[Author's note: Alison here - this is a cross-post from Heart of a Jacket, hope you enjoy!]
Recently, I've found myself quite dumbfounded by all things Blue Jackets. The main reasons why are obvious...I mean, not much more needs to be said about our team's performance this year. Obviously, building a successful hockey team isn't easy - or everyone would be doing it. However, there's been an inordinately large increase in the amount of grousing among fans that, more often than not, is causing me to just shut down Twitter and other communication forums, and I simply wish to ask us all to pause and consider what matters most to us as Blue Jackets Fans in a big picture kinda way. I'll go first.
Here's my list of what matters:
- Support whatever it takes to make the Blue Jackets into a sustainable, WINNING organization
- Be a passionate, positive, educated fan - talk about what I know - learn about what I don't (and learn to know the difference!)
- Within the CBJ world, try to avoid personal - and organizational (i.e. as a team and fanbase) - embarrassment
- Do NOT let the frustration of this season overtake me to a detrimental degree
- Always try to remember why I became a fan in the first place
Your list may differ, and you know what, that's OK. That's the beauty of humanity - we are all unique, and different and we all bring something else to the table. But there's only one fact, only one reality that I do know for sure - and that is that none of us on this planet - except for three people - are Mike Priest, Scott Howson, or Scott Arniel. Like it or not, happy with them or not, right now, only those three people have a chance of knowing what's going to happen next. For sure. Doesn't matter who we know or don't know, or what we've heard, they are the decision makers we've got.
The rest of us? Well, we are all just guessing. And quite frankly, that can be good fun and tremendously educational. As horrible as this season has been, it's forced me to learn more about players, skills and the game than I had even hoped to know a year ago. Trying to dissect the nightmare we're living can drive one to try to understand it. When I'm talking with someone about Blue Jackets hockey I have to remember that I don't know everything and, heck, if I listen, I may come out more informed than I was before and I may have a nugget or two for others every now and again. Sometimes there's even a tidbit of humor to be found and goodness knows we all need a laugh right about now. If all we each are doing is searching for more info, or like minded people, only to prove that we are right...well, sure seems like we'll miss a whole lot of other stuff too - particularly if we end up to be wrong. (and boy does that seem frustrating btw)
What does this all mean? Well, it means, that, in my opinion, if someone says "trade Nash", "don't trade Nash", "Arniel sucks", "Arniel's right to be pissed", "Arniel's too pissed", "Why bother, let this season just end", "Blow the team up", "Trade Mason", "Keep Mason", "Lines make sense", "Lines don't make sense", "I love Carter", "I hate Carter", "I'm ticked we called up X from Springy", "<insert negative comment about any defenseman>" (all real quotes by the way)...before we all jump down each other's throats, chirp each other or go so far as to be downright rude, why not listen for a second? There's a lot of emotion swirling around out there - search for the information at the basis of an opinion and either learn something, help teach someone else something new or turn the other cheek. We all don't have to agree, but civility doesn't seem to be too much to ask. After all, disagreeing with someone does not have to mean the same thing as judging someone.
We are all going to have an opinion, (and they are all legit!) we are all going to have tremendous amounts of frustration. And guess what, we're also the only ones who understand this unique pain we're suffering. Like it or not, we are brothers and sisters in the battle that is this season so we're all on the same side. Don't forget our team's on-ice performance (or lack thereof) is giving the hockey world more than enough to jeer, why add to that noise by giving the media extra fodder in sending them embarrassing stories, by looking like we don't know what we are talking about or by acting like we're just here to dump on each other for trying to find solutions in a season that has been severely lacking in those so far...
Just my two cents...of course you're welcome to tell me you disagree - I'd love to have a conversation about it. :)