OK, so I am…perhaps deservedly…taking a lot of grief for planting a glorious kiss on the Stanley Cup when the Big Fella visited the 101 ESPN Studio on Wednesday. I must confess that I had no idea that touching the Cup was prohibited until I did it, and social media exploded. I will guarantee that I will NEVER be a part of a Stanley Cup Champion, so this was probably a one-shot deal.
Bernie and Michelle took their shots on the Bernie Miklasz show this morning. Bud and Broadway blasted me on their show in New Country 92.3. Anthony Stalter and Jamie Rivers ripped away in The Turn. They’re doing this to a guy who is well aware of the curse of Scotty Bowman. I’ve lived through Nick Kypreos running into Grant Fuhr. I’ve lived through Willie Plett’s 70 footer that beat Mike Liut, and Owen Nolan doing the same to Roman Turek. I’d like to take blame for that for you, but I can’t.
The firings of Bowman, Al Arbour, Joel Quenneville and Ken Hitchcock? I remember them all; and remember all sixteen of the Stanley Cups those guys won after leaving as they became the four winningest coaches in NHL History. Doug Gilmour? Rob Ramage? Joey Mullen? Rod Brind’Amour? Scott Stevens? Chris Pronger? Doug Weight? Brett Hull? Brendan Shanahan? I enjoyed all of those players while they played with the Blues, and endured their Stanley Cup Championships with other teams. I won’t take blame for that.
I was around when Ralston Purina left the team at the doorstep of the league because they didn’t want to own it any more, causing the franchise to miss the 1983 draft (although it didn’t relocate to Sasakatoon, which was nice). I remember Harry Ornest trading all of his good players, and Bill Laurie moving Pronger and stripping the team down after the lockout.
I remember where I was when I found out that Bob Gassoff had died. Or that Doug Wickenheiser had fallen off the back of a pickup during a team prank called a snipe hunt. Or that Jacques Demers hadn’t really signed his contract extension and was going to Detroit. Or that Gilmour had legal troubles that would precipitate his trade. Or that Judge Houston had awarded Stevens to New Jersey in a botched, fixed arbitration. Or that the Blues’ first overall pick, Erik Johnson, had tripped getting off a golf cart and tore up his knee.
My goodness, I lived through the entire Mike Keenan debacle.
I’ve been around, you know? I know jinxes. I know what causes franchises to lose. It’s all bad luck and nothing else. And of course, I purchased a pair of shoes that are helping the Blues traverse these playoffs, and am entirely prepared to get some black salt and a mirror, so that Michelle Smallmon and I can go out to Enterprise Center to reverse the curse.
I never thought I’d be a REASON for the curse. Never thought I’d be the reason Blues fans gave up on the team in the playoffs…because they don’t want the Stanley Cup touched.
But it is what it is. I’ll own it. Like Bowman and Quenneville, Stevens and Pronger, Keenan and the snipe hunt…I’m now part of Blues lore, part of the curse.
I’m sorry, Blues Nation. It won’t happen again.
But I DO have this question. If people aren’t allowed to touch the Stanley Cup, how did the Penguins win two in a row?