Continuing with the theme of talking about our favorite teams and how it all started, I have to go back to 1994, The Blue Jackets, weren’t even thought of, heck, I was only 5. Me having never watched hockey before, I saw on TV, this strange creature, he was about 2 times the size of a normal man, I didn’t even think it was a man (Yes back then imagination was all the rage.) until he lifted up his mask.
The mask that started it all
From that day when I was little watching on tv and seeing this unique piece of art that I thought was some kind of monster, I followed this sport that back then, I knew little about, but I loved goalies and the unique masks they wore.But of course, my favorite hockey player of all time is, Curtis Joseph, he is the one guy no matter what, I’ve followed him, but we came here to get on the important topic, The Blue Jackets, right?
During the 2003-2004 season, I was watching the Red Wings (of which I used to be a HUGE fan of), and I saw this team from Columbus, and they had 2 guys that I thought were pretty cool. They were also two of the first guys to make me like the Blue Jackets, in Rick Nash and Marc Denis.
Nash was just a spectacle on ice, he was a big guy but he could out skate almost anyone, and he just seemed to command the puck when he had it. And Denis, he wasn’t the best goalie, but he gave his all every night to try to get a win for this CBJ team. But both of them kept me interested in this new team.
As I started to look up more on this team and as the season went on, I started to transition, I grew more and more disinterested in the Red Wings (Well… everyone except Cujo), and found myself rooting more for Columbus. But one problem, I had no TV channels that would carry CBJ games, so I had to resort to the radio.
George Matthews, Play By Play Man For The CBJ.
As I started to listen to Blue Jackets games, I loved listening to the Play by Play of Mr. George Matthews, he can make any game sound exciting, not to mention, has some quotes that still stick in my head (one mostly, “Hoot toot da boot Denis!” referring to a kick save made by Marc Denis) He is one of the reasons I love the Blue Jackets, he brings an energy to the radio broadcasts that you just don’t find many other places.
Then during a long, lockout effected offseason, I bought my first NHL jersey, and what did I choose? Of course, a Columbus Blue Jackets Alternate, which the next season, became the normal jersey for the team (with a few alterations). To put this in perspective, I was a Wings fan for 11 years, never bought a jersey of theirs, one year after becoming a Blue jackets fan, I bought one. That should tell you how I feel about this team.
The reasons to love this team is… well… the team is just exciting on the ice, we are unpredictable, and it’s the unpredictable ones you have to be aware of the most, right? We are not a team to be underestimated, we will not be pushed around, and we will fight, no matter how tough the opponent.
I’ve been there through the great times (first playoffs, big wins), I’ve been there through the tough times (Mr. Mac’s Passing, Missing the playoffs, extended losing streaks.) And I will not quit on this team, this is not a bandwagon for me, when I decided to become a Blue Jackets fan, this isn’t just when it’s convenient and when we are winning, this is for better, and for worse.
Just like the men on the ice, the jersey I wear is one im proud to wear, and I will continue to carry this flag until my dying day, and you can bet, you will see us in the playoffs again, and beware, this time, the cannon will be firing, and it will make the NHL will take notice.