While we’re all stuck at home, let’s talk about why we’re all HERE - as in, The Cannon, as a community of Columbus Blue Jackets fans.
I wonder if anyone else can delineate multiple steps in their development as fans. I was a Blue Jackets fan from the moment the team was announced, but I was nowhere as invested as I was now. As a teenager, it’s not like I could afford to come down to games. I didn’t make the time to watch games on TV. In college, I was out of state so couldn’t follow along live, though I at least kept an eye on where they were in the standings and what sorts of personnel moves they made.
The first big leap is in 2010, when I first bought a six game ticket package. I mostly did it to give myself an excuse to get out of the house more, but going to games was always something I enjoyed and I wanted to do it more often. I started to watch on TV more often, finding it easier to follow after seeing more games in person. HD helped a lot as well. But it still wasn’t something I made an effort to watch EVERY game. Not that there was much to watch then.
The big leap came in 2013. For the first time since I was a ticketholder, the team was actually competitive on a nightly basis. That was also the same year I created my SBNation account, and started commenting here. The writers and commenters taught me so much about hockey that made me understand and appreciate the game so much more. If I had to pick one single moment that cemented my fandom, it would be that season finale against Nashville. The Jackets came from behind to get a do-or-die win. They didn’t get the help they needed to make the playoffs, but I was hooked anyway.
So...what were those moments for you?
This week in Jacketsland
The defensive depth in Cleveland was exposed this season due to the injuries and call-ups, so the Jackets FO continues to make moves to strengthen it for next season. First, they signed 2018 sixth round pick Tim Berni to an entry level contract. Berni had been playing in the top league in his home country, Switzerland, and represented the Swiss in the last two World Junior Championships.
The organization made a Monsters-only signing, inking University of Connecticut defenseman Wyatt Newpower:
A big congratulations to one of our captains @Wnewps20 on signing with the Cleveland Monsters of the AHL, the Columbus Blue Jackets affiliate.— UConn Men's Hockey (@UConnMHOC) April 5, 2020
All of us on the #IceBus can't wait to watch you at the next level! pic.twitter.com/j7VTsp2dVL
The interesting thing about this addition is that he was teammates with 2017 fifth round pick Kale Howarth. Obviously the Jackets develop team saw something there they liked while watching Howarth. Similar to how they drafted Paul Bittner after he spent a season in Portland on a line with draftee Oliver BJORKSTRAND.
Speaking of defensemen, some very good news:
Feels nice to be back on the ice after a longggg 8 weeks! pic.twitter.com/DKM84MLvn9— Seth Jones (@seth_jones3) April 5, 2020
The Blue Jackets posted a long video of their dogsledding expedition from last month. It’s super soothing to just sit and watch the team of dogs pull the camera with those snow-capped mountains in the background.
Elaine spoke with Monsters assistant coach Trent Vogelhuber earlier this season to get the 411 on the penalty kill - like the parent club, they have been successful when shorthanded.
Elpalito celebrated a simulated clinching of a playoff berth. It’s nice to believe it could happen.
We had a double dose of the Cannon Cast this week. First, we were joined by Fox Sports Ohio anchor Brian Giesenschlag. He was very generous with his time and gave a lot of great content about covering the Jackets and his path through broadcasting. We even talk a little baseball, too.
Then we did a special episode to talk about the thing the whole internet is talking about: Tiger King. Listen to this conversation so you don’t have to spend the time watching the documentary yourself. Trust me.
In non-hockey Ohio sports news, Dayton’s Obi Toppin was awarded the Naismith Trophy for college basketball’s most outstanding player. I think there may be someone on this site who may be happy about this, idk.
Play me out
A podcast that I enjoy is Political Beats. Despite the name and despite being produced by National Review, there is zero political content - which is a bit refreshing these days, isn’t it? Instead, hosts Scot Bertram and Jeff Blehar welcome guests from the world of journalists and pundits covering politics, and asks them to talk about their favorite bands. Each episode is a deep dive, and I mean DEEP. They discuss every album of the band’s discography, in order. After I listen to an episode I always go and listen to some of the albums they label as essential. I’ve found a lot of good new stuff to listen to this way, evne from bands I already liked. For other bands, it gets me to give them a second chance.
They’re currently halfway through a two-part series on The Who. I’ve never liked The Who as much as their contemporaries and I’m not sure why. Is it that Keith Moon’s drumming is too chaotic, when I prefer something more subtle? Is it - as Jeff points out - that Pete Townshend is far more of a rhythm guitarist than a lead guitarist (so he doesn’t provide the lengthier blues solos that I like)?
That being said, I listened to the entire Tommy album and it had some good parts: