Saturday, April 7, 2012

Paradox of the Highest Order

Almost 6 months ago, a hockey season started up in Columbus...with hopes that were so high we've now suffered through 80 some games that at times have had many of us wanting to throw up our hands in disbelief.

We've struggled through some highs and some very VERY deep lows. Its been the paradox of this season. How did this all happen? How did we get here? But every win still feels good. As I think back to what we've lived through the list is long and not always so distinguished....
  • FreeWiz
  • WizMas
  • Carter Controversy
  • Vinning
  • 0-8
  • Who is in goal NOW?
  • NashGate
  • Camsanity
  • Arena deal secured
  • Keep Piling On
  • Loss of our ECHL affiliate
  • Clockgate
  • DD
  • JMFJ
  • I'll show you the stats on that
  • CBJ has a DJ
  • TweetUps
  • Hattricks galore
  • Hunwick
  • Fail for Nail
  • An IR seemingly longer than our roster
  • All-Star Game
But where does this leave us now? It leaves us with one game left - one last opportunity to savor the CBJ - somewhat as it was envisioned (for better or worse). Next year has been ensured to be one of the biggest series of changes this franchise has seen - if for no other reason that we bid adieu to Rick Nash. When I talked at the beginning of the season about how "change was coming" and that we should savor this time with our boys on the ice, little did I know how significant the pending change would be and who would be affected.

So tonight - while there's certainly a part of me that wants this cursed season to just be over with already, I know for sure that a part of me is going to miss heading down to "The Greeg" to take in the wonderful game on ice. And yes, we have playoffs to watch, but its just not the same as heading into our "own" arena, feeling the chill in the air, hearing the scuff of skate on ice, the shouts of our boys to one another, or chanting "Chili" every few games.

I'll be down at the Arena tonight, hoping to take it all in in hopes that it just might sustain me for a bit through the off season. We know our Blue Jackets will never quite look like this again - and that is for better, and for worse. I love ya, hockey, and I love the boys in the Union Blue.

Monday, March 12, 2012

#CBJTweetUpDrinkUp

HT @RedditCBJ for the slick graphic
Yep. So THAT happened!!! Saturday night, just over 60 amazing people from all over (including from St. Louis!) decided to come together at BWW's in Grandview (HT Greg!) to put on an event where we could eat, drink, and watch our beloved, beleaguered Blue Jackets take on...the Blues. (Grrr)

It's amazing to realize that when we started this new tradition of #TweetUps in the pre-season of this year, who'd have thought it'd become an event that occurs every game and that everyone would turn it into such an event as Saturday. We had a ticket giveaway, we had "games", a visit from our very own CBJ_DJ and tons and tons of great people. What's particularly cool, is that I saw many people on Saturday who were in that original picture in the post I linked to above, and that those folks, and so many new ones, are people I count as real friends who I would have not met otherwise without our twitter fights/fun/debates and silliness.

There are so many people to thank who made the event possible - every time I try to start the list of the folks responsible for this event's success it gets too long - so consider it this way - if you were there on Saturday? THANK YOU for making #CBJTweetUpDrinkUp a success. If you tweeted about the event? THANK YOU for making #CBJTweetUpDrinkUp a success. If you even knew about it, THANK YOU too. If you contributed to the many, many meme's well....(haha, just kidding) THANK YOU. Seriously - everyone had a hand in making this thing one of the best CBJ nights in a long time.

Tweeple celebrating #Camsanity
The best part of the night was so many people saying "we need to do this again!" So, stay tuned friends...we'll find some time to hang out and hopefully be just another outlet for CBJ fans to have some fun.

In the mean time, if you're looking to carry on the #Lovefest that was Saturday just a little bit more here's some fun things for you:

Read Greg's pre-event blog HERE

Read MartiniHockey's recap HERE

See a bunch of Derdrache's photos HERE

Wanna relive the tweets (and maybe find more of those meme's?) check the hashtag again HERE

If you guys come across any other great parts of the evening, feel free to add them in the comments or let me know and I'll update the post as well.




Saturday, February 25, 2012

One Thing the Blue Jackets are Always Good At...

Ignore the dangling participle there in the title, but in this slide towards the end of the season, I wanted to give a spotlight to one positive this season which is an annual event that the Blue Jackets Foundation holds: the "Black Tie Blue Jackets Style Show" (or as many of us call it:: #CBJBlackTie)

Kim and Sharon
I have a dream to be able to attend this event some day, but in the interim, I turn this blog post over to my dear friends Kim and Sharon who were able to attend this year and they were gracious enough to share their experiences with me about the night. Special recognition to these women as Kim is currently waging her own amazing battle against cancer - so her perspective is particular precious in my eyes. Thank you BOTH for taking the time to share your memories and photos from a great great

We've seen the evening mentioned on Jackets TV, and on Fox Sports Ohio coverage, but I'm always a fan of those first-hand perspectives...so here we go!




1. Talk a little bit about the schedule for the night...how was the evening set up? I know you've been to other events such as Hockey N Heels and post-game autograph sessions - how did this night compare?
 We arrived at the event and were greeted by free valet parking. We were instantly surprised by the red carpet laid out for everyone to walk on. From 5:30 to 7:00pm was a cocktail reception and hors d'oeuvres, both of which were delicious. During that time it was very casual as you could eat and drink alongside the Blue Jackets players. There were several tables of silent auction items, ranging from golf packages, signed hockey sticks and pads, vacation getaways, and gift baskets. We would both have to agree that this was probably the most fun part of the evening because we witnessed the players selecting their drinks and having casual conversations with those attending. For the record, we did see several players texting and playing around on twitter. This should put a smile on the faces of the Twitter faithful. :)

2. Tell me how they wove the mission of the charity into the evening?
Love you #50
This year’s theme of the event was Strength, Hope, and Courage. For the word Strength they had a performer, like the ones you see at cirque De Solei, who performed on bilateral ropes to show off her strength. Hope was spotlighted by the Ohio State ukulele club playing Over the Rainbow. Their performance was uplifting, to say the least. Courage brought the most tears as they had two former heroes, who are now cancer free, read a poem by Dr Seuss. Everything was appropriate in proportion. Then the mission of giving was represented by a live auction with an auctioneer. Items auctioned included a Greenbrier golf package which went for $18,000, Brody the  Labradoodle at $7000.00, All-Star Weekend package, and donations to improve the foundation center at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

As a cancer fighter, I found myself in tears on several occasions. The whole event was handled beautifully. It was very sad to see how different the views of a cancer diagnosis are handled. Children do not take the diagnosis of cancer as a death sentence, unlike adults who think they are going to die. They are truly courageous and strong.

3. Obviously, we all love to interact with the CBJ players - did you get to spend time with a lot of them? Who was your favorite? Who really stood out as part of the event (who was "getting it")
During the actual dinner event you really do not get to interact with the players. Most of the interactions took place during the cocktail reception. I was shocked at how casual the players were. Standing in line behind Wisniewski, as he selected his drink for the evening, it was funny because as fans, you forget that they are people just like us. During the runway show, Huselius and his wife stole the spotlight by dancing like fools with their hero. Most the players got into the runway show by strutting their stuff.
Um DELICIOUS!
4. As a hockey fan, what does the night mean to you?
Sharon: It means to me that the Columbus Blue Jackets stand for more than just hockey. They stand for service and charity to the entire city of Columbus. The players give freely of their time on AND off the ice, and that is something that we, as fans, can all be proud of.
Kim: The night was a time to celebrate the amazing courage of this year’s heroes. They have endured the hard chemotherapy, radiation and surgery at such a young age. For three hours they were the spotlight and they enjoyed it.

5. What will be your favorite memory of the whole night?
Kim and Cappy #61
 Kim: It's hard for me to pick one favorite memory, but if I had to pick one, it would have to be the hug that Rick Nash gave  me. One of the funniest things was that I almost ran into Sanford.

Sharon and Steve Mason
Sharon: For me, my favorite memory of the night was the conversation I had with Steve Mason. It wasn't because he's my favorite player or a fan girl moment, but because we had a conversation that I hope left him aware that not everybody blames all the team’s problems on him. We seemed to connect and agree on issues with the team. I did not feel like I was having a conversation with a "celebrity," more like a friend