Saturday, January 10, 2009

WHY Carry the Flag?

First, let me introduce myself: I am a girl (still not comfortable saying woman...even at almost 40...yikes!) who loves hockey. Specifically, the Columbus Blue Jackets! I came to this affection recently. Prior to now, I have enjoyed watching college football, and pro baseball. Mostly I am attracted to sports because of tradition and history, and because of how the players are off the field ( In recent years, football (coughs*MichaelVick*coughs) and baseball (coughs*steroids*coughs) began to lose their appeal. About 3 years ago, my husband (fellow blog contributor Brian) and I attended a couple hockey games. And slowly an addiction grew!
One of the really great things about living so close to downtown Columbus, and being a Jackets fan, is being able to interact with the players fairly often. We have attended a couple autograph sessions and the guys are so nice and patient. But more recently I caught a press release on the home page that the players were going to be ringing Salvation Army bells on three different downtown corners to raise money during the week of Christmas. So, with much encouragement from a fellow fan Tony, Brian and I scurried downtown and parked directly across from Nationwide Arena and set out, caps and camera in hand!
First up was Mike Commodore and Jakub Voracek on the corner of Nationwide Blvd and Front St . Commie was very interactive and outgoing, Jake was shy and awkward. Unfortunately we didn't get any photos but we did get our hats signed. We then made our way to the Palace Theater where Jared Boll and Kris Russell. These two happen to be my favorite players so you know I was extremely excited!! I babbled for a good 5 minutes with lil' Shake about how changing his number made him look bigger, and Boll agreed with me, meanwhile they both signed the hats, and Brian took pics. Again - the guys were great!! Lastly, we headed around the corner to the Riffe Building on High St. where Marc Methot and Derick Brassard were ringing. This time the Jackets' PR guy with the players offered to take our pic so both Brian and I got to be in it together.

So what is my point here? Columbus, we have a professional sports team in our midst of top-notch, talented, well-mannered, educated, respectful, kind, and dedicated athletes. They are playing their hearts out for us. The management team for the Blue Jackets is trying to find creative ways to get the guys out in public by thinking outside the autograph session box. This bell-ringing session is one of those ways. Brian and I easily had 5-10 minutes apiece with each pair of players all to ourselves! Where else does this happen? Can you imagine taking a kid who admires one of these guys to an event like this? Hockey players are the kind of athletes who represent something great that is missing in most other sports, in my opinion. And hockey is accessible. And professional hockey is happening right here, right now, in our town.

Another example of outside the box thinking is the recent and on-going Pepsi 4-pack promotion. Go to any Giant Eagle, buy Pepsi cases of pop, and at the register use your Giant Eagle shopper card. When you have paid a voucher will print out like a coupon. You simply take the voucher to the ticket booth at Nationwide Arena for 4 tickets to any Blue Jackets game, through March 3rd. Really! I am not making this up!! Basically you can get 4 tickets for $5 apiece!! There are always a list of great promotions here.

So you have no excuses Columbus!!!
Our team is carrying the flag for it's your turn!

Carry the Flag!!


  1. Amen way to tell the Columbus fans where it's at.

  2. Hey Anna, there is no doubt you are the perfect example of how you get hooked to the sport of ice hockey and especially the National Hockey League after attending your first game in person. Unfortunately, unlike the other major sports in America, you don't get the full effect of it from seeing on TV. You actually have to be there to do so. It's great to see you're a loyal Blue Jackets fan and continue to spread the word of how great it is to enjoy following the sport and the team.