Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Who Will Step Up?

There's a lot going on in Blue Jackets land. None of it is good. I think in the past few days I have seen someone call for the firing of, in no certain order, Arniel, Howson, Nash, the team, Priest...what have you. Trades (or lack thereof) are simultaneously applauded and cursed.

I will not regurgitate to you now the various and sundry arguments that everyone has for who is to blame, but I will point out that noone (that I have seen) is saying we don't have talent (i will not go into the nuances of our goal tending situation here-and I acknowledge the door that leaves open for critics pre-disposed to that position).

For what its worth, I have always had a hiring philosophy in my work - I'd rather hire someone with the intangibles of fight, of perseverance, of willingness to learn versus just someone skilled in a line of work. I can teach them a trade, but I can't teach them the drive to apply that skill.

So, here is my point. WHO WILL STEP UP to turn the tide? Will it be our coaches? Will it be management? Will it be the fans? Will it be our captain? Will it be the men who wear the "A"? Will it be our new acquisitions who come from organizations such as the Pens? (like it or not, Letestu's opinion should bear weight) Because, if we are strong in our commitment, we can possibly overcome weakness. And any one of those parts of this team can make a difference if they are committed to it. A great team focused on winning can overcome a poor coach. A great coach can overcome poor work ethic and even sometimes poor skill level. Every variable is arguably possible of making, or breaking, the change this team needs.

I would argue there's no one answer to this question. Leadership comes to bear in many different ways. It only takes the right spark to light a fire. We just need to find that spark. Whether inside or outside the current organization, if we don't find the right spark, we'll continue down this path on which we are headed. And in this case, to me, spark isn't just about skill. Right now, our newest team members are standing out - Letestu and Nikitin (which I still can't pronounce). This to me says that our current resources weren't driving towards the right goals or perhaps just not in the right way. Instead of damning everyone, do we offer one last gasp of consideration in challenging the different parts of this team to STEP UP?

The fact is that losing is - and should be - unacceptable. Who will start to set this tone for this team?

Regardless of who said it, now is the time to truly ask...who will Stand and Fight?

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