Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What it is to be a fan of Columbus...

With each passing year, the Columbus Blue Jackets continnue to surprise fans. Early in franchise history, the surprise was how much a team can struggle out of the gate. That transitioned into a surprise of how difficult it is to win on the road, and more recently, they have surprised in their trading and signing efforts.

But last year, the surprise was good. After a forgettable stretch of years that saw very little in the form of a playoff caliber team, a few choice rookies, and a couple new comers transformed the attitude of the franchise into a team that can win. No longer did fans attend games in hopes of a win. Fans now entered Nationwide Arena expecting a strong performance, and inevitably, a two point night for the home squad. With each game a different face emerged, whether it was the stellar play of Steve Mason, the stymy defense of the Commodore/Hedja pairing, the tick-tack-wheredidtheseguyscomefrom?!??! of young Voracek and Brassard, or the "who is this guy and why did we not go after him earlier" comments about Vermette.

This year, I am claiming a mild case of fallout. Frankly, I loved winning. My entire life is based around the concept of winning, whether I am open to it or not. While I do not think this ideology is conceptually flawed, it certainly leaves some reasonable explanation as to why the Jackets play so far this year could put me in such a disparate mood. The fact is, I love competition. I drive myself to be competitive in everything I do, regardless of how much work I put into it. As it reflects on this situation, I expect the Jackets to play each game as hard as they can, with as few foolish mistakes as humanly possible.

The Jackets are one of the league's worst in terms of goals against. In fact, only bottom feeders share the same luck, and yet the team manages a 12-8-3 record. Yes, this largely contributes to a couple 6,7, and 9 goal games that were not in the Jackets favor, but those numbers defend my sheer disdain for their efforts. The simple fact is, consistency, in the form of competitiveness, is all I ask. Winning a hard fought game does no team good when they follow it up with a lazy, 9-1 defeat. In fact, I weighed my options for attending the game against Detroit, and opted out at the last second. I can all but assure you, this commentary would be far more pessimistic if I had been there, paying money to watch that.

At the end of the day, I think it is time to re-insert myself into the regular lineup, but frankly, the team owes me, and all my fellow Jackets fans, a much better all around effort if they want to see their seats filled to capacity.

Carry the Flag!

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