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Stanley Cup Final

Blues anthem singer hopes to go out on high note at Game 6 of Cup Final

Last performance after 19 years to come before potential championship clincher against Bruins

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / Columnist

ST. LOUIS -- Charles Glenn doesn't know how he will feel. He won't know until he walks out, lights low, crowd cheering, family in the stands, to sing the U.S. national anthem before Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final at Enterprise Center on Sunday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS).

"Hopefully I can keep it together," he said Saturday. "You know it's going to be emotional, but I don't know how deep."

In his final game after 19 years as the anthem singer, the St. Louis Blues have a chance to clinch the first championship in their 52-year history. They lead the Boston Bruins 3-2 in the best-of-7 series.


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The 64-year-old, who has multiple sclerosis and is retiring, will be like the players in a sense.

"I'm leaving every note I've got on the ice," he said.

Glenn has been an institution at Blues games, belting out a powerful, relatively straightforward version of "The Star-Spangled Banner." When he ends the anthem with "brave," the fans replace the word with "Blues!"

"You can see the emotional lift that the crowd gets when he walks out there," said defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, the Blues captain, who has played in St. Louis since 2008. "These are the people that have been in the organization, that have been here for a long time, waiting their turn. It's guys like him … that you want to make sure you give a good effort for."

Glenn loves this team.

"I bleed blue," he said. "I mean, I'm a huge Blues fan, and it runs in the family."

When he first started singing at Blues games, he brought his daughter, Elizabeth, who was 8 or 9 at the time.

"I said, 'We're going to a hockey game,'" he said. "She said, 'I don't like hockey, daddy.' I said, 'Have you ever seen hockey?' She goes, 'No. I see it on TV, and I turn away.' She saw her first game, and when she turned 19, she ended up being a Blue Crew girl. She fell in love with it immediately."

Video: BOS@STL, Gm3: Charles Glenn performs national anthem

Glenn and his wife, Nikki, performed at a watch party for Game 5 at Donatelli's, a restaurant in Lake St. Louis, Missouri. During commercial breaks and intermissions, they played songs like "When the Blues Go Marchin' In," a Blues game staple, and "Gloria," the Blues victory anthem. They played "We Want the Funk" but changed the key lyrics.

"We want the Cup!" they sang. "Gotta have that Cup!"

"And everybody was singing with it," Glenn said.

During game action, though, Glenn was busy watching the television.

"People wanted to come up to me, and I'm like, 'Really? Not now. Not now, please,'" he said. "'You've got to understand what we're going through right now. Not now, please. No.'"

St. Louis won 2-1 in Boston, putting them on the brink.

"We're one win away," he said. "I'm at an all-time high because we've never been this far before."

Glenn said if the Blues win, the celebration will be bigger than when the St. Louis Rams won Super Bowl XXXIV at the end of the 1999 season or when the St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series in 2011. The Rams were in their fifth season in St. Louis then; they left for Los Angeles in 2016. The Cardinals have won the World Series 11 times.

"I hope this is our last game of the season," he said. "I want to clinch in St. Louis. We clinch in St. Louis, you are going to see a parade like no other. Like. No. Other. I remember the parade that we did when we won the Super Bowl. It was huge. And the parade when we won the World Series in 2011. That was huge. But this is going to be bigger than all of them, twofold, because we've never won.

"They've never seen the Stanley Cup come here. They've never seen the Stanley Cup victory in St. Louis, and so that's why it's going to be so huge. This is new to us. This is brand new to us. And we're excited."

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