Dear St. Louis Blues: A Sports Fan’s Lament

Dear St. Louis Blues,

Before the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs began my mom made a deal with me: if you won the cup she would buy me an official Blues jersey.  For any sports fan out there, you know this is a pretty big deal because those things don’t come cheap.  Then factor in my income and you know I’m not going to be splurging on one of those bad boys anytime soon.

I knew with your history of never winning the cup this was not looking good for me.  But for some reason, where all else in my world is drenched in the stench of pessimism, I have this little a-hole in the back of my mind whispering sweet nothings of glory when it comes to sports.  I blame the St. Louis Cardinals, really.  They’ve spoiled this city and all the fans in it.  Where the Cardinals tend to succeed when it comes to making a run at the World Series, it’s starting to feel like I will never see you make your way out of the first round of the playoffs.  But man did that little voice in my head want me to have that jersey.  Maybe this year would finally be your year!

Thinking ahead in the grand realm of the “what ifs,” I started going through the lists of my favorite players that were worthy of the stretch of space ranging across the back of my shoulders.  Should I go with Sobotka, the man I think about each and every day since he was allowed to escape back overseas to play in a league that clearly respects him more than your organization seeing as you allowed him to go without a fight?  Or should I go with Schwartz, my favorite player in the current lineup?  Hm… Decisions decisions.

Wait! What am I doing!? How dare I even consider assuming that the possibility of winning it all is a real thing.  I’ve probably jinxed it all!  God… I am just as bad as those stupid announcers who like to mention the current perfect game a pitcher has going and then laughs when the next man up to bat gets a hit, followed by a walk, then another hit.  I’m looking at you, McCarver! He’s the worst…

I have always been a superstitious person when it comes to sports.  Well, maybe not back in the day when I would watch the Chicago Bulls with my grandpa, but nothing I did could come in the way of Michael Jordan being Michael Jordan.  But back then I wasn’t an athlete myself.  At least not in terms of organized sports, anyway.  Eventually I played basketball and lacrosse for my schools’ teams, and superstitions began to take root throughout the years as I would assign the “lucky” label to random items of clothing.  Was I wearing the navy knee sock on my left leg last time?  Or was it on the right? Maybe the red knee sock was on the left… Did we win when I was wearing that black and white Nike sports bra? Yes.  Did we lose when I had to wear that stupid red one because I had forgotten to do the laundry?  Yes.  That sports bra is dead to me!  A uniform is a uniform for a reason!

I understand these superstitions are silly, but they made me feel better.  And even though I knew they were stupid I still found myself cramping up during a certain March Madness game years ago when I sat in a certain way with my legs folded beneath me under a super balmy blanket.  The tide of the game turned in KUs favor for a reason, so why couldn’t that reason have something to do with my position on the couch?  Of course it didn’t, but you best believe I almost peed my pants because of my unwillingness to change anything by getting up to go to the bathroom.  Was my bladder full when that 3 pointer went through the hoop?  Then my bladder shall remain full until the final buzzer sounds!

Now back to the Blues. After reading through this you may understand where I’m coming from because you too have superstitions when it comes to sports, but you’re also probably a sane individual and are thus pretending to be above my psychological issues. But I doubt I’m the only fan that says “we” when talking about my favorite teams, so don’t look at me like that.

I’m not crazy; I know I am not really a part of the team.  I don’t contribute in any way to the outcome of the games seeing as I am not suited up and on the ice. I am not shattering pearl necklaces to form a minefield of ankle twisting booby traps a la Amy Poehler’s character in Blades of Glory.  But I have spent more time cheering for this team than some of the players have worn the uniform, so I feel as if it is just as much mine as it is theirs.  And because of this, I must take responsibility for the role I played in the team’s demise.  This is the cross I bear as a sports fan.

Long story short, I feel like I owe you an apology for the part I played in your playoff losses.  You see, every time I wore a shirt with the team’s logo on it, heck, even when I just wore Blue, the team’s fortune turned for the worst.  Here are the wardrobe facts for the series against the Minnesota Wild:

  • Game 1: You lost. Ok, so I actually don’t remember what I wore during this game, but it was probably blue.
  • Game 2: You won.  I missed the majority of this game because I was at a St. Louis Cardinals’ game, and thus was decked out in Cardinals gear.  Fact of note: I decided against the navy converses I was going to wear as a tribute to the Blues, instead going with the grey shoes with red laces.  This could have made all the difference.
  • Game 3: You lost.  I was wearing my Andy McDonald Blues shirt.
  • Game 4: You won.  Fearing the McDonald shirt had something to do with what happened during game 3, I decided to wear a random red t-shirt that supported a police K9 organization.  Maybe red is the key to all the winning… Hm…
  • Game 5: You lost.  My boyfriend and I were lucky enough to go to this game, so of course I was wearing Blues gear from head to toe, from my Blues hat to my Vladimir Sobotka shirt to the official Blues socks.  The lucky sports bra I wore during my winning seasons of KU lacrosse did nothing to counteract the effects of the rest of the outfit.
  • Game 6: You lost, getting knocked out of the playoffs. I stayed away from official Blues gear, but I did wear a blue cardigan and blue socks. The Blues didn’t stand a chance…

Maybe this is all just a coincidence, but maybe, just maybe, it isn’t.  So maybe it’s good you didn’t win the Stanley Cup, and I am no longer required to pick out whose Jersey to get.  After all, the season my boyfriend got me a Johnson t-shirt at the first Blues’ game I had ever gone to he was traded soon after.  The season I got my McDonald t-shirt he ended up retiring due to problems with concussions.  And when I finally got my Sobotka t-shirt… Well, you know what happened.  So maybe I won’t choose to represent any other players.  That’s just too heavy of a weight to put on my shoulders.

Until next time,
Lauren H.
Follow @BewareOfTrees

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