During the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, you may have noticed a new tradition blooming in St. Louis. It has nothing to do with gooey butter cake. Fans and players are yelling out "Play Gloria" and changing their name to Gloria on social media. It's because the Blues have taken to playing Laura Branigan's "Gloria" after home wins at the Enterprise Center. The Blues' win song had previously been "Runaround Sue," but that changed because of a rookie goaltender, superstition, and a bar in Philadelphia.
Throughout the early portion of the NHL season, the Blues had been hovering near the bottom of the league, even hitting rock bottom at one point. Head coach Mike Yeo was fired and replaced by associate coach Craig Berube in late November. Things weren't looking great. The team was on the road, about to play a January game against Philadelphia.
Five players visited a private club called Jacks NYB to watch a playoff game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears. Someone in the bar allegedly kept yelling to the DJ, "Play Gloria!" The DJ acquiesced during commercial breaks, played the song, and the bar went crazy every time.
Three Reasons Why We Love to Hate Meryl Streep on 'Big Little Lies'
The players loved it. "Right there we decided we should play the song after our wins," defenseman Joel Edmundson told the Blues' official site.
The next night, Binnington, a rookie goaltender who has come under fire for racially-charged tweets, got a shutout win in his first NHL start. "We just happened to get a win the next day and made it our win song," Blues forward Robby Fabbri told the USA Today.
It was about this time that the team pulled off a massive reversal in the standings, and clawed its way back into playoff contention. Superstitions in sports being what they are -- read: omnipresent and illogical to anyone outside the superstition -- the song stuck and isn't going to change as the Blue inch closer to the franchise's first-ever Stanley Cup championship.
Back in 1982, Branigan's "Gloria" reached No. 2 on the charts. In 2019, thanks largely to the Blues, it hit as high as No. 37 on the iTunes charts.
The bar has embraced the Blues, playing the song after every Blues goal and becoming a sort of de facto Blues bar because of its place in the team's story this season. The team has embraced it in a big way. The fans have embraced it. And, though Branigan died in 2004, her manager and official Twitter account have embraced its role in the Blues' run as well. If the Blues manage to get past the Boston Bruins and win the Stanley Cup, you're definitely going to hear a lot of "Gloria" around St. Louis for the foreseeable future.
Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email and subscribe here for our YouTube channel to get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.