Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Sports Fans' Fervor Knows No Bounds

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Sports Fans' Fervor Knows No Bounds

Article excerpt

THESE PEOPLE are real.

They actually exist. And beyond the sports that consume them, they lead what would generally be considered normal lives.

Normal if your idea of normality is driving for nearly two days to see a minor-league hockey game in Canada's Maritime Provinces. Normal if you don't think it's unusual to have a perfect attendance record at Cardinals home games going back to the early years of the first term of the Reagan administration. Just about 900 consecutive ballgames.

Who are these people?

Charles E. Taylor is a Clayton lawyer who loves hockey and almost never misses a game at The Arena. He knows another lawyer named Robert Paskal, who is beyond loving hockey. His obsession goes so deep that someday they may have to call an exorcist.

In September, Paskal and his wife Jake moved from here to Boothbay Harbor, Maine, in part because it put them closer to more levels of hockey action.

Paskal - a Blues season-ticket holder from the beginning and an old Flyers and Braves fan before that - once flew from St. Louis to Boston, where he rented a car and drove to and from Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. Almost 1,600 miles round trip, just to see a minor-league game.

When he crossed the border at Calais, Maine, Canadian customs agents detained Paskal for three hours. They tore his car apart looking for drugs. They even made him dump his coffee thermos and wouldn't let him go to the bathroom.

"They were certain the story I was telling them just couldn't be true," Paskal says.

Oh? Why wouldn't customs agents believe a guy would go from St. Louis to Moncton, in the Maritime Provinces, to watch minor-league hockey?

If Paskal has a kindred soul on the baseball side, it certainly has to be Marion Ingberg of Clayton. …

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