Archive for the CBJ Blog Community Category

Interview: Meet Ashley Ware, Artist and CBJ Fan

It’s no secret that the CBJ fan base is full of talented individuals and today on TheUnionBlue we’re very glad to have had a chance to speak with Ashley Ware (@LeAshleh on Twitter) who recently has been generous enough to share what she refers to as her doodles but that I would deem them masterpieces. Some recent samples include her take on fan favorites Boone Jenner and Brandon Dubinsky: Continue reading Interview: Meet Ashley Ware, Artist and CBJ Fan

Reality Check

In the wake of last night’s 4-3 loss to the Anaheim Ducks, and the uproar over the major penalty and game misconduct imposed on Brandon Dubinsky for his hit on Saku Koivu, emotions have been running high in the Twitterverse and elsewhere over the hit, the call and the hockey community reaction to both.  Some similar sniping has emerged concerning the fact that the Blue Jackets are a game below .500 and the attendance at the Anaheim game wasn’t where it should be.  As is seemingly necessary a few times each year, it’s time to take a brief reality check and put things in perspective.

The Dubinsky Hit

For those who have not seen it, here is the video from You Tube — which is the Anaheim feed of the incident:

Continue reading Reality Check

Cannonfest is Coming – How to Make The Most of It

CannonFest 2012 official logoIt’s August and that means it’s the month of CANNONFEST!

This year’s event promises to be bigger and better than ever and we have some great things to tell you about!

Our friends over at Full Mental Jackets have already announced the inaugural #CBJIVID contest spectacular. So be sure to check that out!

But there’s even more to share this year.

Continue reading Cannonfest is Coming – How to Make The Most of It

2012 Schedule Showcase – New Year’s Eve With Chicago

Another week, another schedule showcase to get us looking into the upcoming season for those “must watch” games. This Friday, we’re focusing on the New Year’s Eve match-up against the Chicago Blackhawks. Though our team travels to Chi-town for their first game of the season, this game on December 31st will mark the first time we see Toews, Kane and company in our own house. And it promises to be a doozy.

Read on to hear the Union Blue’s thoughts on the game, the match-ups, a key prospect and why we NEED to be at the game.

Continue reading 2012 Schedule Showcase – New Year’s Eve With Chicago

2012 Schedule Showcase – The Blue Jackets Take on the Wild

Looking forward to the 2012-13 schedule, there are a few games that already are drawing the attention of the fan base so we’re putting these together into a “Schedule Showcase”. The optimist in us has us believing in the schedule as defined (no lockout) and looking towards the first Friday night game at Nationwide against an in-conference opponent. October 26th against the Minnesota Wild. Last season had the Jackets going 2-1 against the Wild, and with the off-season acquisitions of Ryan Suter and Zach Parise, the Wild certainly became a “team to watch”. Consider also that Minnesota is the former home of our head coach, Todd Richards, and winger, Colton Gilles, and this match up looks to be one that will not only be entertaining, but also a good benchmark for what these new Jackets will bring to the ice.

Here at Union Blue, we’re going to take a quick look at what to watch for, what new players are on the horizon for this match-up in the form of a prospect spotlight, and the game experience. So let’s get on with it!

Continue reading 2012 Schedule Showcase – The Blue Jackets Take on the Wild

The Union Blue

Welcome to The Union Blue. A fresh look for a group of Columbus Blue Jackets fans dedicated to bringing in depth coverage on the team to their fellow fans. While we are at the end of another disappointing season, hope for a new beginning, better players, and better results is on the horizon.

Here are some of the features you can look forward to:

Podcast :: Scheduled to begin later in the year, The Union Blue will be unleashing a minimum of one regularly scheduled podcast relating to current Blue Jackets topics. We hope to bring additional information soon on a project we are very excited to begin.

Forum :: Coming VERY soon. Here you’ll find all kinds of Blue Jackets discussion, Union Blue events, and an opportunity to go back and forth with fellow Blue Jackets fans on a multitude of topics including community events.

Prospect Database :: During the last year, Carry the Flag provided a tremendous weekly prospect update by popular twitter prospect follower @CBJProspects. We are excited to bring him on board to continue this weekly update on the teams youth, along with a constantly updated prospect twitter database.

Detailed Transaction Information :: You will find actively updated salary cap info, historical trade information, free agent signing information, historical draft selections, and waiver signings/losses in the transactions drop down menu above.

Day-to-Day Coverage :: We hope to provide daily updates to the site regarding the Blue Jackets as the next season nears. There is always a lot of exciting activities throughout the summer like the draft and free agency, and the Union Blue intends to be right in the thick of it all.

Union Blue Events :: Much like the popular TweetUp events this year, the Union Blue intends to orchestrate (or at least be strongly involved in) events related to the team. We recognize the power of TweetUps and want to see events like that continue into next season. Keep an eye on the Union Blue forum Calendar!

So Carry the Flag, Ignite the Night, March On, and bleed Union Blue for the new era of Columbus Blue Jackets hockey.

-The Union Blue Team

#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.

 

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

#LunchTimePresser…Its What We DO

We know how the season has gone, we know we find our fun where we can. Today was another day, another #lunchtimepresser. They are all in good fun, and hopefully…people on twitter get as much of a kick out of them as I do…honestly, a lot of the stuff you guys ask makes me stop and laugh out loud.In what has become another tradition, my great friend, Chad, offers up his recap, this time, Fake Aaron Portzline/ “Puck Rakers” style…Thanks to Chad for being such a great add on to the event…as I’ve said before, we’ve got to make our own fun this season, and to me, Chad’s recaps do that in spades…with tongue firmly planted in cheek, I give you…the lunch time presser recap (while I laugh at my own expense :) )

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mac and Cheese are here to stay … but for how long?
 AlisonL held another #lunchtimepresser today at 11 a.m. The twitterverse was invited to watch her announce … well, nothing really. Despite numerous reports of both Mac and Cheese being available for trade, AlisonL declared that Mac and Cheese is still on the menu, and the usual chefs are still in charge of lunch.

“I’m not going to blow up my menu. I have a plan,” she said. However, she has left lunch fans guessing as to what her plan may actually entail. When pressed, she refused to go into any specifics.

Contrary to the official announcement, sources had confirmed to me early this morning that AlisonL had asked both Mac and Cheese if they would be willing to waive their no-trade clauses. It seems she is desperately trying to move Macaroni and is willing to receive significantly less than what she paid for it.

Cheese, a much more versatile ingredient and a staple of AlisonL’s cooking since the beginning, would only give five locations where it would be willing to be utilized. Rumors say those include Chipotle, Piada, Arby’s, Pizza Hut, and Cheetos. AlisonL denied the rumored trade with CiCi’s Pizza that Cheese supposedly nixed.

If AlisonL wishes to keep both Mac and Cheese despite putting them on the open market, it may be difficult to recover the meal’s broken morale. Asking an ingredient to waive its no-trade clause is like asking a live chicken if it would be OK with being inhumanely butchered into tiny pieces and thrown into an oven at 400 degrees for 17 minutes.

While the initial #lunchtimepresser announcement was unimpressive, a few interesting details were revealed when AlisonL took questions from the members of the twitter media who were in attendance.

AlisonL divulged that the main reason for the lunchtime failures has been that the ingredients had outlived their expiration dates. “All of our food has suffered from not staying fresh,” she said. “This certainly can leave a palate wanting more.”

The blame for the spoiled ingredients seems to lie with a faulty freezer door lock. She admitted that the door keeps opening unexpectedly. She tried propping the door closed with boxes filled with lunch ingredients, but that idea backfired. “All the boxes got kicked as people walked by and are all bent and busted now,” she said. Not only did the ingredients spoil, but they were also injured and bruised more than they should have been.

This is not the place for a reporter, not a columnist, to have an opinion, but fans are clearly frustrated that, despite having such a dismal lunch, AlisonL does not seem to be taking breakfast very seriously, either. Breakfasts are still optional, but it seems to this humble reporter that a solid and balanced breakfast foundation to start the day could go a long way toward better lunch preparations. When someone eats lunch without eating breakfast, they just don’t usually have the kind of success that they were hoping for. If adding a winning nutritional breakfast could lead to enough successful lunches, perhaps we’ll start talking about enjoying our lunches during dinnertime. Hopefully that is a part of AlisonL’s grand plan.

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Ok FINE…You May Have My $.02

I tried to keep my mouth shut. “I won’t write about this”, I told myself. “Let the chips fall where they may”, I said.

But everyone and their cousin has come out one way or another regarding the upcoming CBJ Protest tomorrow, so, now I’m a lemming – here ya go.
I’m not going to the protest tomorrow.
First, I think its important to point you to the definition of this event. I read this post to understand what the event intends. From some comments/tweets/etc. that I’ve seen since, seems not everyone has read this. Here is what Light the Lamp has to say. If you’re gonna “fight”, at least know what you’re fighting for, Ok?
Second, let me point you to may posts that I feel clearly and eloquently express almost all aspects of my opinions about this Protest. If you have not already read them: first, from Martini Hockey, next, from Fire That Cannon, and of course, from my CBJ Yoda, Matt Wagner over at The Cannon. Basically, just read those and then imagine me say “Yeah! What he said!” over and over.
But there are a few other things I also wanted to make clear when it comes to me and what I think: I know a few of the people who started this event – I hold every single one of them in high regard, and I praise their ability to put together an event quickly, communicate effectively, and demonstrate a continued passion and commitment to the Blue Jackets. In no way, shape or form do I judge a single person for their decision to go or not go to the protest.

But here’s what gives me pause (in addition to my personal beliefs as noted above). Last night, I went out to dinner with a girlfriend. We go to the same place every week. The people there know us. As its a small place,  patrons and staff alike will often talk about “the topic of the day”.
I was hardly in the door when I was asked – by people who don’t even follow sports – “what is up with this protest thing down at Nationwide?” Let me just say their impression is not favorable. So add that to the list of reasons I won’t be there. You see, one of my hopes that I’ve written about many times is to introduce people to the game of hockey and the Blue Jackets. We need to remember that this whole thing is being viewed by sphere’s of life waaaaay outside just CBJ fandom. Even waaay outside NHL fandom. And, if we’re trying to bring attention to hockey, this might not be such a hot idea. Today on twitter people were even debating exactly what Scott Howson’s job was. And that’s understandable, but to send a message, please try to make it effective and coherent first.
Look. I know. I’m the girl who organized a large letter to the players earlier this year. I get it. I get feeling this way. I hit a new low when word of a possible Carter trade hit earlier this week. But, I just can’t accept that the organization is ignorant about how bad it really is. Nor, can I demand change for change’s sake. I want to see options, opportunities and solutions presented. Then I’ll have an opinion. Maybe that’s just me…
At the end of the day, sad but true, NHL Hockey is a business. And ownership wants your dollars…not your two cents. Not happy with what’s going on? Take your dollars away.