Monday, October 22, 2012

Hush Little Baby...


Well, it’s been that kind of week.  If you follow the DBJ contributors on twitter, you know  a couple of us have been busy spitting out babies the last couple of weeks.  My wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on 10/11/12.  We’re at home now spending the next few weeks bonding with our new baby.  Part of the bonding process will inevitably involve the Columbus Blue Jackets.  There are a lot of things you can teach a child about being a Columbus Blue Jackets fan that will carry over into everyday life.  In this letter to my daughter, I will do my best explaining to my baby girl what it means to be a Columbus Blue Jackets fan.

You will grow up always knowing hockey, whether you put on pads and skates or not.  There are many things you can learn from playing sports.  But there are also very good things you can learn from being a fan of a sports team.  Specifically, being a fan of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

1.      Perserverance – We have waited a long time for an NHL franchise in Columbus.  The first rumblings were when Peter Karmanos made it known that Columbus, OH was a possible beaching spot for the Hartford Whalers.  Sadly the thought of playing in an airplane hangar is what kept the Whalers from moving to Columbus.  Then the rumblings that Columbus would be considered for an expansion franchise kept hopes alive.  We waited.  Patient hockey fans soon thereafter got an NHL team, but it has been a very frustrating 12 years as a Blue Jackets fan. The team has been so bad for so long that just about everybody teases the team, the city, and its fans.  You have to learn to read NHL power rankings from the bottom up if you want to find the CBJ write up quickly.  But don’t let it scare you from loving this team.  Fans could have given up on this team years ago but they haven’t.  It’s easy to pick on the CBJ, but remember only one team can win the Cup each year.  This team is not far from getting over the hump - stay the course.  If they work hard, stay positive (and sign a scorer), and continue to draw at the arena, good times for the team, its fans, and the city are not far away.

2.      Honesty – The Blue Jackets are awful.  Saying this doesn’t mean you hate the team, but it may not make you popular on twitter.   To truly enjoy being a fan you have to be completely honest with yourself about the team.  Right now, from top to bottom the team isn’t very good.  But that’s ok, it doesn’t mean they are any less special.  Having an open and honest mindset will keep you from being a blind loyalist in any aspect in life, especially politics and sports teams.  Know that this team is headed in the right direction, but they still need a few pieces, and some exclusions, before this team can compete for a championship.   

3.      Compassion – With hockey, your father can be a blunt instrument sometimes.  As you get to know your grandfather and uncles better, you’ll understand why.  But the Blue Jacket fan base is a unique and sensitive one.  The casual fans are largely relegated to home openers and games against big name opponents.  The core fan, the die-hard CBJ fan, is frustrated and tired of everybody with the rest of the hockey world picking on them.  But there is a solid base of fans who love the team good or bad, fat or skinny, high or sober.  It is that compassion that is always humbling to your father.  It is what made Cannonfest special, and what makes a random Friday night at the Rbar something special.  While I can be cynical, the compassionate fan is one I envy.  I got passion, not compassion. 

4.      Dominion – Baby girl, you have something that daddy largely went without most of his life: an NHL team to call your own.  Like your brother, you will always know what it is like to have an NHL team right in your own back yard.  You won’t have those 3 and 4 hour drives (one way) to see NHL hockey.   You won’t have to wait for Thursday’s paper to see the once a week NHL standings.  You will always know what it's like to have a hometown NHL team with front page coverage in the sports section of the paper.  During the season, there will always be hockey on the 11 o’clock news.  I had to wait until my mid-twenties for that to happen.  I’m glad you don’t have to wait that long.  This team is yours to love.

Love,

Dad

PS    Please forgive your mother for being a Red Wings fan.  She was born and raised in Michigan after all.


There is one thing I forgot to mention, we always made
your aunt play goalie.  No promises this won't happen to you.


3 comments:

  1. I am so envious that you are awake enough to write this piece...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I wrote it in 10 minute bits over 5 days. Like the pediatrician said, "Blog when the baby blogs."

    ReplyDelete
  3. Congratulations Gentlemen! I believe these babies will be eligible for the 2030 NHL entry draft. Start coachin' 'em up!

    ReplyDelete