Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Only Game (Pro) in Town

Classic Chinese Lock, Symbolic of the NFL & NBA
Writing today from deep in the heart of enemy territory, Nashville Tennessee.  I was reading an AP article by Rachel Cohen in the Tennessean about the NFL and NBA lockouts.  And reflecting what a season of opportunity it is this autumn for the NHL, and more specifically, for the Columbus Blue Jackets.  No NFL football this autumn in Cleveland and Cincinnati means a great deal of opportunity for the CBJ to grow its presence in this state.  Winning is an absolute must to be successful.

We have seen in the last 10 days or so the organization take steps to address their lack of 'skill to score' as Scott Howson puts it.  This is the same thing as LOFT, but a little more subtle.  One of the main points I wanted to make here, is the ball is rapidly shifting back to the fan's court.  If we want this to be a successful team, the fans need to be able to make Nationwide Arena rock, even when the chips are down.

Which means its time to start buying those season tickets.  Especially if you want to get one of the 'Standing in the Breach' t-shirts I'm gonna design.  But that's for later.

Over the last few seasons, we have seen a lot of commentary from folks who have decided not to renew their season tickets as a symbol of their displeasure over the lack of performance by the CBJ.  Rightfully so.  That's how a free market works.  But, while there is still work to be done, the organization ought to have a right to expect a bump in season ticket purchases.  They have done what they can with what is available to significantly upgrade this team.  Instead of a LOFT rating of 6 (hopefully), we are looking at a LOFT rating of 10-12.  This means we have enough skill to compete for a playoff spot.

So what are the intangibles of a playoff run?  Team chemistry is one.  We don't have much control of that.  Talent is another. The organization still has some more work to do, but it has taken giant strides to put a young, talented team on the ice.  This is not Foote and Federov folks.  This is Carter and Wiz, and its way, way different from the former.

The atmosphere of the building is another thing that can affect how the season goes.  Last season it seemed the fans just sat around waiting for the shoe to drop, as it so frequently did, particularly in December.  It was very reminiscent of when Nicky Z was roaming the 'wide, and everyone knew we would be out of the race early.  We can't afford to have that this year.  We need a bigger, more resilient fan base, that can take a little bit of adversity and still get loud.   We have to have the gumption to look December in the eye, and know it will be different this year.

So, if your economic situation is unchanged, and if you used to be a season ticket holder, now is the time to think seriously about going around again.  To show the CBJ management that you noticed.


(note:  The Dark Blue Jacket blog is in no way affiliated with the Columbus Blue Jackets or the NHL.  We are not 'accredited' by the team, and don't intend to seek that.  I am a season ticket holder, and the DBJ holds a partial plan, so we are paying customers.  And I've got kind of a big mouth, so I've got that going for me. )

1 comment:

  1. 100% agreed. This season represents a HUGE opportunity on a number of levels.

    And in the interest of full disclosure, I upgraded my package this season.


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