In what can only be described as the modern day hockey version of the Chicago Daily Tribune’s “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline back in 1948, the St. Louis Dispatch ran ads congratulating the St. Louis Blues on their Stanley Cup championship in the digital version of today’s paper. There was also a letter published from the team’s owner, Tom Stillman, thanking fans for their support as the Blues brought home Lord Stanley’s trophy.
Of course, the problem is that the team hasn’t actually won yet as they only have a 3 to 2 series lead over the Boston Bruins heading into tonight’s game in St. Louis. But that didn’t stop Stillman’s letter from coming out and saying he knows “winning the Stanley Cup was a dream come true for so many of you” and telling fans they’ll never forget where they were when the Blues finally won the championship.
It shouldn’t be too surprising that these were ready to be released since you almost always see material like this released just moments after a title is secured. And it’s not just limited to the promotional material that can be found online or on TV. I was a cashier at a Sports Authority store when I was in college and playoff merchandise for local teams came to the store long before they actually clinched a postseason berth so it could immediately put out on the rack, but we were strict orders not to make it available beforehand — even for employees. In other words, this type of stuff has to be ready to go but it’s still embarrassing that it was released too early.
Perhaps the most devastating part for fans who are superstitious is Stillman’s letter highlights the potential for a parade throughout the streets of St. Louis.
“We are so very proud of our players, our organization and our fans. And now, together, we can finally say ‘We won the Cup for St. Louis,'” Stillman wrote in the letter that was published. “We look forward to celebrating with you as we parade the Cup down Market Street.”
There are several news outlets that have already put out articles saying the St. Louis Post Dispatch should be blamed if the Blues don’t end up winning the Stanley Cup. Some folks even suggested that for the sake of making sure the responsible employee doesn’t lose their job, everyone should get behind the idea of St. Louis winning their first championship in the organization’s 51 year history.
Speaking of how the employee (or, more likely, their supervisors) are handling the situation, the St. Louis Post Dispatch did release a statement after screenshots of the letter and ads found their way onto social media. It apologized for giving subscribers “a sneak peak” at the message “advertisers are hoping to say to the Blues” and said they hope they’ll be able to “share their messages with everyone very soon.”
The content was obviously taken down, but there are still some St. Louis fans who are worried the mistake might end up jinxing the team as they try to make history. As the teams are getting ready to hit the ice later tonight in what could be the final game of the season, it’ll be interesting to see whether or not the ads’ early release have angered the hockey gods.