Dear Current and Hopefully Soon Future Owners of the Blues:
“Don’t Stop Believin'” is a fine song. I’m not one of those pretentious jerkwads who thinks that because Journey sold more than 58 copies of their albums and get played on non-college radio stations that they automatically suck and you should hate them. Journey made some pretty good songs, and “Don’t Stop Believin'” is basically their signature tune. Not their best, necessarily, but the one where in an association game you say “Journey” and your counterpart immediately comes back with “Don’t Stop Believin'”.
But regardless of the actual merits of the song, or its appropriateness as an anthem for a team that wants to pride itself on never quitting, it’s still a horrible choice for the simple fact that it is regularly played at Joe Louis Arena, to the hearty approval of Red Wings fans. Nothing associated with the Red Wings should EVER, NEVEREVEREVER, be used by the Blues as a marketing gimmick. It’d be as if the Cardinals had a promotion where you could win the chance to come sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” at Busch Stadium with Al Hrabosky during the seventh-inning stretch. As hilarious as that sounds in conecpt, and might even actually be in execution, you STILL CAN’T DO IT, because it’s a hated rival’s gimmick.
But I don’t want to just bitch, because even though bitching can be therapeutic, it is unhelpful. And I’m here to help you, St. Louis Blues Marketing Team. Here are Eight Songs That Are Better Marketing Tools Than That One, And Have Nothing To Do With the Red Wings:
1) Nelly, “Number One”
With lyrics like “You better watch who you talkin bout; runnin your mouth, like you know me/
You gon’ fuck around and show why the “show me” get called the “show me” ” and “With my family and friends, and my closest of kin/
And I’ll do it again if it means i’ma win” you get both the local connection, and the team unity concept. Given Nelly’s loud-and-proud relationship with the city and its sports teams, licensing is a non-issue.
2) The Beatles, “Come Together”
Wouldn’t you just love for David Backes to give Jonathan Toews the ju-ju eyeball? And when the Blues score their third goal of the night, Towel Boy can lead the crowd in a chant of “ONE and ONE and ONE is THREE.”
3) Ke$ha, “We R Who We R”
I believe Ke$ha to be, in general, a vile human being with a tenuous grasp of the English language. But her songwriters know what they are doing, and catch these lyrics: “Tonight we’re going hard/ Just like the world is ours/We’re tearing it apart/You know we’re superstars/We R who we R” You can’t tell me that a video of Patrik Berglund and TJ Oshie lip-synching to that wouldn’t be hilarious. Well, you can tell me, but I refuse to believe it.
4) Toby Keith, “As Good As I Once Was”
I’m imagining a spoof video fauturing Jason Arnott and Jamie Langenbrunner. And you know the Scottrade crowd is apeshit for Toby Keith. Don’t lie to yourself.
5) Ringo Starr, “It Don’t Come Easy”
“You got to pay your dues/If you’re playing for the Blues/And you know it don’t come easy” This is a no-fucking-brainer. I can’t believe this wasn’t the first choice. I’ve already got 2 and half minutes of video montage in my head.
6) Tom Petty, “I Won’t Back Down”
If you’re going to go with a good-yet-way-overplayed song by a commercially successful, baby-boomer-pleasing act, “I Won’t Back Down” beats “Don’t Stop Believin'” in every conceivable way. Including the very important way of being A SONG THE RED WINGS DON’T USE ON A REGULAR BASIS.
7) White Stripes, “Seven Nation Army”
The Blues have players from six countries (US, Canada, Russia, Sweden, Slovakia, Czech Republic). The seventh nation is the fans. The video makes itself. This is really not complicated. I can sit here and toss off ideas like this in half an hour; the Blues spent probably tens of thousands of dollars on a marketing firm that took three months to come up with “Don’t Stop Believin'”. I sure hope their scouts are smarter.
8) Nine Inch Nails, “Something I Can Never Have”
Just a video, over and over again, of Yzerman beating Jon Casey, juxtaposed with a photo of the Stanley Cup. You know, for the real-life experience of the Blues fan.