There are things to be said about tonight’s Columbus Blue Jackets game, or at the very least, my time at the CBJ game.
- The atmosphere was awesome. It’s all well and fine to poke fun of the Blue Jackets fans (or any other fan whose team hasn’t had the success of others). But the fans showed up. They showed up in droves, they showed up to support their team, they showed up ready to do battle (and at times, with each other). They bought the swag, they shouted their support, they lived and died by the game. If the fans could have played the game themselves, the Red Wings would have lost big. You can not count this fanbase out, no matter what the regular season attendance looked like. Winning brings the fans to the arena, and this experience will bring the fans. They may have been swept out of the playoffs, but the fans didn’t care.
- Do we have to talk about the refs? Fine. The linesmen are the ones who call ‘too many men on the ice’ penalties. When the penalty was called, no one knew what was going on. It wasn’t just the inexperience of the fans, it was the lack of real evidence and the refs (the guys with the orange armbands) seemingly putting their whistles in their pockets. If the linesmen, who have a very specific list of penalties they can call, are not on board, they will make this call. It is what they are trained to do, and if it was the right call, then so be it. As for a storyline or a way you want to see a game end, this wasn’t it. There are better ways to end a game, and end a series.
- I do not care for the reaction of SOME of the fans. Throwing things on the ice is no way to show that you support your team. It shows a lack of class, and while class may be lacking in fanbases around the league (or around any sports league), putting it on display like this does the fans that truly support their team and sport a disservice. Hell, half of the objects thrown didn’t make it to the ice, and wound up hitting another fan. Showing a lack of respect to the refs is one thing, but to negatively influence the experience of a fellow fan is an offense that should be punishable by death (or Florida Marlins season tickets, which is a toss up, really).
- I did not see some of the ‘non-calls’ thanks to them happening along the boards at my end of the ice, and the fact that I had a really tall guy standing in front of me. I could have saved sixty bucks had I taken the standing room only tickets, but I opted for a seat. I hope to use it more often next time at Nationwide.
- Sure, I wanted the Red Wings to lose, but I really wanted to see the Blue Jackets fans rewarded for sticking with their team, and their excitement for the playoffs.
- I started the season in Columbus, and I ended the season in Columbus.
- To the bloggers and internet hockey fans I did not get to see, I am sorry. I wasn’t able to hang with you as much as I wanted to. Know that you are my people, and I will make an effort to see you again.
- I am getting up early tomorrow to drive to the Memphis area to see the Colorado Eagles take on the Mississippi Riverkings. Tonight, the went to double OT, and lost, but they are now 7-1 in the playoffs. I think seeing a friendly jersey will be just the spark they need.
- This was simply awesome. I can’t wait to listen to some of the audio I gathered, and hope to have some stuff for the podcast.
I took a ton of pictures, but have no time to sort them tonight. They will go up soon (I could fill the offseason with the photos I haven’t posted).