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TOKYO (AP) — I can’t imagine there were many St. Louis Blues fans farther from their hometown than I was when the team finally won its first Stanley Cup. If not, my kicker is that I actually attended Blues games that first season in 1967-68.

Others talk about being long-suffering fans. They’ve got nothing on me.

I’m based in Tokyo covering the run-up to next year’s Olympics for The Associated Press — hard-bitten, cynical, and a hack who has covered a dozen Olympics and soccer World Cups. I’d almost forgotten how attached mere fans get to their local teams — until the Blues got close to the prize, making me extremely superstitious.

I refused

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