What’s that saying? Its all in the company you keep? Well, we’re “this close” to hockey (thank the lord!) so, before we dive into who makes the roster, who’s scratched and the first games, I thought I’d take one last long loving look at the intangibles that the Blue Jacket fan base has…aside from Dorsett’s fire, Nash’s goals, Calvert’s hat tricks, and Masons…ok, well you get the idea…aside from all that, what we’ve got here, my friends, is a bona fide Blue Jackets Community. Aside from the sport itself, the people surrounding this team are really quite special. I dare say, win or lose (hopefully a lot more of the former than the latter) as the season draws near, every CBJ fan has a lot to look to – and appreciate – throughout the season:
. While not new to the sports community, bloggers of all that is CBJ have to be some of the most welcoming I’ve met. In a theme that will quickly run through this entire post, I can’t name (or link to) all the CBJ bloggers without unconsciously omitting someone, but you can see some of my favorites here to the left. You can find pretty much anything you want from hard core analysis to a “new fan” perspective, to lil ol’ me, just saying “hey look here, I’m a fan!” ;)I can tell you that the bloggers i’ve met have been nothing short of awesome. They know their stuff, they are quite welcoming, and content on a web page aside, they’re really interested in getting to know one another and YOU. They engage. Its awesome. I would not be blogging if it weren’t for a couple few key bloggers who encouraged me along the way.(thank you T and R)
Fan Groups. Looking to break into true CBJ fandom? Well there’s a lot of groups that can help you connect with the organization and other fans at a variety of levels, you can find them on Facebook and Twitter – check out Jacket Backers, Arch City Army, and Reclaim Our Barn. Regardless of the type of fan you want to be, and the type of activity you’re looking for, there’s a group for you.
If you don’t have a hockey buddy just yet, or are looking to meet more – definitely check one of these out.
Bars. Its hockey, people. Its also CBJ hockey – drinks can be necessary. Thus, we have hockey bars. There’s arguably THE bar to go to near Nationwide Arena: R Bar. Great management, 24 / 7 hockey on the telly, and CBJ presence guaranteed (usually, damn you Pens fans) makes this a great spot pre and post game or even during away games.
Looking for other spots to Carry the Flag? Check out Garage Bar (I’ll be there if RBar gets TOO crazy) or Bostons, or if you’re not downtown, I have a soft spot for BW’s in Grandview. (I don’t care what the sign reads, the place is called BW’s (bee-dubs). Period. Don’t argue with me ;) )
Ways to Play. We’ve got the CAHL. The adult hockey league here in central Ohio. Catch the fire to lace up some skates? Want to learn the game? The second largest adult hockey league in the nation is led by a former Jacket, Martin Spanhel, and can get you on ice and playing in no time (ask my washing machine with its load of 3 games a week worth of hockey gear. Yeah, thanks for that, Stephen).
So this has been a fairly sterile post – but more than just sharing ways to get involved and stay connected, I really wanted to share all these resources because, without question, every single person behind every single thing I’ve mentioned has become a friend. You cannot discount the quality of person behind every CBJ fan twitter, blog, restaurant, group. Many people who I met first through a blog or a twitter, or running into continuously at games, have become true friends. To those I now know, you’re not just “hockey friends”, you’re FRIENDS. When I measure my excitement for the coming season, It is as much about spending time with EACH OF YOU as it is about hockey – color me crazy but I don’t know that many teams can say that.
Folks, when you jump on the Blue Jackets band wagon, you can get a lot more out of it than just hockey.
Fan Fest is Friday, and, while its mainly about the Blue Jackets (the schedule is quite impressive – I want to be 3 places at once), and OK, I demanded a copy of an excel version of said schedule that someone made, and I may have TOLD my husband today (calling repeatedly till he answered the phone. He loves that) that we must be at the Arena by 5 because I need Derek Dorsett’s autograph on my 3rd Jersey and then I must have a picture with him at center ice (scheduled for a mere 30 minutes later), and well, yeah, I did demand we figure out the quickest way to get from the autograph station to Center Ice, Ok, aside from all that, there’s a whole list of people who don’t play for the Blue Jackets who I’m really really looking forward to seeing in person and giving each of them a hug.
So CBJ fans, we’ve got a team, and we’ve got each other. That’s not a bad bargain in my eyes.
This is a Call to Arms, my friends.
Let’s Go Jackets!
*PS I’ll be in the – wait for it – Derek Dorsett t-shirt or Jersey (post signing), if you see me, come say HI!