As the Jackets prepare for their primetime matchup, I'd like to take a second to talk to you about something totally unrelated to hockey, because it seems to be my schtick for these Game Threads, and hell, it usually ends up working out one way or the other.
A friend of mine is a monstrous fan of the Washington Nationals, who kicked off their season today beneath three tons of ice. He came to know and love them for their "save" of the Clippers a few years ago when Columbus' AAA club needed a new major league backer after the Yankees left. Respect turned to fondness, fondness turned to admiration, and admiration turned to adoration, attuned with the knowledge that, let's face it, these guys stink.
Is it any wonder he's also a Jackets' fan?
Regardless, one year he decided that he really wanted to go out to D.C. to see a game at the parent ball club. I agreed to join him on this grand adventure, and we ended up road-tripping out for a game.
As part of our exploration of DC, we decided to get a bit of the local flavor, and that meant we had to go to Ben's Chili Bowl.
Guys, I'm not going to lie to you - it was crowded as hell, but that chili half smoke was one of the best things I put in my mouth that year.
The whole place is this amazing blend of nostalgia, great food, community, and die hard fans. The whole city loves them, and Ben's loves the city right back. It's beautiful, and if I lived there, I'd probably go there once a week. (I'd also probably be battling heart disease, but c'est la vie.)
Columbus has a LOT of awesome places to go eat, and several pretty damn good hot dog shops and diners, but Ben's is a unique piece of history, particularly because of their role in supporting the civil rights movement. I'm glad I went, and I sincerely hope some of the guys had time to stop in there yesterday before they play tonight and fly back to Columbus.
Anyhow, enough about that. It's game time. Let's go Jackets!
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