Saturday, February 25, 2012

One Thing the Blue Jackets are Always Good At...

Ignore the dangling participle there in the title, but in this slide towards the end of the season, I wanted to give a spotlight to one positive this season which is an annual event that the Blue Jackets Foundation holds: the "Black Tie Blue Jackets Style Show" (or as many of us call it:: #CBJBlackTie)

Kim and Sharon
I have a dream to be able to attend this event some day, but in the interim, I turn this blog post over to my dear friends Kim and Sharon who were able to attend this year and they were gracious enough to share their experiences with me about the night. Special recognition to these women as Kim is currently waging her own amazing battle against cancer - so her perspective is particular precious in my eyes. Thank you BOTH for taking the time to share your memories and photos from a great great

We've seen the evening mentioned on Jackets TV, and on Fox Sports Ohio coverage, but I'm always a fan of those first-hand perspectives...so here we go!




1. Talk a little bit about the schedule for the night...how was the evening set up? I know you've been to other events such as Hockey N Heels and post-game autograph sessions - how did this night compare?
 We arrived at the event and were greeted by free valet parking. We were instantly surprised by the red carpet laid out for everyone to walk on. From 5:30 to 7:00pm was a cocktail reception and hors d'oeuvres, both of which were delicious. During that time it was very casual as you could eat and drink alongside the Blue Jackets players. There were several tables of silent auction items, ranging from golf packages, signed hockey sticks and pads, vacation getaways, and gift baskets. We would both have to agree that this was probably the most fun part of the evening because we witnessed the players selecting their drinks and having casual conversations with those attending. For the record, we did see several players texting and playing around on twitter. This should put a smile on the faces of the Twitter faithful. :)

2. Tell me how they wove the mission of the charity into the evening?
Love you #50
This year’s theme of the event was Strength, Hope, and Courage. For the word Strength they had a performer, like the ones you see at cirque De Solei, who performed on bilateral ropes to show off her strength. Hope was spotlighted by the Ohio State ukulele club playing Over the Rainbow. Their performance was uplifting, to say the least. Courage brought the most tears as they had two former heroes, who are now cancer free, read a poem by Dr Seuss. Everything was appropriate in proportion. Then the mission of giving was represented by a live auction with an auctioneer. Items auctioned included a Greenbrier golf package which went for $18,000, Brody the  Labradoodle at $7000.00, All-Star Weekend package, and donations to improve the foundation center at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

As a cancer fighter, I found myself in tears on several occasions. The whole event was handled beautifully. It was very sad to see how different the views of a cancer diagnosis are handled. Children do not take the diagnosis of cancer as a death sentence, unlike adults who think they are going to die. They are truly courageous and strong.

3. Obviously, we all love to interact with the CBJ players - did you get to spend time with a lot of them? Who was your favorite? Who really stood out as part of the event (who was "getting it")
During the actual dinner event you really do not get to interact with the players. Most of the interactions took place during the cocktail reception. I was shocked at how casual the players were. Standing in line behind Wisniewski, as he selected his drink for the evening, it was funny because as fans, you forget that they are people just like us. During the runway show, Huselius and his wife stole the spotlight by dancing like fools with their hero. Most the players got into the runway show by strutting their stuff.
Um DELICIOUS!
4. As a hockey fan, what does the night mean to you?
Sharon: It means to me that the Columbus Blue Jackets stand for more than just hockey. They stand for service and charity to the entire city of Columbus. The players give freely of their time on AND off the ice, and that is something that we, as fans, can all be proud of.
Kim: The night was a time to celebrate the amazing courage of this year’s heroes. They have endured the hard chemotherapy, radiation and surgery at such a young age. For three hours they were the spotlight and they enjoyed it.

5. What will be your favorite memory of the whole night?
Kim and Cappy #61
 Kim: It's hard for me to pick one favorite memory, but if I had to pick one, it would have to be the hug that Rick Nash gave  me. One of the funniest things was that I almost ran into Sanford.

Sharon and Steve Mason
Sharon: For me, my favorite memory of the night was the conversation I had with Steve Mason. It wasn't because he's my favorite player or a fan girl moment, but because we had a conversation that I hope left him aware that not everybody blames all the team’s problems on him. We seemed to connect and agree on issues with the team. I did not feel like I was having a conversation with a "celebrity," more like a friend

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.

Friday, February 17, 2012

#LunchTimePresser...Its What We DO

We know how the season has gone, we know we find our fun where we can. Today was another day, another #lunchtimepresser. They are all in good fun, and hopefully...people on twitter get as much of a kick out of them as I do...honestly, a lot of the stuff you guys ask makes me stop and laugh out loud.

In what has become another tradition, my great friend, Chad, offers up his recap, this time, Fake Aaron Portzline/ "Puck Rakers" style...Thanks to Chad for being such a great add on to the event...as I've said before, we've got to make our own fun this season, and to me, Chad's recaps do that in spades...with tongue firmly planted in cheek, I give you...the lunch time presser recap (while I laugh at my own expense :) )

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Mac and Cheese are here to stay … but for how long?

 AlisonL held another #lunchtimepresser today at 11 a.m. The twitterverse was invited to watch her announce … well, nothing really. Despite numerous reports of both Mac and Cheese being available for trade, AlisonL declared that Mac and Cheese is still on the menu, and the usual chefs are still in charge of lunch.

“I'm not going to blow up my menu. I have a plan,” she said. However, she has left lunch fans guessing as to what her plan may actually entail. When pressed, she refused to go into any specifics.

Contrary to the official announcement, sources had confirmed to me early this morning that AlisonL had asked both Mac and Cheese if they would be willing to waive their no-trade clauses. It seems she is desperately trying to move Macaroni and is willing to receive significantly less than what she paid for it.

Cheese, a much more versatile ingredient and a staple of AlisonL’s cooking since the beginning, would only give five locations where it would be willing to be utilized. Rumors say those include Chipotle, Piada, Arby’s, Pizza Hut, and Cheetos. AlisonL denied the rumored trade with CiCi's Pizza that Cheese supposedly nixed.

If AlisonL wishes to keep both Mac and Cheese despite putting them on the open market, it may be difficult to recover the meal’s broken morale. Asking an ingredient to waive its no-trade clause is like asking a live chicken if it would be OK with being inhumanely butchered into tiny pieces and thrown into an oven at 400 degrees for 17 minutes.

While the initial #lunchtimepresser announcement was unimpressive, a few interesting details were revealed when AlisonL took questions from the members of the twitter media who were in attendance.

AlisonL divulged that the main reason for the lunchtime failures has been that the ingredients had outlived their expiration dates. “All of our food has suffered from not staying fresh,” she said. “This certainly can leave a palate wanting more.”

The blame for the spoiled ingredients seems to lie with a faulty freezer door lock. She admitted that the door keeps opening unexpectedly. She tried propping the door closed with boxes filled with lunch ingredients, but that idea backfired. “All the boxes got kicked as people walked by and are all bent and busted now,” she said. Not only did the ingredients spoil, but they were also injured and bruised more than they should have been.

This is not the place for a reporter, not a columnist, to have an opinion, but fans are clearly frustrated that, despite having such a dismal lunch, AlisonL does not seem to be taking breakfast very seriously, either. Breakfasts are still optional, but it seems to this humble reporter that a solid and balanced breakfast foundation to start the day could go a long way toward better lunch preparations. When someone eats lunch without eating breakfast, they just don’t usually have the kind of success that they were hoping for. If adding a winning nutritional breakfast could lead to enough successful lunches, perhaps we’ll start talking about enjoying our lunches during dinnertime. Hopefully that is a part of AlisonL’s grand plan.
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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Happy "Dorsett Scores a Goal Day"!

I've been sitting on this for a while...and you should thank me...because the gushing probably would have been completely intolerable had I written this last week. [Yeah, THIS is tamed down...shudder]

Here's all you need know. On February 1, 2011, in the midst of what would be our worst ice storm, the Columbus Blue Jackets hosted the Chicago Blackhawks at Nationwide Arena. It was my birthday. Derek Dorsett - he of the #DD and #becausehesawesome hashtags - scored a goal. That goal incited mass hysteria in the Lukan household...okay...just by me...and was the precursor to my first ever autograph-based meeting with #DD (where yes, I babbled like an idiot "you scored a goal on my birthday yesterday". Seriously. what? Who says that??).

When February 1st rolled around this year, and there just happened to be another CBJ game, (right after the debacle in San Jose) and I thought I'd pull out the last little bit of mojo I had. So. Little ol' me, who usually keeps my birthday under wraps, decided to unleash the big guns in hopes of a Blue Jackets' rebound.


I was fighting to stay up. The results from San Jose had given me only a tiny bit of hope, but I fought to watch the second period when...



Yep. It happened. It really happened.

Courtesy Trevor Richards
Now look. I know. I know that Derek Dorsett doesn't score a goal "just because" its my birthday. And I know, that superstitions don't matter (because as I've said, I've tried everything this year). And I know, that Dorse doesn't know that some crazy lady sat up till 1:30 AM watching the game in hopes that this very thing would happen.

But I do know, that in a season such as this, there are still some positives to be found. (Even when everything, including the clock! seems to be against you.) Maybe its your favorite player doing something great on your birthday. Maybe is all your twitter friends sharing in that joy (and you guys were so so awesome by the way! :) ). Maybe its the fact that one of your good friends, has since coined February 1st "Derek Dorsett Scores a Goal Day". (which I love).

Our boys are still taking the ice...so I'll still cheer. All game, every game. All season long. Even if Dorse doesn't know...or does he? ;)


Best. Birthday. Ever.