ST. LOUIS — How many dates do you have memorized? No, really memorized.
Probably a few birthdays? Perhaps an anniversary? The day you started a job? The day you lost someone close to you?
Maybe everyone has a better internal calendar than me, but I really only have a handful of exact dates burned into my memory I could quote you at the drop of a hat.
June 12, 2019 is one of them.
I suspect I'm not the only one with that date circled in my brain. Because one year ago Friday, the Blues made June 12 an immortal day in St. Louis.
We thought June 9 might be the special one, with the Blues at home for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final and a chance to clinch the franchise's first championship at home. But that would've been too easy for this bunch.
Nope, it took to the season's last possible day, June 12, to make history.
One year later, the feelings from that day are as alive as ever.
There has not been one day in the past year I didn't think about the Blues' Game 7 win in the Stanley Cup Final at least once. Not one day. And every day I shake my head, still in disbelief that it happened, and that I was somehow fortunate enough to be there to see it in person.
June 12, 2019 was the culmination of 52 years of heartbreaks and almosts. The weight of a half-century of baggage was finally off St. Louis' back.
A year later, you remember the moments. And I know 52 years later, you still will.
You remember Pietrangelo's gorgeous backhand goal to put the Blues up 2-0, the eventual game-winner.
You remember Binnington's epic, sprawling save.
You remember Sanford putting it away to go up 4-0. (That was when I allowed myself to start to believe it was real).
You remember the clock hitting zero.
You remember Pietrengelo raising the Cup amid the sparks of celebration and passing it right to Jay Bouwmeester.
You remember hometown hero Pat Maroon greeting his family for the first time as a champion.
You remember Colton Parayko and Laila Anderson sharing a special moment on the ice.
You remember Bob Plager realizing he would finally get the parade he had waited 52 years for.
You remember it all, and you always will. Because there's never been a moment quite like it for St. Louisans. You'll always remember where you were, who you were with, how many times you sang "Gloria" and which moment on the screen made you tear up.
The 2019 Blues were sports at its best. They created a feeling and a moment that is distinctly unique. We've been basking in that feeling for an entire year.
Now, life goes on and the feeling will eventually go away. Especially after someone new ends up claiming the Cup.
But every June 12, it's going to come back. And you're going to remember everything that made those few months in 2019 some of the most exciting times in the history of our town.
No matter how many championships this franchise goes on to win, the first one will always be the most special.
It took a half-century struggle, an interim coach, an unknown rookie goaltender, a worst-to-first effort and one playoff gut punch after another to get it done. But one year ago Friday, the St. Louis Blues got it done. In glorious fashion.