Blues!

    1. Great story! Thanks for sharing! Let’s hope they can get it done in Boston Wednesday night. Let’s go Blues!

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