Sunday, February 19, 2012

Don't Go Away Mad...Just Go Away. (aka Alison's Rant)

This post has been sitting in my queue for a while...it started when the Jeff Carter rumours first reached fever pitch. I looked at it again when the Nash availability "announcement" came out, and after what has been one of my lowest CBJ fan moods post-Chicago debacle yesterday, I'm just going to post it.

Here's the thing. As we sit poised for the trade deadline, and the off season moves, and we are inundated with "who will and will not come to Columbus" and "the joke of Columbus as a hockey market" (yes, thanks Chicago fans...how are your Cubbies?), I can immediately define the litmus test for every potential candidate for a trade, signing or drafting: I want only one thing from every single person who wears the Union Blue. Here is my mandate to the players that will be on this roster come puck drop in Fall 2012.

I WANT YOU TO HAVE HEART.

I've long espoused the value of "heart" as almost equal to the value of "skill". Hence the name of this blog. As my hockey-smart friends always tell me, hockey is a game of inches, and, in my mind, a lot of times "heart" is the difference.



Here's what having heart means: Does this organization have issues? Let's take those on and fix them. Is a teammate slacking at practice? Call him out. Does your shot need some work (ahem)? Go shoot a couple more practice shots. Is there still time on the clock? PLAY THE GAME. This is your team. We the fans care - we want to see you care.


So, for 2012, I am done with the excuses, I want to see guys on the ice who are ready to do what it takes to win. Here's my preemptive response to the same old same old that I'm not willing to put up with next year...

I am done with hearing its the coaches' fault.  
<We've fired two because he "lost the room". I remember the last time someone had to make me fulfill my responsibilities. I think it was 6th grade.>
I am done with hearing its chemistry-related.  
<This is your job. Do it. Do it well. We don't get the luxury to like everyone we work with.>
I am done hearing this is just management's fault.  
<Everyone was jacked up about the way this team was built up this off season. Unless you want GMSH to lace up and hit the ice, you're discrediting what the players are supposed to do.>
I am done hearing that if only we didn't have all the injuries.  
<Great teams find a way to win. Period.>
I am done hearing its our goalie, its our defense, its Rick Nash.  
<Newsflash. We are a team. Everyone can make - or break - a game>

Here's the brass tacks, gentlemen, you who wear the Union Blue - you guys are GOOD. AT. HOCKEY. You beat out thousands of guys who would kill to be as good as you. Here's the trick, you also have to care. YOU HAVE TO HATE LOSING MORE THAN YOU LOVE WINNING. You have to have heart.

Don't like these options? Don't "want" to be part of the CBJ? Please continue on - do not pass go, do not collect $200 (or $5.25 million...). You are welcome to be part of the solution, but we don't need to you be part of the problem.

Let's Go Jackets.

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