My young family expanded by two about a year and a half ago, and life now is very different than it was when I started the Dark Blue Jacket blog. It is no longer conducive to researching, writing and publishing volumes of content on a regular schedule. It no longer lets me set aside three-plus hour blocks of time on over eighty occasions a year, not to mention training camp visits, practice observations, etc. It makes the simple act of watching a full game on TV an impossibility (gotta read those bedtime stories and put the kids to bed)...and the notion of attending a game in person has become a question of how many brownie points I've accumulated with my overburdened spouse. I've tried to keep up the past level of activity, but it's worn me down. I had to jettison CannonFest duties last summer, but clearly that wasn't enough.
I was in the stands at Nationwide Arena on Tuesday night. It was great. But being the last game of the season (ticket-wise), it led me to do some reflecting - and I did a lot of that over the 60-plus minutes of gameplay. I thought about where I've been with this team, and where I've come. It hit me, up there in the upper deck, that my blog started as a recreational outlet but evolved into an instrument to help push a pro sports franchise to change. All that commentary, analysis and outright pleading had come to a positive resolution with the CBJ's qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs once again last night.
At long last, the team finally appears to be in somewhat competent hands. The players on the ice actually have some skill and play like they care about the outcome. The battered fan base looks like it is starting to round back into the form that I witnessed firsthand in that second home playoff game against Detroit in 2009.
The circle is complete.
The DBJ blog started when the Blue Jackets were on their post-playoff high. They stumbled and fell back to the absolute bottom of the league, finally climbing out to once again become a playoff team. My life has changed dramatically over that time frame, and I'm tired. So I'm going to back away.
I don't know how long I'll be away from the blog. It might be a little while. It might be forever. I never like to say "forever" because that implies a level of permanence that I don't think appropriate in today's society. That said, I have no immediate plans to keep writing. Perhaps the muse will strike once again, who knows.
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To be clear, this blog has not been a one-man show. As such, I'd like to thank all of those incredible co-contributors with whom I've been associated along the way. Each and every one is a great person, and I'm so glad that I can call them friends. While so many people have shared the agony and ecstasy of blogging here, two stand out and deserve special recognition.
|In our two favorite sweaters|
|But who is whom?|
I've offered full control of the blog to both Gallos and Morgan for their purposes. If they choose to continue DBJ, I hope you support them at least as well as you've supported me. They are great men, terrifically committed to their families, their community and their team. And if they don't stick with DBJ, I hope they continue to share their voices elsewhere if they are so inclined.
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That's it. At long last, I think I'm done. (For now?)
Thank you, everyone, for your readership, camaraderie and support. I hope you've enjoyed the ride over the past five years.