St. Louis erupts in joy after Blues beat Bruins for Stanley Cup title
You may have seen the map on the internet — the color-coded one that shows which NHL team each of the union’s 50 states backed during the Stanley Cup Finals.
It was so overwhelmingly blue that, had this been an election year, it would make a Republican pollster faint.
Apart from New England, California and a few remnant yellow splotches, America rooted for the St. Louis Blues in their quest to break a championship drought that’s existed since the expansion season of 1967.
The joy of their 4-1, Game 7 victory over the Boston Bruins Wednesday night extended well beyond the Clark Avenue corridor that connects the Enterprise Center with Busch Stadium, where more than 45,000 fans convened to watch the winning moment on the jumbo video screen. Fans from around the globe are sounding off with excitement for the championship victory and their pride in the city itself.
Here are some perspectives on the unlikely championship from fans both well-known and unknown and both far and near:
SCOTT BERRY, the St. Louis man who placed a $400 bet on the Blues to win the Stanley Cup back in January, when the odds against it were 400-1. He won $100,000.
“”You know it’s so funny, it’s like I never in a million years thought I would be watching a game where I either am a $100,000 victor or I’m walking away with my tail between my legs. But, I’ve got all faith in these guys, I still think they’re gonna do it, they’re a better road team so tonight’s gonna be an emotional roller coaster. You’ll probably see me in tears either way.”
JAYSON TATUM, former Chaminade High School basketball star and current member of the NBA’s Boston Celtics, on Instagram.
“Listen I got nothing but love for the city of Boston and the Bruins! But St. Louis will always be home I can never go against the grain! Where I’m from there isn’t much to celebrate or be happy about! This brings the city joy and brings positive attention that we rarely ever get! With so much negative attention for many different reasons it’s rare we get this opportunity.”
JENNA FISCHER, the St. Louis-born actress best known for playing Pam on “The Office,” teasing Boston-bred former co-star John Krasinski.
“John Krasinski, I got my Gloria Cake and I’m going to eat it too!”
JOHN KRASINSKI, being gracious in defeat.
“Well, a big congrats to everyone in St. Louis. A tough loss, but a momentous occasion! Great series! Next time Fischer … next time.”
KURT WARNER, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback who led the St. Louis Rams to an unlikely Super Bowl championship in 1999. Via Twitter.
“Congrats to the @StLouisBlues & city of STL on winning the Stanley Cup... been a long time coming, but that only makes it sweeter! No greater place to enjoy a championship! Enjoyed the ride from afar... and will enjoy watching you all celebrate, miss you STL!”
ADAM WAINWRIGHT, Cardinals pitcher known to be a Blues hockey fan, via twitter.
“So happy for the @StLouisBlues organization, this great city, all the great people who’ve been looking forward to this for so long, and the amazing players who inspired us all year! Proud of my buddy Petro for being an incredible leader!!”
KATHY GOLIK, the owner of Other Half Entertainment and representative of the late recording artist LAURA BRANIGAN. It was Branigan’s hit, “Gloria,” that became the Blues’ theme song for 2019.
“Early on when I realized there was something very special here with the St. Louis Blues and ‘Gloria,’ it was natural to become involved and interact. That has led us to this celebratory point.”
CANDACE BUCKNER, who covers the NBA’s Wizards for the Washington Post. She confessed in a column Thursday to not being a hockey fan — until this year.
“I wanted this so badly because I love St. Louis. When friends have mocked my newly discovered passion, I would tell them I wouldn’t care if it was the curling championships or the drywall-installing Final Four — if my city is on the front of the jersey, then I’m all for it.”
PAUL RUSSO, the manager of Pro Image Sports at St. Clair Square in Fairview Heights, describing the crush of customers to purchase Stanley Cup Championship gear Thursday morning.
“We had a line of people waiting for me to arrive with the different boxes I had and then there was pandemonium.”
JON HAMM, film and television star who hails from Florrissant, Missouri, and remains highly-visible at St. Louis sporting events.
“So many high-fives. When you are remotely recognizable, everybody wants to high-five you. It’s very difficult to determine how many high-fives you should give out, but it was great. It was the succession of so many close calls that actually went through. When they went through it was like (sigh) ‘OK … we did it.”
BRAD MARCHAND, Boston Bruins winger.
“It’s a heart-breaker. It’s tough to describe. It meant everything we worked for our entire lives and we were 60 minutes away from that. You can’t describe it.”