I Only Waited 50 Years…

I got hooked by hockey in 1969 and 1970, winter of my eighth grade year in school. It was the year we first started getting NBC on the old black-and-white Motorola TV. WHO in DesMoines had finally boosted their signal to the point where our TV antenna in Rowan, Iowa could pull a signal in.

from Sports Illustrated, poorly scanned by me

The NHL was on every Sunday morning during football season and my friend Mark had one of those hockey game boards where you twirl players on metal rods to score goals in a plastic net defended by a metal or plastic goalie. We were 13 and deeply in love with a game we could only watch on TV and never play (No hockey rinks are generally available in rural Iowa).

Mark liked Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito and their Boston Bruins hockey team who battled through the division of six old teams that had been around forever and had all the good players.

I, like the fool I have always been, pledged undying loyalty to the underdog St. Louis Blues. The expansion division consisted of teams that had only played for three years, filled with young guys and old veterans nearing the end of great careers. Hall-of-Famer goalies Jaques Plante and Glenn Hall both played for the Blues. So did the Battling B-Brothers, Bill Plaeger, Barclay Plaeger, and Bob Plaeger. Along with Red Berensen, Frank St. Marseille, and Doug Harvey. I idolized those guys. In the 1970 Stanley Cup final, they lost every game except the last one, which they lost in spectacular fashion in sudden-death overtime.

Bobby Orr scoring the overtime goal that beat my Blues (and hopefully getting at least one bruise as he came down).

I was a Blues Fan for life. I was disappointed every single year as they lost somewhere in the playoffs or in the regular season, never making it back to the Stanley Cup Series. Until 2019.

Young boys’ dreams can come true, even if it takes a lifetime to get there.

Wow! Finally! Yahoooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Blues as a team finally get their names etched on Lord Stanley’s Cup.

10 Comments

Filed under autobiography, hockey, humor, St. Louis

10 responses to “I Only Waited 50 Years…

  1. Congrats to a great team. Now, if only the Flyers could win one.

  2. Born and raised in St. Louis. I’ve only ever known the “disappointment” they could conjure year after year. Then… they finally did it. I drove 10 hours the other day to go help celebrate. It was worth it. I have been and always will be a Blues fan. In spite of the “disappointment”, I have never been truly disappointed in them. Now I can say they did it. They are Stanley Cup Champions. Maybe they never will be again. But that will never matter to me.

    • Ah, yes, being a Blues fan is a thing of its own. I am so pleased it was the Bruins they beat in the Cup final. It made up for 1970 and Bobby Orr. But there were many things to be proud of as a Blues fan. Brett Hull, Al MacInnis, even Gretzky was a Blues player for a short while. Trophies for the most wins in a hockey season. Norris trophies for the best defenseman… I never wanted to be a fan of any other hockey team.

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