Thursday, April 10, 2014

Full circle

This blog launched just under five years ago as a means for a newborn's father to relax, have fun, keep his mind sharp and spend time thinking about something other than diapers and nap scheduling.  It's grown beyond my wildest imagination, with over 1,500 posts and a host of friends as valued co-contributors.

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
Gallos, as we know him, came to me out of nowhere with this idea that he's been a long-time fan and had a few things to say.  Boy, did he ever!  His is a favorite voice here on Dark Blue Jacket, and I ended up taking a ton of credit for excellent work that I never wrote as a result.  "Hey DBJ, love that piece!" I'd hear...to which I had to pass along credit as the piece in question more often than not was Gallos'.  He came to me as a stranger and quickly became a comrade in arms. I always love me a good Gallos story, and hopefully you have, too.  He's played hurt.  REALLY hurt.  He's taken angry(-ish) phone calls from Mike Commodore.  He never lost his faith in the team.  On a personal note, Gallos' work in covering for my many shortcomings this season has me forever in his debt.

But who is whom?
I went to Morgan when he was ramping up his DKM Hockey site.  His blogging was unique and displayed better understanding of the Blue Jackets and hockey than all of the other CBJ blogs combined.  So I asked him if he wanted to be a part of DBJ, and he agreed.  You've seen his work throughout the past couple of seasons, but I've had the privilege of finding a true friend and confidante in the process.  As much as I gripe about my familial circumstances, Morgan also is a travel hockey coach AND the parent of a toddler while holding down a full-time job.  How he makes it work is far beyond my feeble mind, and I admire him to no end for his commitment to every pursuit that he undertakes.

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.


9 comments:

  1. thank you for your blog, good readance.

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  2. Thank you so much for all that you have done in the past several years. After a bad game (and there were many), I found consolation in reading your articles. They were the literary counterparts to comfort food. Mission accomplished. Go Jackets!

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  3. Full circle indeed. You are correct that you fueled a movement that put pressure on the management of the organ-i-zation.
    And you got results.
    Few can claim as much.
    Thank you for all you have done, and hopefully in a couple years, DBT will grow into a rabid fan and the CBJ can become a shared passion for you two.
    May God bless you and your family.

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  4. "'I don't want just words. If that's all you have for me, you'd better go" - F. Scott Fitzgerald

    Tom - thanks for the opportunity to become a part of this blog. This blog is more than just words, rants, or funny gifs. It was the expression of fair expectation of the team from the exective suite to the dressing room trash cans. I will carry on as best I can. Thank you for your friendship and for this wonderful vehicle of expression.

    Sincerely,

    Mr. Jefferson

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  5. It has been a pleasure and a joy to both read and comment on this site. The intelligence, forethought, and compassion for the fan has always been a comfort, even when there was none on the ice. Thank you for allowing those of us with comments to make them without the sometime scorn or ridicule of one who"knows better".Here's hoping, in the future, you will find the additional time, maybe the proverbial 25th hour in the day, and do some additional work here. The best thing I can say about the site, it's been fun and informative to read and to participate. Thanks for some GREAT TIME, WELL SPENT!!!! Go Jackets.

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  6. Thanks for all the time you spent. My 13 year old daughter and I have really enjoyed reading your blog and have bonded while discussing your thoughts and comments. You have helped hockey become a passion of hers and for that, more than anything, I thank you! GO CBJ!!!!!

    Michael

    p.s. If others don't take over DBJ, I hope I can find a blog half as interesting as this one.

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  7. Tom, Thanks for the great blog, Cannonfest, and for everything else you did for the Blue Jackets community. I know how hard you worked on your well researched articles, and appreciate the time and the quality thought that went into your posts. On a personal note, thanks for all you did to help promote my videos at Cannonfest.

    I've been going through a similar situation with reevaluating my time and priorities with my new family, and have come to the same conclusions as you. My freed up time has let me pursue other interests and improve myself in immeasurable ways. May your time be equally as well spent. If you ever need to chat, you have my contact info.

    -Tom

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  8. Thanks for all your efforts. You're threads are part of the tapestry that is the CBJ fan experience. Well done.

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  9. It's pretty safe to say that the #CBJ community has never been the same since you started this blog, and that's a good thing. I know for a fact that you and this blog inspired several fans to step out of the shadows and contribute their own opinions, talents (?) and takes. I'm one of them. It's tough to give up something that you created. I know. I went through the same thing when I decided to fold up Full Mental Jackets and opt for a less stressful gig as an occasional contributor at The Union Blue. But when it comes to family, a job, hobbies (which is what a blog is for the most part) and achieving some balance, you got to do what you got to do. I wish you all the best, my friend and compadre, and hope that you will ultimately find enough time to contribute your unique takes about all things #CBJ, even if it is on irregular basis. I know I speak for a lot of #CBj fans in saying, whatever it is we'll take it!

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