Our Cup Runneth Over!

Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo parades the Stanley Cup down Market St. Photo by Kayla Steinberg.

JEWISH LIGHT EDITORIAL

Glory-Us!  No matter how hard it may be to believe, the St. Louis Blues have the Stanley Cup!  

Every sports cliche for an outstanding come-from-behind season applies to our Blues, who rose from last place in all of the National Hockey League in January to the world championship by defeating the powerful Boston Bruins.

Who could have predicted such a storybook rise?  Well, Laila Anderson for one. She was part of the cadre of true Blue fanatics who inspired the team, an 11-year-old girl who combines sweetness and intellect and incredible courage. As she battled a rare condition that has ravaged her immune system, Laila was “adopted” by the Blues during a Halloween event, and she became their most loyal and loving fan.  

At the huge celebration downtown, which culminated at the Gateway Arch last Saturday, Laila was privileged to hoist the coveted cup above her head, then kiss it. Who could not be moved by such an event?

As members of the St. Louis Jewish community, we join all St. Louisans in celebrating the Cup victory. We look back fondly and with gratitude to the Jewish founding owners of the franchise, Sidney Salomon Jr. and his son Sid Salomon III, with the support of Bob Wolfson, who purchased the new franchise when the NHL doubled in size by adding six new teams. 

Years later, when the team fell on hard times and was considering a move to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Jewish businessman Harry Ornest stepped up to center ice to purchase the Blues and assure their continuity in St. Louis.

This season, as the discounted Blues roared toward their Stanley Cup victory, the team’s fight song was “Gloria,” a rousing anthem from the 1980s from Laura Branigan.  

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When the sun broke through the clouds on Saturday and hundreds of thousands of fans thronged downtown to cheer their blue-clad heroes, generous Blues players returned the affection by getting down from their parade floats to let the fans touch and kiss the gleaming trophy, one of the most storied in all professional sports.

And typical of St. Louis, though the celebrations were understandably raucous, there was none of the vandalism or other destructive behavior that too often mars such occasions elsewhere. 

While St. Louis teams have met rivals from Boston for the championship in baseball, football and basketball, the Blues’ victory may be the most stirring of all. We can truly say, “Our cup runneth over.”