AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File
This is unreal. This isn’t happening. That’s all that was running through my head as I watched gloves soar in the air at TD Garden on June 12, 2019. A snapshot of pure joy for a team that nobody expected to win it all. But also a snapshot of every fan of the St. Louis Blues, whether it be from 1967 or 2019.
I made the decision when the Stanley Cup Final started to purchase a ticket for Game 7 to be there and put a bow on an incredible season covering the team for KMOX. A little paranoia of purchasing the ticket for Game 7 before Game 1 even started, but hell I bought the insurance.
I hopped on a plane filled with Blues fans on June 12 at 5a and the panic had already set in. Wondering if this would be the moment I had waited 29 years for or if it would be just another disappointment like all the others. We landed in Boston and rushed to TD Garden for the morning skate. An empty stadium with gold rally towels sprawled across each chair set the table for what would be an unforgettable night.
I’ll never forget that media session after the morning skate. The pure calmness that the players exuded in their interviews and on the ice gave me the feeling that this would be a piece of cake. The words, “this is it, we have to throw everything we have at them” from Brayden Schenn rang in my ears the rest of that day.
The fun really began when we took the few hours to walk around Boston between morning skate and puck drop. It was an absolute party outside the stadium. Shoulder to shoulder of mixed jersey’s standing in the streets in front of the NHL network stage, chanting “Let’s Go Bruins…Let’s Go Blues” back and forth for what felt like the entire time we were down there. We did a Facebook Live in front of the Bobby Orr statue for our flagship station and had numerous Bruins fans rush by to throw there “Blues suck” comments in, and the occasional threat (no joke, gotta love Boston).
An empty stadium turned ruckus within seconds of walking through the media doors for Game 7. We parked ourselves up in the broadcast booth for our pregame coverage 2 hours before the puck drop. Plenty of guests and rushing around to get all of the content on the show that we could before Kerbs and Joey took over. That entire show seems like a blur to me other than one guest, Doc Emrick. The legend himself discussed the history of St. Louis hockey and what it would mean to see them win the Cup tonight, in this fashion. He then told me something that I will never forget, “if this comes down to goalies I like your chances”. Like Nostradamus.
Twenty minutes and two goals later, I’m pacing the upper section like Bobby Plager. Second period goes by and the score stays the same. Third period as the final seconds tick a sense of numbness took over my body. Couldn’t even react because you couldn’t believe your eyes. No sadness, no excitement, just stoic watching those players rush onto the ice and celebrate. There was no time to let it all sink in because we had to rush down to the zamboni entrance to prepare to hit the ice for interviews.
It was complete pandemonium on the ice, players, staff, family hugging and skating around in a big huddle. That moment was a complete blur for me, trying to rush to as many guys as possible to get them for our post game show but also standing in awe as the Cup was passed around right in front of my eyes. Multiple guys in tears while talking with me, random hugs from players you don’t even remember talking to and plenty of high-fives.
The best part of the whole day was standing on that ice after everyone cleared off. A sense of relief that the anxiety wouldn’t be there as it had since January. And a sense of pride of being apart of such a great broadcast team for a night that fans, media and sports will never forget, the night the St. Louis Blues became champs!
Side note, as we tried to celebrate after our broadcast duties ended. I guess everyone in Boston that night had a sour taste in their mouths because every bar said they were “closed” when we tried to enter for a post-game meal and drink. How the hell does every bar in Boston on a Wednesday night all close at 11p? Oh well, plenty of drinks were consumed for the next 72 hours. Consumed or dumped on you in the parade. Same thing, right?