Come Together

First of all, I have to admit that I’m not really a hockey fan.  I may live in a city that has it’s very own NHL hockey team, but I’ve been to exactly one hockey game in my life and that was only because somebody gave my husband a couple of free tickets.   So it took me a while to realize that the St. Louis Blues were doing well enough to make it to the playoffs.  And that they did well enough in the playoffs to get a chance to play for the Stanley Cup.  That’s when I began to pay attention, and I’m really glad I did.

Banners proclaiming “Let’s Go Blues” sprang up all over the city, draped across buildings, hanging from highway overpasses, and proudly displayed on front lawns.  One radio station pledged to keep playing “Gloria” (this season’s theme song) non-stop until the Blues won the Stanley cup.  Statues of historic figures sported Blues jerseys and huge “watch parties” were organized so that Blues fans could gather to watch not only the games that were played in Boston, but the sold-out St. Louis games as well.

It was hard not to get caught up in the excitement, so my husband and put on blue shirts and headed out to watch the final games in the series.  We watched game five in a German restaurant that was televising the game on a huge screen in it’s bar, and helped the crowd cheer the Blues as they won.  We went to a sports bar for game six with high hopes, but they lost that game.  Being slightly superstitious, we went back to the German restaurant to watch game seven, figuring we were doing our small part to ensure a victory.  (We even sat at the same table and ordered the same food.)

It was a really fun night.  The bar area wasn’t too crowded when we first arrived, but by the time the game started, it was packed.  The crowd was a mixture of old and young, men and women, some in Blues attire and some not.  Late-comers were brought up to date on the action by those already seated at tables.  We all clapped and cheered for the good plays, and when the Blues scored a goal, everyone was up, hugging, cheering, and high-fiving people they hadn’t even met before.

IMG_5296When the Blues were ahead by three points with just over a minute left in the game, a young man sitting near the TV stood up and shouted, “Everyone on their feet for the final minute!”  And we all stood up, even the elderly woman with the walker.  The joy when the final buzzer went off was off-the-chart.

I’m incredibly happy that the Blues won that night.  Not just because this is their first Stanley Cup, although that’s an impressive achievement.  What I liked best was seeing my city drawing together to support their hockey team, and how we could see, at least for a little while, what it feels like to unite as a community toward a common goal.   In the days leading up to the final game, it was so easy to ignore all the things that usually divide us and to simply be fans of the St. Louis Blues, rooting for a historic victory for our city’s team.

I know it was just a game, and that soon enough, we’ll go back to the usual fussing and bickering about all the issues that we allow to divide us.  But I hope we’ll remember just how good it feels when we manage to stand together…..

79 thoughts on “Come Together

  1. I had a similar experience when the Eagles finally won the Superbowl a year ago. I loved the excitement and talking to total strangers everywhere i went in Eagles gear or with my son or husband wearing theirs. My youngest son even wore the same clothes (down to the underwear) for each playoff game and is convinced they won because of him and lost this year because he wasn’t as committed (and he couldn’t find his hat). I wonder how you transfer that experience to real life. Every now and again the Olympics have a team or competitor that the country rallies around, but I suppose it’s not the same. Not since the USA hockey team years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your son and my husband think alike! And yes, I don’t think it is quite the same for the Olympics (other than that hockey game, which I remember well!) It is fun with a community draws together, and I think it reminds of to focus more on what we have in common rather than our differences.

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  2. It is a great feeling when a community comes together, whatever the reason. We are part of our community; we live and work side by side to make it a better place. We are all better off when neighbors help neighbors, and we care about one another. It could be that we rally together for a team, or for something else…the point is we all belong to this place where we live…it is our home, after all. And home, ultimately means being there for one another. I know in our town, this has happened when we encountered storms and hurricanes…sort of scary, but true. The whole town came out to help one another and I am proud of that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love what you say about home and neighbors…it is so true, our home and our community is where we belong. And you’re right, tragedy brings out that sense of community as well. When a natural disaster hits, we do all pull together for the common good. If only we could do that all the time!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes! You are so right! I guess we all need to work on that…finding little ways to boost that community spirit. It was a great thing to write about, because it is important. We need to know our ‘neighbors’, and let them know we are there for them. We each have much to share; everyone benefits when we do!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Like you I am not a hockey fan; we live too far away from the Vancouver Canucks to cheer them on, plus they are not of the same quality team as they used to be. Enough said, I am glad you can cheer your home team on to victory. Best wishes! Peter

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    • It was so fun!! Thanks, Jodi! (And believe me, I don’t want to diminish the feeling of the Boston fans….they have a fabulous team, and I know they wanted to win as badly as we did. That’s what I hate about competition. Someone always has to lose!)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, we live a sneer away from Boston, lol, so my husband and I had to keep it on the down-low that it would be fine by us if St. Louis won the Cup, since they never had done so. We were genuinely happy for them!

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      • The Blues are a great team, too! And I love the town-wide easy cameraderie you speak of — usually, we see that in fire or flood, etc., or at Christmas or in the first days of real Spring. You remind us here that we and our neighbors are always much closer than we realize!

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  5. It’s great when people can be united over something that’s all positive and happy. Wonder if some of the things that people put aside to cheer together can’t simply forever be put aside??
    Congrats to your team!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It would be so nice if we could let go of our idea that we can only like and respect people who are just like us, wouldn’t it? We will always have different ways of thinking and believing, but that doesn’t mean we have to let them divide us as a community. Thanks for the insightful comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. There’s nothing like sport to bring people together, if only it was like that all of the time! Here in the UK it’s usually the football that everyone gets behind, particularly when it’s the world cup. But I think the Olympics was one of the most amazing things I’ve seen here, it felt like the whole country got swept up in the fun and positivity that hosting the Olympics brought. Sadly, it didn’t last and things feels more divided here than ever before.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I know! Sometimes I wish we could figure out that we don’t really have to be quite so divided and that people who are different really can respect and like each other, and come together to support good causes. Sports can bring that out, and so can catastrophes, but it really should be the norm, not the exception. Here in the States, we are becoming more and more divided as well. It’s scary!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. You’re right about how things like this can bring people together. I’m glad you & hubby got to go check out the final games and find a bar that wasn’t too overcrowded so you could enjoy the feeling of energy & solidarity without getting too squashed! I think we need excuses to get together as a community towards a common goal, as you so nicely put, more often, especially given the uncertainty and decline in the world of late. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, the restaurant/bar was just right: full, but not over-crowded and rowdy. (We’re far too old for that!) And the solidarity was a refreshing change from the usual angry and divided society we seem to live in right now where everyone is absolutely right and perpetually outraged. We do need more excuses to come together……

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Macalester is a small college in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The kind of college that when you describe it as liberal arts, you put a spin on the word “liberal”.

    In the 1980’s, they had the dubious distinction of having the longest losing streak of any college football team; fifty games. A NCAA record. Then they played Mount Senario College of Wisconsin and won 17 to 14.

    I was not there for the victory. No one was. But the news quickly spread throughout the Macalester-Groveland neighborhood and everyone who was anyone rushed to the bars.

    “What are we celebrating?” the uninitiated asked.

    “Macalester won a football game!”

    “How?”

    “I dunno, but they did.”

    “Ya sure?”

    “Not entirely, but hey, the beer is half-off.”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It really gives me hope when people from different backgrounds can come together, even if it’s over the love of a team. It makes me realize that our common loves and cares can bond people and transcend the obstacles we face. Thanks for this piece, I appreciate this idea.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I like the way you put that, because now I realize that what I liked best about the whole thing was that it gave me hope too. It’s been too long since I’ve seen our city come together like that, and realizing that we still can really does give me hope for the future. We are more alike than different, and we don’t have to let those differences divide us, I believe.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. A similar experience here this week with the Toronto Raptors winning the NBA title. The city is electric & it is so cool to see! Congratulations on the cup win! Not a Boston fan so happy to see anyone else take it!😂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I laughed out loud when I read you went back to the German restaurant, same table, same food. I would’ve done the same thing. I think you guys are having a victory parade today (Saturday). Hoping for good weather for it. Victory certainly can knock the blues right out of ya. Lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes, we’re quite sure that we did our part to help the team win! The parade and rally are today, but right now it’s raining and storming. Luckily, it should blow through before it all starts as I know lots of people are planning to go. And yeah, the Blues aren’t feeling too “blue” right now!

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  12. I know the feeling, Ann! I used to go to Baseball plays and was amazed at the atmosphere. It would be lovely to find out how we can transport this feeling of unity to other areas in life as well, not just sports.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wouldn’t it be nice? If we could all get behind ideas to better our community and help each other out? I think the key is to always keep in mind how much we humans have in common, rather than spending so much time and energy focusing on our differences. But that is really hard to do, and getting harder by the day. It seems to me that we are always being encouraged to look at other people as “the enemy,” for whatever reason!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Ours was not a game but during the last elections, for a couple of days, we learned to be brethren. We did things for others that we’d not normally do. Everyone updated everyone else. Most of us found a courage we lacked in before to spread the truth. And when we won, we were brothers and sisters all over again, in that shared jubilance.

    We’ve more or less returned to the old but I can never forget that time when we were one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think any time that we are one is truly a gift and something that sticks with us for a long, long time afterwards. I’m glad you got to experience that. And honestly, elections are more important than sports, so your experience was even more meaningful, I think.

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  14. How exciting for you! We were watching on TV here. If I have my facts right, at one point during the season, the Blues had the worst record. Also, their coach is a former Philadelphia Flier (our area) so my family was cheering! I bet that was fun going to a bar to watch 🙂

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  15. Being from Boston, of course I was (kinda) rooting for the Bruins. But after reading your post, I’m really glad – for you and all of St. Louis – that the Blues won. Like you, I’m not a huge hockey fan. Been to one game in Philadelphia about 3 decades ago and the violence on the ice kind of shocked me! Probably better to watch on TV and not see the teeth getting knocked out and the sweat flying onto the other players’ faces. ;-0 But there is something about a community rooting for a team together that is exciting and exhilarating. Boston is quite a “sports” city, and we’ve had our share of incredible wins – think football and baseball, and basketball. As in St. Louis, everyone here (it seemed) was cheering for the Bruins. But YOU went to a German restaurant – TWICE- and really cheered on your team. I love the idea of “everyone stand for the last minute.” Sweet. Happy. Yay BLUES and their fans. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much! Everyone standing together was so fun…especially since it was so unofficial, just a spontaneous show of unity.
      I know what you mean about the violence, though. It does bother me how they slam into each other (and why sometimes that means a penalty and other times it doesn’t, I have no idea) and knock each other down on the ice, which is so unforgiving. Worse is how some fans actually LOVE the fights. Luckily, where we were watching no one was cheering for violence and no one was bad-mouthing the Bruins. They were just cheering for good saves, “steals” (whatever they are called in hockey) and goals. That made it so much more fun! Wish it could always be like that….

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, better at a ‘nice’ bar with ‘nice’ people cheering on ‘nicely.’ At the Philadelphia Flyers stadium (rink?) where I saw the one and only game, most of the fans were cheering at every punch. ;-0
        To sports – where they play NICE. 🙂 During the Red Sox games, (particularly the afternoon when there’s not so much drinking) everyone in the stands loves every one else, and the crowd sings “Sweet Caroline” at Inning 6 – it almost gives me chills, it’s so nice!

        Liked by 1 person

        • That would be so touching, I didn’t know they sang that in the 6th inning! And yes, I usually follow baseball and college basketball, which are “nicer” sports too. I think the trick is to pay attention to the best in sports, and to turn our back on the darker underside and simply reject it. Which, if you think about it, is not a bad way to live our whole lives as well!

          Liked by 1 person

  16. For all that’s wrong with sports, it has a great healing power and the ability to bring people together. Congratulations on their championship!! I always like to see teams win who hasn’t won before in in along time.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I love the sentiment behind this post about people standing together.

    I was introduced to Ice Hockey by my daughter who studied at Sheffield (UK) where the local team is the Sheffield Steelers (Elite Ice Hockey League) and I can identify with being part of a huge crowd rising as one body in response to a winning goal being scored.

    Liked by 1 person

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