In a city still bewildered by Stan Kroenke’s decision to move the Rams to Los Angeles, it is refreshing to see the St. Louis Blues owner, Tom Stillman, on opening night, greeting and thanking the fans for their support.
“As each person entered Scottrade, I was telling them, thank you for your support and they were saying, ‘where is my 20% off Shoe Carnival coupon?” We laughed; and then they would say, ‘no really, where is my coupon?’
“I was determined to shake every last hand in that arena, but unfortunately, at some point during the third period, when I was working my way through the upper bowl, a fan screamed, ‘Oh my God! Look at Tom Stillman!’ I glanced down, and to my horror, I realized I had been shaking hands with a bloody stump.”
“Every usher in the section was frantically looking for my hand and wouldn’t you know it, right then and there, Magnus Paajarvi, out of all people, decides to finally score a goal. Of course everyone’s jumping up and down high fiving. Before I knew it, to the shock of the surrounding fans, I was getting high fived. Each time I jumped up and swatted another happy hand with my stump, blood would splat everywhere. By the time I regained my composure half the section looked like Red Wings fans. Of course, it went from bad to worse when a Minnesota Wild fan started taunting me with the old “give me five, on the side, in the hole, you are missing your right hand, you’re too slow” gag. My only solace at this point was knowing we were now up three to one.”
“By the time I regained my composure half the section looked like Red Wings fans.”
“Eventually a security guard found my missing appendage, apparently in a gentleman’s burrito. M.C. Usher was quoted as saying; “The fan was about to take a big old bite out of his Hand Crafted Burrito when I saw what appeared to be Mr. Stillman’s fingers sticking out, I grabbed the stubby phalanges just before the guy chomped down. The bizarre thing is that it was moving back and forth like it was still shaking hands – God Bless ’em.”
Team physician, Dr. Rick Wrong, quickly tossed Tom’s hand into an ice chest where it was med-evaced to Barnes Jewish Hospital. In all the confusion, Mr. Stillman was accidentally left behind and had to call Uber. As if things could not get any worse, the E.R. department at Barnes at first thought the Blues beer chest was a goodwill gesture from the team. They spent the next hour downing Buds and listening to the Blues post game show before eventually realizing their mistake.
Mr. Stillman took the evening’s unlikely events in stride and said, “All’s well that ends well, it was a sellout, we won the game and I got my hand sewn back on just in time to shake a few more fans hands leaving Scottrade.”
When Stan Kroenke heard about the wild night at Scottrade, he reportedly quipped; “He is hands down part of the best ownership group in sports.”