By Gloria Lloyd
By the time this issue arrives in most of your mailboxes, you’ll know whether the St. Louis Blues won the Stanley Cup.
But at the time I’m writing this, all I know is that they lost Sunday and are set to play the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals Wednesday, June 12.
Whether or not the Blues won, they deserve all the respect and admiration that this city can give them.
Much has been made of their never-give-up attitude, their spunky run from the bottom to the top of the NHL standings, the way they fought back from the brink of elimination during earlier playoff games.
You can never write off these St. Louis Blues, and that’s what makes them so fun to watch. And it’s the easy explanation for why everything in St. Louis right now pretty much revolves around the Blues and their unprecedented quest for the Cup.
Near-record flooding? The Cardinals? The Oakville High School band heading to France to represent the United States by performing at the 75th anniversary of D-Day? Every other news story, sports or otherwise, has been overshadowed as St. Louis cheers on the Blues.
Sometimes that might seem discouraging: As usual, the public at large pays attention to sports rather than the important issues. Let them eat cake and all.
But the Blues have been a fun, much-needed distraction for a city that was under siege this year from both the Better Together statewide vote — in which the city’s elites argued that residents of the city and county shouldn’t even be allowed to choose their own government — and the corruption in St. Louis County.
Of course, not everything in life revolves around sports. A historic milestone last week that St. Louis also participated in showcased the vast difference between hockey players and true life-or-death heroism.
The Oakville Tiger Band performed at the 75th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France, near the graves of the many men who died in World War II, when they were not that much older than those students themselves.
So while let’s not be mistaken that the Blues are heroes in the true sense of the word, they’ve provided a regional unity Better Together didn’t.
And whatever you want to say about St. Louis, the Blues scrapping and clawing their way to the top of the NHL from last place is in many ways representative of the many hardworking people who live in this city and region.
St. Louisans never give up, even when their backs are to the wall. Even when they’re illegally cross-checked, punched in the face after the whistle and counted out before the game even started.
You can see this showcased in all sorts of ways in our pages this week: The heroism of Dr. Chris Bosche, a firefighter who responded on 9/11 and later paid the ultimate price. You can see it in the Lindbergh High School rugby team, which defeated a top team to won the championship.
Mehlville Superintendent Chris Gaines figured out a way to bring innovative “schools within a school” to the Mehlville School District’s middle schools despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
It even happens every day in the classrooms of teachers like those at Lindbergh Schools, where Superintendent Tony Lake said at the end of the day for the district, “It’s about being a good person. It’s about life skills, it’s about grit, it’s about determination. It’s about being able to put a lens on and empathize with someone else. That’s the whole premise is empathy, looking at someone else’s situation and how do you solve that problem.”
Not everyone is going to score a gamewinning goal in the NHL playoffs, as South County native Patrick Maroon did. Twice.
But we can all make a difference in our own communities and never give up trying to bring good things to St. Louis and the world.
It’s easy to lionize sports heroes. But just like the men who died on D-Day, the lesson of their perseverance and determination can carry over to any level of life. As Lindbergh rugby coach Ron Laszewski said, “Fitness, fundamentals and a never-quit attitude carried us through.”
And we can all use that in life. Go Blues.