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Cannon Blasts: Filling the hockey void

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This week’s links, and more

Cleveland Browns v Tennessee Titans Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Normally I’d lead this column with a major news story regarding the Blue Jackets or the NHL, or come up with some other CBJ topic to discuss. Today, however, I’m all tapped out. All we have are rumors about when the NHL season may start, or how long it may last. Nothing is set in stone yet.

It’s weird being a week into December and not having hockey to watch. It was this point four years ago that the Jackets were in the midst of a historic win streak. At this point last season, they were just a few days away from a red hot two month stretch.

Fortunately, there are other sports now for me to watch instead. Of course, as player and coaches test positive for COVID and games are canceled, it’s hard to escape the thought that these seasons should not be happening now. Does it stop me from tuning in each week regardless? Dear reader, it does not. It’s not like I can go somewhere else and do something fun or productive; I’m stuck in my apartment so I’ve gotta watch something.

My philosophy for these COVID-affected seasons is that if something good happens to your team, it counts (or if something bad happens to a team you don’t like. Sup, Michigan). No asterisk. If something bad happens, then it’s not a real season and can be ignored.

Ohio State football

The Buckeyes dominated Michigan State to reach a 5-0 record, but questions remain as to whether the schedule has enough games to warrant inclusion in the playoff, or even if there’s enough to qualify for the Big Ten championship game. If Michigan has to cancel this week, Ohio State would not be eligible for the championship game. The Wolverines are 30 point underdogs, so if canceling is the way they can block OSU from a championship...honestly, I respect the hell out of that.

The weird silver lining is the Big Ten always planned on having every team play on championship weekend, matched up against a similar record in the other division. It’s possible the committee could view an OSU win over Iowa or Wisconsin as better than a win over Northwestern in the championship game.

Cleveland Browns

The Browns set a franchise record by scoring 38 points in the first half at Tennessee, then proceeded to get outscored 28-3 in the second half. Every week is a rollercoaster with this team, but more often than not they do enough to win and they’re sitting at 9-3 and are the first wild card in the AFC. This is their first winning season since 2007 and could be their first playoff berth since 2002.

Oh, and they threw a touchdown pass to an offensive lineman:

Columbus Crew

The other Haslam-owned Ohio football team defeated the New England Revolution to win the Eastern Conference. The Crew will host the winner of tonight’s Seattle/Minnesota game on Saturday night. This is the first MLS Cup appearance for the Crew since 2015, when the opposing team was coached by current head coach Caleb Porter. The team has come a long way since the craven attempt to relocate the franchise to Texas.

I’m not a big soccer guy but I’ve enjoyed watching the Crew this year because their goals are so cool. Love the passing that sets them up.

College basketball

I haven’t actually been watching any basketball yet but HOLY CRAP check this out. Ohio scored 40 unanswered points during a 13 minute stretch against Cleveland State.

Gaelic Athletic Association

I’ve mentioned GAA before here, but I love watching the All-Ireland hurling and gaelic football championships. The tournament was delayed and modified this year due to COVID so the finals are happening in December instead of late August/early September. The hurling semifinals were great, including Waterford erasing a seven point halftime deficit against Kilkenny. The football semis this weekend were both blowouts, unfortunately. That being said, football provided an incredible highlight earlier in the tournament, as Cork upset Kerry on a last minute goal. The Rebs were trailing by one point in stoppage time, and were clearly just trying to tie it here. But the attempt fell short and a player was there to catch it and kick it in the net.

What’s keeping you all entertained?

The week that was

Last week’s Cannon Blasts included prospect updates. Of course Emil Bemstrom’s loan ended only after the article had published.

The Cannon Cast discussed the COVID outbreak among the Blue Jackets, and the stalemate regarding the NHL returning to play.

We remembered some of the best Czech players to suit up for the Jackets.

Our Jackets 20 series continued with profiles of Steve Mason and Geoff Sanderson.

A news station in Boston did not recognize Hockey Hall of Famer (and former Bruin) Jarome Iginla:

Play me out

For something a little different this week, I want to plug two podcasts from members of our staff. First, William Chase has Cutting 2 the Chase. His guests are mostly from the sports media world. This week he’s catching up with our old friend Ryan Real:

Elaine Shircliff just launched her own podcast last week, Graced by Rain. In her own words, it “focuses on finding the light in the darkness, fun in the mundane, and beauty in the ugliest of situations.” I think we could all use some positivity these days, right?

They’re both really excellent, so be sure to check them out on your favorite podcasting platform.