Let’s Go Blues
Most of the people who will read this are from the St. Louis area and are still celebrating the first-ever Stanley Cup victory for the St. Louis Blues. Admittedly, I am not a big fan of any sport but having grown up just south of the big city, whenever the sports teams do well, I pay a bit more attention. The Blues, in particular, caught my attention this year, not just because this was their first time winning the NHL championship game but also because of the man who introduced me to hockey in the first place.
My uncle, Dan Hunsperger came to live with us when he was 13 years old. It was because both of my paternal grandparents died. Dan was the baby of the family and my dad and mom became his guardian. I wasn’t even two years old at the time so I have no memories of the early years. However, I remember growing up with Uncle Dan as more of a big brother than an uncle. We bonded over things like pro wrestling and ‘real rock radio’ K-SHE 95.
When I was in fifth grade, Uncle Dan took me to my first hockey game. The Blues played that night and I’m not going to pretend to remember who the opponents were. I remember the experience from 36 years ago vividly though. I had been impressed with the Checkerdome for the wrestling matches we attended together, but hockey was a whole different outing.
We stayed out late that night and I had school the next morning. I remember getting home way past my bedtime but fulfilling my promise to get up for school the next day. Despite dragging my butt to the bus stop I remember sharing stories with friends about the game and the experience.
We’d end up going a few more times through the years but again, I was never committed to the sport. Sadly, Uncle Dan died in 2004 at just 44 years old. It’s hard to believe I’m older now than he lived to be. But when the excitement started up about the Blues this year, he was the first person I thought of. Then when the team failed to win Sunday night at home; I dreaded thinking they’d lose in Boston after such a fairytale season.
When I woke up Thursday morning the first alert on my phone was about the Blues winning the 2019 Stanley Cup. I smiled knowing how much that victory means to so many fans in St. Louis. But I also knew many fans no longer with us are celebrating this accomplishment too. So when I post on social media about supporting the Blues it’s not because I know any of the players or their stats. It’s because it takes me to a happier time of watching the game with someone I looked up to very much.
So congrats to the Blues. Let’s not wait 50+ years for the next Cup.
I'm a former TV news guy turned marketing manager. I like to blog, podcast and watch pro wrestling.