Friday, January 27, 2012

Ok FINE...You May Have My $.02

I tried to keep my mouth shut. "I won't write about this", I told myself. "Let the chips fall where they may", I said.

But everyone and their cousin has come out one way or another regarding the upcoming CBJ Protest tomorrow, so, now I'm a lemming - here ya go.

I'm not going to the protest tomorrow.

First, I think its important to point you to the definition of this event. I read this post to understand what the event intends. From some comments/tweets/etc. that I've seen since, seems not everyone has read this. Here is what Light the Lamp has to say. If you're gonna "fight", at least know what you're fighting for, Ok?

Second, let me point you to may posts that I feel clearly and eloquently express almost all aspects of my opinions about this Protest. If you have not already read them: first, from Martini Hockey, next, from Fire That Cannon, and of course, from my CBJ Yoda, Matt Wagner over at The Cannon. Basically, just read those and then imagine me say "Yeah! What he said!" over and over. 

But there are a few other things I also wanted to make clear when it comes to me and what I think: I know a few of the people who started this event - I hold every single one of them in high regard, and I praise their ability to put together an event quickly, communicate effectively, and demonstrate a continued passion and commitment to the Blue Jackets. In no way, shape or form do I judge a single person for their decision to go or not go to the protest.

But here's what gives me pause (in addition to my personal beliefs as noted above). Last night, I went out to dinner with a girlfriend. We go to the same place every week. The people there know us. As its a small place,  patrons and staff alike will often talk about "the topic of the day".

I was hardly in the door when I was asked - by people who don't even follow sports - "what is up with this protest thing down at Nationwide?" Let me just say their impression is not favorable. So add that to the list of reasons I won't be there. You see, one of my hopes that I've written about many times is to introduce people to the game of hockey and the Blue Jackets. We need to remember that this whole thing is being viewed by sphere's of life waaaaay outside just CBJ fandom. Even waaay outside NHL fandom. And, if we're trying to bring attention to hockey, this might not be such a hot idea. Today on twitter people were even debating exactly what Scott Howson's job was. And that's understandable, but to send a message, please try to make it effective and coherent first.

Look. I know. I'm the girl who organized a large letter to the players earlier this year. I get it. I get feeling this way. I hit a new low when word of a possible Carter trade hit earlier this week. But, I just can't accept that the organization is ignorant about how bad it really is. Nor, can I demand change for change's sake. I want to see options, opportunities and solutions presented. Then I'll have an opinion. Maybe that's just me...

At the end of the day, sad but true, NHL Hockey is a business. And ownership wants your dollars...not your two cents. Not happy with what's going on? Take your dollars away.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Heart Rate: "Pieces of Flair"

Office Space. Only one of the best movies ever. Its chock full of eternally quotable scenes. And, when we first heard from new "interim" Coach Todd Richards it immediately called the movie to mind once again. One of the first points Richards was sure to make was that this was an opportunity for players to earn their way: playing time, line positioning, recognition, keeping a spot on the roster...all of that was implied as out there to be earned. In a way, Richards was challenging the players to go above and beyond, to add "pieces of flair".

I've included the scene below for your reference, but it does ring true. While the movie is totally tongue in cheek, at various points this season, this is what some of the fans - myself included - have asked for: show us that you're going above and beyond. Show us you're not just going through the motions. And do all this because you want to.

So Far Richards seems to be holding true to his word. Brassard, who's arguably playing without the weight of the world on his shoulders any more has been elevated to the top lines - and he's playing like he wants to stay. Derek Dorsett - long beloved here ;) - and known for his work ethic has been awarded the "A" and was selected to take part in the shoot out this past Saturday versus Detroit. Now - you know I'd love a team full of Dorse's any day - but that choice was probably based a lot more on heart and his "never quit attitude" versus pure skill. (LOVE YOU #DD!!!! ;) )

Arguably, many of the players are taking note. While we're still not sure that we're not just still in a "new coach bump" we've seen better and better play (even if the record doesn't totally reflect that). And comparing practices I've attended under Arniel vs. under Richards, the team is definitely more engaged, and showing more desire.

So, I thought I'd offer a nudge. A word of encouragement if you will to our boys...we're playing Nashville tonight - and while the outcome of this season is pretty much cemented, the effort and "heart" from our players does not need to be equally doomed. So why not give it to those dang Predators just one. more. time.

Who will come up with their extra pieces of flair tonight?


Friday, January 6, 2012

What Matters? Or...What. Matters.

[Authors note: this has also been cross posted at Dark Blue Jacket :) ]

Recently, I've found myself quite dumbfounded by all things Blue Jackets. The main reasons why are obvious...I mean, not much more needs to be said about our team's performance this year. Obviously, building a successful hockey team isn't easy - or everyone would be doing it. However, there's been an inordinately large increase in the amount of grousing among fans that, more often than not, is causing me to just shut down Twitter and other communication forums, and I simply wish to ask us all to pause and consider what matters most to us as Blue Jackets Fans in a big picture kinda way. I'll go first.

Here's my list of what matters: