Monday, August 15, 2011

Make it so

The post-CannonFest afterglow has rightfully focused largely on the two Tom "Skraut" Larrow Columbus Blue Jackets fan videos (which I embedded in my CannonFest 2011 recap post).  This makes sense, as the videos themselves are really, really well done.  They also serve as a quasi-tangible "takeaway" from the day in that those who attended can share the video links with those who weren't there to see it in person...and those who didn't make it are afforded a taste of the excitement.

Now word is out from Ryan Holtmann at the Blue Jackets that the team is, well, I'll let you see what he said:
We're looking into the licensing with the NHL, but at the very least we are planning to put [the videos] on
This is fantastic news, and for all the right reasons:
  1. The videos are labors of love from a Blue Jackets fan.  Look at the little promo graphic to the right and check out the stats for the amount of footage reviewed to assemble the pieces.  These two videos represented a TON of effort.  The Blue Jackets didn't commission this work.  They didn't ask for it.  Tom simply did it because he believes in the Blue Jackets and loves hockey.
  2. The videos are, in my amateur estimation, professionally done.  Nothing in these pieces could embarrass the team or the league.  In fact, I'd suggest the opposite.  They only enhance the image of the Blue Jackets and professional hockey in general.
  3. While the videos have the potential to go viral on their own (and that would not surprise me), the stamp of legitimacy afforded by posting them on the Blue Jackets' website or played in Nationwide Arena..or on Fox Sports Ohio...represents a quantum leap in the exposure for his work.
  4. Perhaps most importantly to me, the symbolism of such a fan-to-team transfer cannot be overlooked.  I find one of the joys of social media to be the breaking down of meaningless barriers between people and institutions.  CannonFest itself wasn't coordinated by the Blue Jackets in any way whatsoever.  Larrow's work, as mentioned earlier, wasn't commissioned.  Both are the textbook definition of "grassroots" actions.  To see an institution like the Blue Jackets embrace this grassroots work - or the efforts of the Jacket Backers, the Arch City Army or Reclaim Our Barn, for that matter - speaks volumes to me.  The ball is rolling, the active community of fans is building and the team is wise to embrace what they've seen.  Integrating Larrow's video into actual team activity (arena, TV or website) cements this mutual relationship.  
The possibility of Larrow's work getting wider exposure is tremendous.  The Blue Jackets are to be commended for recognizing great work when they see it, as well as for taking the steps that we fans cannot from our respective positions.  Let's hope that the licensing issues are straightened out so all of these benefits can be realized.  


  1. This is highly awesome. Go Skraut!

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  3. The Cannon, the LEO cheer, Money On The Board, and now this. The smartest thing the CBJ can do is to let its supporters support the club. They do not have to do everything on their own. In fact, this "transfer" only strengthens the bonds. Smartly played by the CBJ FO!

  4. Great points Lee...don't forget the bloggers.

  5. Interestingly the blogs keep people excited and the Dispatch blog has been down over a month and just drifts along. The videos provided a great "pace" for everyone. It was like turning the intensity up. Before the videos it was just a bunch of people having a good time Then it became well....."lets go Jac--kets"
    I remember many of the highlight plays and was glad to relive them again. I think most peoples favorite was the Calvert head first into the net goal. .

  6. Glad to see.Skraut gettong such well-deserved exposure.


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