As you all may know, I am very new to the industry. Dater has given me the opportunity of a lifetime and I can not thank him enough for this. Growing up a hockey fan I have only gotten to experience games on the road in the stands with my wife (Columbus and Toronto), but never in the in the press box. Today I would love to tell you all about my first experience as an NHL beat writer on the road. Here is my story of my first road trip.
The St. Louis Blues have this weird thing for scheduling games in the middle of the day. So we figured why not fly in that morning. The day started at 1:45 am for me to as I got up to finish packing for the trip. With the drive to airport, I needed to be out the door by 2:15 am. Except there was an issue right away, my son woke up and realized that I was leaving the house. He started crying and yelling for me not to go. It was hard for both of us to say our goodbyes, but he eventually understood that, “Daddy had to go to work and will be back in a couple of days.”
I got to the airport at about 3:30 am in order to be ready for the 5:30 am flight. Nothing was open yet, so I had to find a vending machine to buy a Monster and get to work while I waited for my flight. I wrote the Dater’s Daily and we started to board. There was only 39 of us crazy enough to go this early to St. Louis, so it was a really quiet flight. The two guys behind me were going for the game and actually knew who I was! I am still trying to get used to being recognized in public.
The flight landed on time at about 9:30, so I decided to hop on the Metro Link and head downtown. The ride on the Metro took about 45 minutes from the airport to the Enterprise Center. After about ten minutes, I found my way up to the press box, which is massive! There are 62 seats just for reporters, scouts and team personnel. The pregame media meal included chicken, broccoli, potatoes and some toasted ravioli things that were delicious.
The MetroLink system in St. Louis.
The press box at Enterprise Center (this is just half of it!)
The pregame meal.
It was fun to experience the game in a different environment. I had so much space to work it was….really nice! I enjoyed some snacks and wrote about the game as it happened. With about three minutes left, and a tie game, I started to head down to the locker rooms. Little did I know, that three goals were going to be scored while I waiting behind the Avalanche bench. I had never been behind the benches as the game was being played, so hearing Bednar and the players was the best part of it. I managed to get an interview with Mikko Rantanen, write the post game and start the trek to the hotel.
— Brennan Vogt (@brennan_vogt) December 12, 2022
This is where I had to make the trip interesting. When I left the airport I saw a bunch of hotel shuttles picking up outside terminal two, so I went right back to where those were picking up. Come to find out (through texting with Dater and calling the hotel) that I was at the wrong terminal! I had to run to other terminal in order to get picked up and checked in about 9:30 pm. The hotel room was a basic Quality Inn Suites room. It was nothing fancy, but that is all I wanted.
The next morning started with breakfast at the Golden Pancake and a ride on the Metro to the Gateway Arch. I got to see the Mississippi River for the first time in my life and go up in the Arch. On my way back to the Metro station I stopped by Busch Stadium (since it was right next to it) and then headed to the airport. I knew there was a snowstorm heading into town, so I got an earlier flight to beat the storm.
The Gateway Arch and Museum.
Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals
This trip will be something that I will never forget. I maybe old, but there were a lot of firsts in this trip for me. It all would not have been possible without you, our subscribers and of course Adrian Dater. If you want help us go on more road trips you can always donate to our tip jar, where five cents of every dollar goes to the Thornton Food Bank.