What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
Now that the St. Louis Blues have captured the Stanley Cup, the usual suspects in the sports media have already peppered you with the facts about what this win means in the world of hockey.
You likely already know the Blues are the last of the six 1967 expansion teams to win the Cup. You likely already know the Blues are the first team to do so after having the worst record in the league 30 games into the 82-game season. You likely already know the Blues are the first team to win despite having a losing record at home throughout the play-offs (6-7). You likely already know the Blues offset that by tying the record for play-off wins on the road (10). And you likely already know Blues goalie Jordan Bennington started the season on the roster of the American Hockey League’s San Antonio Rampage and ended up setting the record for the most wins by a rookie net-minder in a post-season (16).
After all those things we think are probably already within your stream of consciousness, as we are wont to do Dubsism is going to point out six things we are pretty sure you didn’t know; six things which just became important now that the Stanley Cup is in St. Louis.
1) This Win Ended More Than One Drought
It doesn’t take long to figure out there’s some serious sporting smack-talking which happens in the Dubs’ house. As far as having our teams taking down a title, Mrs J-Dub was on a dry spell; the drought dated back to the New Orleans Saints’ Super Bowl win a decade ago. Since then, she’s suffered through ignominies like various Washington Nationals’ gag-jobs and a cavalcade of post-season underachieving by her very same St. Louis Blues.
Back in January, we were both lamenting the suckitude of our NHL teams; obviously she’s a backer of the Blues whereas I’m a usually suffering fan of the Los Angeles Kings. At that time, our teams were in a two-horse race to the bottom of the NHL. But the Kings seemed to be running at Santa Anita (too soon?); the Blues pulled wide and left the pack behind them on their way to the wire.
When Mr.s J-Dub and I got married, the Blues and the Kings were the last two of the six 1967 Expansion teams to have yet hoisted the Stanley Cup; even the goddamn Tampa Bay Lightning had done it before then. As far as hockey went, things got worse for her when my Kings won the Cup twice in three years starting in 2012. Matters for her darkened when one of the long-standing sporting thorns in my side got pulled when the Philadelphia Eagles pulled off a Super Bowl win over the New England Patriots. Then, just scant two weeks ago, my Liverpool club climbed back to the top of European football by winning the Champions League.
In other words, Mrs. J-Dub was the definition of thirsty for a win, and the up-and-down nature of this Stanley Cup Final had all the potential to create a completely different kind of thirst for her. But now that the long national nightmare for Blues Nation is over, they (including Mrs. J-Dub) can finally join my Liverpool high-ball glass in some seriously celebratory elbow-bending, rather than Blues fans in yet another year of blues-drowning.
2) Dubsism Is Like An Entire Case Of Lucky Charms
As part of this NHL post-season, we had a play-off bracket challenge complete with a prize to be had. All you had to do was pick the winning team in each round, and the person who scored the most point took it. We were giving away a hockey sweater from former St. Louis Blues and current Washington Capitals star T.J. Oshie from his days with the college hockey powerhouse (and J-Dub’s alma mater) the University of North Dakota.
Well, thanks to the carnage that was the first round in which all the top seeds lost, by the time we got to the conference finals, only one person could win…and that person was a Blues fan. I’m not saying that we had anything to do with the Blues’ winning…screw it, that’s exactly what I’m saying. Participating in our events brings good luck.
Not to get all chain-lettery, but here’s a reminder to our winner…now that your Blues won, we expect a picture of you wearing your prize while standing next to the Stanley Cup. If we don’t get one, we can’t say for sure that Vladimir Tarasenko won’t develop a case of career-ending nasal warts.
3) Figuratively, The Stanley Cup Is Going Up Stan Kroenke’s Ass
For those of you who don’t know, Stan Kroenke is a rather well-hated man in St. Louis. He’s the turd-loaf who moved the St. Louis Rams back to Los Angeles, and one of his parting shots was “you can’t win a championship in this town.” Don’t think for a moment the irony of that comment is lost on us knowing the Rams are coming off a Super Bowl trip for which they hardly showed up. On top of that, Kroenke’s idiotic statement completely ignores the fact the Rams did exactly that before he owned them and the St. Louis Cardinals somehow found a way to bag 11 World Series titles.
4) Speaking Of Ass…
One of the things we can’t figure out about St. Louis is it’s arguably most-popular chain of liquor stores features a chicken mascot with a cartoonishly-large ass. At this point, it really doesn’t matter because after this win, cheap beer will fill the streets of St. Louis, which obviously means these will be the “salad” days for the big-butt chicken joint.
5) A “Call-Back” To Our “Communist Dictator Comparison”
If you recall, at the beginning at the National Hockey League season, I posted a piece ranking all 31 NHL franchises by comparing them to communist dictators. When we got to the Finals, that was revisited. But now that we have a champion, it’s time to look at just how fucking prescient I am. Just look at what I said about the St. Louis
Leonid Brezhnevs Blues.
The St. Louis Blues missed the playoffs in the final game of last season. Oddly enough, this represented a break in the stagnant nature of Blues’ hockey for the majority of the the last decade. The formula was the Blues would be Sputnik orbiting planet President’s Cup looking like one of the favorites for the Finals, then go full-on Chernobyl far too early in the post-season. But like I said, the St. Louis Sputniks didn’t even make orbit last year season, they added some rocket fuel in the form of Ryan O’Reilly, Patrick Maroon, and Tyler Bozak…
…But the key word here is “stagnant.” During Brezhnev’s time steering the Soviet ship, the official term for their planned economy was “period of developed socialism.” Of course, this was a euphemism, but you used it if you didn’t want to end up in Siberia. Outside the USSR, the term was “Era of Stagnation.” The Soviet Union remained a superpower, but couldn’t keep pace with the economic growth of the West, which led to it’s downfall.
There was no better description of the Blues than “stagnant,” and there is no better way to end an “era of stagnation” than winning the Stanley Cup. Not to mention, Ryan O’Reilly wining the Conn Smythe trophy in the process now makes him the head comrade in St. Louis-grad.
Like you didn’t think I was going to address this…
While nobody may really know exactly how it happened, there’s no denying the 80’s Laura Brannigan ear-worm “Gloria” became the Blues “rallying anthem;” from this day forward that song will be forever linked to this team. You’ll hear it at every Blues’ home game for years to come. You know you’ll hear it every anniversary reunion for these Cup winners. I wouldn’t be surprised if some low-rent local musician or an even lower-rent “drive-time” radio mook pens a version of it to pay tribute to this moment. Not to be crass, but it would be easy to do since sadly Laura Brannigan has been dead for quite some time and the fact that song got used in the first place means it is likely in public domain, so to bastardize it wouldn’t cost any royalties.
Even with that, this is still a better memory of this song than my first. If you remember the cheese-tacular cop show “CHIPS,” you know it spanned the 1970s and 80s and managed to bring us the worst of both. If you’re like me and know way more about this show than you’d care to admit, you might recall the episode where Laura Brannigan guest stars as part of a “girl band” whose sleaze-bag “agent” intends to sell them as sex slaves somewhere in Asia.
That is until…as one would expect…Ponch and Jon ride their Kawasakis to the rescue.
But fret not sports fans. If you can find that episode and you’re breve enough to endure it, you will be treated to “Gloria” at least three times. Apologies in advance to the several members of the Laura Brannigan fan club, but by the end the rest of us were so sick of that fucking song we wanted to picture her chained to a water heater being abused by some guy whose hardened himself with an exotic concoction made from a ground-up endangered species. But we also were realistic enough to know since this show aired at 8 p.m. on network television in 1983, there was no way were we going to see a clean-cut, all-American “girl next door” type pulling a Chinese chugga-choo-choo train.
And that’s just a goddamn shame.
But what’s even a bigger shame is none…NONE of this had to happen because there was such a better choice for an anthem for the Blues. Set your “Wayback Machine” for 1982; this is the year two crucial keys to this story happen. Thanks to MTV, a teen-age J-Dub discovered the Canadian power trio Triumph, and the St. Louis Blues were threatening to move to Saskatoon because of lack of fan support.
While we don’t know why “Gloria” became a rallying cry, but there’s no way you can’t understand why Triumph’s “Hot Time In The City Tonight” wouldn’t get the butts out of the seats, sell a lot of big-ass chicken beer, and there couldn’t be a better moment for a team to hit the ice than to a pyrotechnic hockey-gasm at that song’s climax.
Between the kick-ass nature “born for arena rock” nature of this song and the sweet sweater being worn by bassist Mike Levine, it’s pretty hard not to see how this was tailor-made for the Blues…wherever they might have been.
BONUS: Brezhnev Redux
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I had a co-worker who I called the “Original Photobomber.” If you look at the picture above, it’s pretty clear that-then President Richard Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev were clearly enjoying ample amounts of adult beverages; the mountain of cigarette butts in front of Brezhnev screams “happy hour” and don’t tell me that doesn’t look like two guys ordering shots and a plate of buffalo wings.
The “Photobomber” angle came from the fact that before we had our paychecks signed by the same guy, the aforementioned co-worker had been in the military and was assigned to White House communications. His role required him to be in close proximity to the President at all times. As such, he managed to get a photo taken with the leaders of the two “super-powers” even deeper into their cups, the pile of Brezhnev’s butts is even more mountainous, the somewhat proper aperitif glasses have been replaced with Stolichnaya and Budweiser…and standing in the background is that aforementioned former co-worker.
Naturally, I’m being deliberately vague because obviously obtaining such a picture required some shenanigans. But it had to be totally worth it, because that guy has the absolute best “man-cave” trophy ever.
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