Monday, October 14, 2013

So DBJ went to CBJ Game 4: Boston

Boston 3 - Columbus 1
2-2-0, 4 pts, 4th in Metropolitan Division, 9th in the Eastern Conference
The Columbus Blue Jackets hosted the visiting Eastern Conference champion Boston Bruins during a Saturday matinee at Nationwide Arena.  While the Blue Jackets put up a spirited effort, the Bruins simply wore down the CBJ en route to a 3-1 win.

Jack Johnson had the only Blue Jackets goal, a power play shot.  Sergei Bobrovsky turned aside 27 of 29 shots (the third goal was an empty netter), a .943 save percentage; I really liked his composure throughout the game.  And, of course, 5'7" Cam Atkinson tried to post up on 6'9" Zdeno Chara, providing a wonderful memory that I'll not soon forget.  If only I had a camera on him when it happened!

I'm not upset about the loss.  As I said in...ummm...some blog post recently, average teams should be expected to beat bad teams.  Good teams should be expected to beat average teams.  Great teams should be expected to beat good teams.  The Blue Jackets, coming off a season where they just missed the playoffs, are not a great team.  The Bruins, coming off a Stanley Cup Finals appearance, probably have to be considered great.  Thus, I wasn't expecting the CBJ to beat Boston.  They didn't.  Columbus did, however, put in the effort.  The box score was reasonably even (score excepted).  The Blue Jackets didn't get their rear ends handed to them, and they lost to the defending conference champs. And it's not like the CBJ blew a huge lead, melted down or was outclassed by an obviously better team.  How can one be upset?

But I get that out of the way to share my personal experience of the game, that of a loving parent who...well...does his best to be a good parent.

You see, the Dark Blue Kiddo fell in love with the Boston Bruins in last spring's Stanley Cup Playoffs.  If that alone isn't a cautionary tale, I don't know what is. Hey CBJ, get your butts into the postseason or risk losing the kids to other allegiances!

Back to the story: When I bought my ticket package, a flex plan, he told me that the only game for which I had to get tickets was Boston.  Boston Strong, baby.  Boston Strong.  That's OK by me.  I don't hate the Bruins.  Heck, I used to live in Massachusetts for a handful of years when I was young.  If my kid isn't going to be a diehard CBJ fan, I could think of a lot worse.  (Like being a Penguins fan.)

The deal was struck.  I'd take DBK to the Bruins game.  He was excited to cheer on the Bruins.  He asked me every time I watched a Blue Jackets game, "When are we going to see the Boston Bruins?"

And when I asked him if I could still wear my Blue Jackets' sweater to the game, he nixed the idea.  Daddy had to wear his Bruins jersey.  I have a small collection of largely non-collectible sweaters from a number of teams, so I had a couple of Bruins gems from which to choose.  I went with this piece of work:

The crap we do for our kids.
Talk about awkward.

It was the strangest experience, wearing the colors of the opposition, trying to offer enough positive talk about the Bruins to keep my kid interested so he would stay for the whole game...but also trying to keep tabs on my favorite NHL team in what really was a competitive game.

I also had a bit of a "stranger in a strange land" feel as a spectator at the game.  To the credit of the people of Columbus, I received no heckling or grief.  None.  Everyone in the seats and on the concourses was courteous.  I fielded a couple "Hope you enjoy your stay in Columbus!" comments.  And when we left early in the 3rd period (DBK gave up), the arena staff was putting the concourses together for the postgame autograph session.  The staffer assembling tables next to us even went so far as to let me know that (former Bruin) Nathan Horton was going to be signing autographs a couple of sections down.

So I suppose you can take it from an unintentional mystery shopper, Columbus: You done good.  Midwest hospitality is alive and well.

That all said, I eagerly look forward to returning to unabashed support for the Columbus Blue Jackets as soon as possible.

Here's the recap haiku:

I wore the wrong shirt
The kiddo loves the Bruins
Where did I go wrong?

1 comment:

  1. Hospitality has no place in hockey. I saw a Jackets game in Pittsburgh once, at the old Igloo. I was mercilessly heckled, razzed and given a hard time. Not assaulted, but certainly not accommodated, for supporting the 'wrong' team. Which was completely expected and 100% appropriate. It is the way it should be.


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