Monday, April 12, 2010

Something special going on

While I have yet to jot down my still-jumbled thoughts about the recently-concluded Columbus Blue Jackets season (and I'm waiting for the draft lottery as that, in my mind is the end of the season), I've seen a couple of season wrap-up blog posts that warrant attention.

The Blue Jackets online fan community that's growing through Twitter and its ubiquitous (to us) #CBJ "hashtag" has blossomed over the course of the season.  And it's a community in the fullest sense of the word.  A couple Tweeters put their feelings on this into their blogs, something you all might want to check out.

Here's Kaitlin (aka @IEatMousetraps), from her blog iTouch Your Heart (by the way, the photo is hers - nice work to signify the end of the season!):
I’ve made some amazing friends on Twitter because of The BlueJackets too. Most of us live tweet about the games and talk to some of the sports writers who have blogs. I’ve also stirred up a lot of drama in the CBJ fan world. All part of the system though, right? 
This year has meant so much to me. I’ve always been kind of a social outcast in the things that I like. I’m a dork, lets just put it that way. So it was nice to find something that I like that has people that are amazing and surprisingly share a lot of those ‘outcast’ interests of mine. I’ve never felt that I didn’t fit in or that I wasn’t wanted. My opinions were taken seriously, even if sometimes I didn’t fully understand what it was I was talking about. I’m learning though. Gradually I’m picking up as much as I can about the sport and all the behind the scenes things about it.

I want to learn the history, I want to learn the little things, and now more than ever I want to learn to ice skate.
Gosh, do I want to skate, too.  In fact, I really want to learn to play hockey.  If only I had the money/time!

And Lee (aptly known as @LeeAuer), from The Jacketsblog:
While the season did not always produce the most enjoyable results on the ice, we were all part of the birth of a Blue Jackets online community. Through Twitter, various blogs, and other venues, I had the privilege of meeting, and even becoming friends or acquaintances with many of you that read this blog, or just cheer for the Jackets, that I never had met before. For that I am thankful.

The “non-traditional media” community has exploded in prominence this season. From Rick at The Hockey Writers, Jeff (also of The Hockey Writers) but also writing the blog Ten Minute Misconduct, Todd at The Dark Blue Jacket, as well as Eric of Blue Jackets Buzz, Light the Lamp, The Cannon, among a slew of others. The online community has grown dramatically and is a testament to the health of the Jackets fanbase.
There have been a sprinkling of other such personal and CBJ-related sentiments throughout the Twitter-sphere, but I think these two represent so much of what I've seen happen online - and eventually, in person - this season.  I even broke my not-well-protected anonymity at the Buffalo game, where I got out from under the thumb of the Dark Blue Onesie to catch a rare game in person and met so many incredible people, a couple of which saw fit to grab a snapshot with me...


I would be remiss if I did not make a warm mention of The Hockey Writers' Rick Gethin, who introduced me to this community both online and in person.  He's a great guy with passion for the Blue Jackets that pulses through his work at The Hockey Writers - and now, he's going to be living even closer to Nationwide Arena!

I'm a guy who moved to Ohio in late 2006 and knew very few people in town.  While I only started watching the Jackets just as Gary Agnew was stepping in as (interim) Head Coach under Doug MacLean - pre-Ken Hitchcock, pre-Scott Howson, I've felt much more 'At Home' in the larger sense of the word since finding this Jackets fan community.  Good peeps, all.  They all enrich my life, and I hope they feel the same about yours truly.

We all have our own reasons for coming online, but the point is that we DID.  We live our lives but love our Columbus Blue Jackets.  And that community makes every season great, regardless of the wins and losses (but we'll be more than happy to see more wins than losses!).

Carry The Flag!

3 comments:

  1. Nicely said! Next year will be even better!!

    Jeff

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  2. "Gosh, do I want to skate, too. In fact, I really want to learn to play hockey. If only I had the money/time!" - Do it. I learned to skate last summer, and played my first game in February. When the team is in the crapper, nothing gets your mind off of it like having your OWN games to look forward to.

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  3. You're so right, DBJ! I haven't had the pleasure of meeting most of my twitter/blogosphere "friends" in person, but we're a band of union blue that heads into each season and game with spirit and hope.

    I followed the Jackets from afar until moving to Columbus in the fall of 2007. The online community has made Jackets Hockey so much more enjoyable to follow. Many of my close friends follow the CBJ, but generally in a passive way. It's wonderful to share in a larger conversation on twitter and so many blogs.

    Keep up the good work, DBJ. It's bound to be an interesting off-season. Then, come October, anything is possible. One thing is for sure. We'll all be here to talk about it.

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