ST. LOUIS — It’s no secret that Jon Hamm is a big St. Louis Blues fan. The actor grew up in the city, going to games with his father back in the days when the team played in the Checkerdome, a.k.a. St. Louis Arena.
The last time Hamm was in Enterprise Center was when the Blues eliminated the San Jose Sharks in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final and he celebrated downstairs in the arena with the players. Following the win, he sent a text to his best friend in Australia and told him he was flying him in to be a part of the experience.
Even with championships won in the city in recent years by the Rams and Cardinals, Hamm is one who understands just what this run to the Cup Final has meant to the city. As he was by his hotel Saturday afternoon, he noticed many more people were walking toward the hockey rink than the baseball stadium; an odd sight for him, especially with the Chicago Cubs in town.
“I think that’s probably the first time in the history of the city that that’s happened,” Hamm said before Game 3. “It’s a big deal. I mean, it’s a really big deal. I think the whole ‘Gloria’ phenomenon, it’s another thing that, especially for the guys on the team, but even more so for the people of the city, it’s something to unite and rally around. And I love that people have taken it up and run with it.”
Three years after losing the Rams to Los Angeles and after 49 years of NHL seasons ending in disappointment for the Blues, Hamm agrees with the thought that St. Louis needed a sports run like this.
“Sure. I mean, who says no to the Stanley Cup?,” Hamm said. “But yeah, we could use a win. It’s been a rough run for the city the last three decades or so with the odd Cardinals championship here and there and what-not. It would be nice for a million different reasons, but mostly I think for the guys on this team. when you look back, whatever it was, January 2, last in the League. And to have the guts and fortitude and strength and character and the skill to come back from that, yeah, I mean, I think these guys believe. And I think the city’s starting to.”
Hamm, who was also at the 2017 Winter Classic at Busch Stadium between the Blues and Chicago Blackhawks, says he wouldn’t trade any of the city’s sports championships in order for the hockey team to finally win the Stanley Cup.
“Why not both? I don’t want to get greedy, but come on. We’re here,” Hamm said. “Part of it really is the novelty of it and finally getting this far for the first time in 49 years. And I really do think, who cares what I think. I’m honestly like an actor that is just a fan of the team. You can pull anybody off the concourse and they’ll say the same thing.
“But I think that people are really in a different way this year believers. And I think it says a lot.”
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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.