Let's Go Blues! From The CEO Of Stifel
Written By Ron Kruszewski, Chairman and CEO of Stifel Financial Corp.
Oh when the Blues
Go marching in
Oh when the Blues go marching in
Oh I want to be in that number
When the Blues go marching in
When St. Louis introduced the Blues in 1967, fans welcomed them by riffing on When The Saints Go Marching In. That little riff has stayed with us for over fifty years, but it has never meant more than it does now. Look it up: the song is actually about redemption and salvation.
Redemption at last for the Blues faithful, who have supported the team for 52 years.
Redemption of historic proportions for the team, being in last place – last place! – in January.
Redemption for Laura Branigan’s Gloria – and, believe it or not, redemption for me. This year, Stifel agreed to sponsor the Bull and Bear Club at the Enterprise Center, a decision we made in part due to the optimistic outlook on the team heading into the season. In January, this didn’t seem like a great idea. Now I can take credit for a great investment.
The song’s other theme, that of salvation, is reverberating in the city as well – and not only salvation from having to watch Bobby Orr’s series-winning goal from 1970, played in a loop, from now to eternity. There are countless great stories to tell, from the faith of Blues owner Tom Stillman, whose investment in the team was rewarded, to what the team’s run meant to 11-year-old Laila Anderson as she battled a rare, life-threatening disease.
The Stanley Cup’s arrival in St. Louis illustrates what is possible through hard work, teamwork, investment, and collaboration. The example set by the Blues is a blueprint for all, including the St. Louis region, business, family, and politics.
By no means are sports a panacea. It’s unrealistic to think that any sports victory could equal salvation for a city. But in the case of the Blues, sports can lift us up. They can unite us. I could go on about the challenges we face as a region, but for now, let’s all enjoy the moment.
The victory parade in Downtown St. Louis. Photos by Jon Gitchoff.