I just wrapped up watching the first installment of Fox Sports Ohio's new, weekly half-hour show, "Blue Jackets Slap Shots." My expectations were low for this first effort (Everyone deserves a honeymoon, especially on a venture like this where it takes time to find an editorial voice), yet Fox Sports Ohio put together a package of clips and stories that really was quite good and with a quality that makes me want to come back for more.
I watched the show with the laptop on my lap, so I jotted down notes as I was watching. Here's what I saw:
2. Get to know the Jackets segment...maybe a minute or two. Quick cuts of a handful of players talking about their best hockey memory. This looks remarkably like footage from an intermission last season.
5. Blue Jackets fans in Sweden clips. Not to be ageist, but the clips only highlighted older fans. Where were the younger folks who are so active in the Jacket Backers? I talked to them at CannonFest, and they were going to Stockholm!
Looking ahead, a few thoughts:
1. I hope that Fox Sports Ohio can find a few "guaranteed" time slots for showings of each episode. I know that it's hard to have days and times locked down for canned shows like this when your bread and butter is live sporting events, but it would do wonders for those of us with Tivo's and DVR's.
2. I also hope that Crawford can intersperse studio interviews with CBJ "experts" like the Fox Sports Ohio broadcasters or their in-house blogger, Eric Smith. Maybe the Dispatch guys or a visiting broadcaster. Just seems like there's a whole component with such a nice studio that could be exploited.
3. It would be fun to see a quick rundown of activity in the minors as well, with a brief highlight or two out of Springfield and Fort Wayne. Today's CBJ prospects are tomorrow's CBJ stars, and a show like Slap Shots should help smooth the way for fans to get acclimated with these fresh faces. Nothing so lengthy as to detract from the big club, but perhaps 60 seconds running through the scores from the prior week with a "wow" video highlight from each club. That would be cool, and Crawford is really good when he rolls through the highlights.
4. I gather that the Slap Shots team is profiling Antoine Vermette next week, presumably with the same level of treatment given to Arniel and Nash. Let's hope that they read Matt Wagner and my pieces on Vermette before doing any new interviews. The guy's a legit number one center, and I'd love to hear his perspective on this whole charade of a debate that he's not, and that Nash deserves better.
All in all, Blue Jackets Slap Shots is a very promising show that gives the Blue Jackets the coverage that they deserve - from all angles. I'm looking forward to seeing this show develop and grow.