Tuesday, April 26, 2016


-Things You Might Not Have Seen (on TV in game 7 of the Blues-Blackhawks series. And almost 20% of the entire Chicago and St. Louis markets were watching last night's game. Record-setting numbers.)

Blues win 3-2 on Troy Brouwer's third-period goal and move on to meet Dallas in the second round. As a side note, I have done the PA announcing for over 1300 Blues games, and only a few stick out in my memory. (Of course my memory isn't what it used to be). But, last night's win, and the amazing, electric atmosphere at Scottrade Center, especially late in the third period, will stick with me for as long as I'm still around. Here's what you might not have seen on TV last night.

  • Charles Glenn, (the regular anthem singer for the Blues) and occasional special-guest anthem
    singer Generald Wilson had cooked up what would have been an amazing duet for last night's national anthem. However, Charles was a little under the weather and didn't feel up to it. So Mr. Wilson (who has performed at many big-time, national sporting events in his Navy uniform) did his usual spectacular job as the soloist. If you can't be inspired by Generald's anthem, you had better check your pulse to see if you still have one. 
  • Some in the crowd were, no doubt, wondering why there was a start and stop, and start again to one of the in-arena promotions early in the
    game. Well...TV timeouts are taken on regular stoppages in play...and not on icing calls. Last night's NHL TV timeout coordinator (and there's nobody better) Kevin Boschert thought that icing had been called when it actually was an offside call. The rest of us on headset thought it was just a regular stoppage and proceeded to get into the promotion planned for talented in-game host Angella Sharpe on the TV timeout. Then Kevin realized it was actually not an icing call...and the game operations folks at the same time realized that he hadn't called for the TV timeout and stopped poor Angella mid-sentence. After the confusion was cleared up Angella proceeded to the entertainment part as planned. Oh well...stuff happens. 
  • To follow up on that, the pre-game show put on by Sr. Director of Event Presentation Chris Frome and Entertainment Director Jason Pippi was once again awe-inspiring and an amazing electric charge to get the fans prepped for action. 
  • Francis Charron who was a stand-by referee, and Scott Cherrey a stand-by linesman, in an earlier game in the series both skated in last night's game. Congrats to last night's crew. There weren't many complaints from anybody about the way the game was called. 
  • I happened to run into Blues GM Doug Armstrong in the hallway after the game. When I
    shook his hand and congratulated him I thought I felt a sense of his (probably enormous) relief after last night's win. But he always has a sense of "there's more work to be done" about him too. 
  • As luck would have it, just after running into Army, I also encountered Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville. I guessed that he had just had a post-game talk with his team and was headed to the press conference down the hall. He had just come through a set of double doors
    that separates visitor territory from the Blues locker room area. Coach Q coached here in StL for several years and I always enjoyed chatting with him when given the chance. But I sensed that he was in no mood to talk last night. I just stopped in my tracks as he put his head down and put a hand up to his forehead in the corner made by the doors and the hallway. His emotional distress was obvious. What a classy and caring gentleman.   
  • My sense of the fan breakdown last night. 25% or so Hawks fans in the lower bowl. Maybe 5% in the upper bowl. I guess if you are traveling from Chicago to see a game in St. Louis, you may as well buy the expensive seats. 
  • You might ask..."How much fun was it last night to announce 'One minute to play in the third period'? Answer- What an amazing thrill to set 20-thousand people off into a thunderous frenzy like that. It must be like announcing the stretch run of a horse race. The finish line is in sight and anything still can happen. Wow! 
Just a final note- I'm so happy for Tom Stillman and the ownership group. If things had not gone the
Blues way last night, I can't imagine how painful from a personal and business standpoint it would have been. The guy loves hockey, the Blues, winning, and St. Louis. Could there be a better owner?

No comments: