September 13, 2011
It's an odd time for the NHL and music. You have Winnipeg Jets fans begging the League not to inflict the scourge of Nickelback on them. You have Boyz II Men, Darryl Hall and G. Love waiting to submit their résumés for the Winter Classic in Philly.
And in St. Louis, you have the Blues using one of the most overplayed yet undeniably enchanting songs in the history of mankind as their slogan: Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'".
That's winger Patrik Berglund(notes) not playing the piano in the first television spot produced for the campaign, which asks St. Louis Blues fans to not stop believing when it's entirely possible they didn't believe in this group in the first place.
(Who else was waiting for a Sopranos-like finish as Berglund look down at the standings, sees the team 10 points out of a playoff spot on April 10 and the screen hard-cuts to black?)
When the news initially broke about the slogan, the primary problem was obvious: the lyrics. You know, the "born and raised in South Detroit" part that the Detroit Red Wings fans sing full-throated during games at the Joe. Games that, apparently, aren't available on the televisions inside the Blues marketing offices.
When both Frozen Notes and St. Louis Game Time expressed their displeasure about this slogan weeks ago, we figured there was still a chance for the Blues to slam on the brakes and not continue on this Journey.
Alas, it appears the rights have been secured and it's full steam ahead with what amounts to the Hartford Whalers replacing "Brass Bonanza" with "Shipping' Up To Boston" as a theme song. (The comparison being an applicable one based on the number of Stanley Cup banners involved.)
There are really only two ways to make this slogan work. The first is hinted in the Berglund spot with its center-ice piano bar whimsey: Embrace the song as the cheese-fest sing-a-long that it is. Give us a full-on Belfast Giants music video with David Backes(notes) punch-dancing in the dressing room.
The second way it works is if St. Louis Blues fans somehow convert the part about "South Detroit" into … geez, we don't know … some kind of vulgar protest along the lines of "Potvin Sucks" at Rangers games. And Blues fans aren't ones to do that oh right they totally are.
UPDATE: Reader Mike Serven correctly points out that "Don't Stop Believin'" also includes a line about how "some were born to sing the blues." Does that cancel out its connection with Detroit? Probably not.