Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Do you want hockey in this town, or just a winner?

Puck Rakers posted an article today that the CBJ lost $25 million in the 2010-11 season.  That's a lot of joe for JP to losing.  The Dispatch today ran an article on the situation, and Bob Hunter commented on the situation.  A busy media day.

My point here, as I take time out from feverishly packing for a camping trip, is that the CBJ blogosphere has been full of commentary over the last year about people not re-upping their season tickets because the CBJ are not fielding a winner.  OK.  Fair enough.  I think people do not want to be perceived as being a sucker on the issue.  Certainly in this space I have been emphatic enough about my distaste for being perceived as a sucker.

But my point here is that it is now time to move past that.  It is now time to start focusing on our civic pride, and to start financially supporting our local owners.  This isn't Lamar Hunt from Kansas City.  This is a local family, with a lot of pride in the City of Columbus, who show that pride when they write the checks.

Do you think the people in Winnipeg have civic pride?  Do you think they know how disinterest, and lack of support for a local team turns out?

Its decision time folks.  If all you want is a winner, than root for the Buckeyes.  If you care about having hockey in Columbus, its time to move past winning and losing to support the franchise.  There is nothing wrong with accountability.  In fact, its a real good thing.  But civic pride should count for something, and we need to show it by reaching for our wallet.

Having NHL hockey in Columbus has been nothing but good for this city.  A good on the ice product is important, and we should loudly demand it in the blogosphere and elsewhere.  But if you care about hockey in Columbus, the day is fast coming where it is going to be put up or shut up.  I prefer to put up.



  1. DO IT! Don't let Columbus become like Atlanta. I doubt it'll ever be that bad (total apathy), but don't let it get to that point.

    Columbus has several advantages that other cities don't have around their arena. Similar to how the Preds finally got non-fans in their arena, it's about selling entertainment, and a night out on the town. Columbus has lots to do around the arena, same cannot be said for cities like Atlanta, St Louis, etc.

    Hope this works out up there.

    Nashville, TN

  2. TheClevelandHockey[Monsters for 2012 Calder Cup]May 11, 2011 at 11:18 AM

    They've got a point though. The Jackets aren't some deeply rooted team like the Browns; people really aren't "converted" to root for them. If they don't at least have a winning season soon I'm convinced they're not staying; that I'm rooting for a team here on borrowed time.

    Dan's right though, as a tourist coming to see a game, it was great to be able to walk around the Arena District before/after the game. This is one of Columbus' strengths and favorable aspects of the area.

  3. Great points, Gallos.

    At the same time, I think it's fair to say that Scott Howson's seat is rapidly approaching a boiling point. We all know that "winning cures everything" - it puts butts in seats, stimulates merchandise sales and boosts TV viewership/ratings. Howson's had - what - 4 seasons now to get a consistent winner put together? We're not there, arguably further from that point than we've been since Ken Hitchcock took over the team.

    The team's gotta win in order to make money. Period.

    So the $25 million dollar question is: How are the CBJ going to go from 13th in the West to "winning"?

    great post- fab post!

    Looks like the other 3 comments aren't quite ready to put up.


  5. Thanks and well said

    From a Day 1 season ticket holder.

  6. I've been 'putting up' for 10 seasons and always will as long as they are here!

  7. Its no longer about just supporting our local owners anymore, or civic pride. This team is becoming a joke in the NHL. Boomer-Gate, the Home game were the Pens fans invaded and we treated with there Iron City beer and free trips on the zamboni as well as general "home-game" feeling for them... Not to mention the stupid press we got about the new third jerseys when they were first on display and we lost 4 in a row in them.

    The On ice product hasn't moved ahead much since MacLean was fired, we are drafting in essentially, the same position we were 5 years ago. We have a club president who hasn't grown the market and product in this area and always seems to say dumb things ("Win Now" in April 07, "Hitchcock hockey is bluejackets Hockey" two months before Hitch is fired)

    Everyone has the right to say that they are getting fed up with the lack of progress of this organization. Nashville AGAIN makes the playoffs, and almost takes down the western conferences top seed before bowing out, Tampa, with a new coach, new gm and new ownership goes out and is sitting in the Conference finals in the East.

    This organization has had 10 years to build and we really have nothing to show for it.

    Fans are angry and want answers, Mac Jr. said changes are coming... There's no way enough changes can be made to get this thing going in the right direction in one offseason, but its time to stop this "Patience is a virtue" crap from Howson, he doesn't need to risk showing his hand or how disperate he is, I think the entire league knows how desperate he is to get that top defenseman or centerman.

  8. Timeline of the CBJ:
    First three years - Excitement; the "new-car" smell; desire to be in on the ground floor of something brand new; rooting for the underdog, blue-collar, lunch-pail over-achievers; Shiny new arena; Shiny new Arena District; Espen Knutsen and Ron Tugnutt.

    Second three years - beginning to question the hockey "expert"; recognizing some of the smoke & mirrors of a snake-oil salesman; starting to notice that our expansion brethren are icing a much better product; the "new-car" smell is turning into the week-old-french-fries-stuck-in-the-cracks-of-the-back-seat stench. Jody Shelley, Rick Nash and Nicolai Zherdev.

    Last three years - a little of the excitement returns with the abbreviated playoff run; bitter disappointment as the promised saviors get hurt or don't pan out; extended losing streaks; anti-excitement as opposing fans take over our nice, shiny arena; ultimately, expecting to lose. Nikita Filatov.

    We have entered a new era in CBJ history. The opposite of excitement and fanaticism is not apathy. It is despair.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.