Think about being a fan of the Columbus Blue Jackets for a second.
Think about your pleasure when it was first introduced that an NHL franchise was coming to Columbus. Think about the big range of potentialities that might be coming to the market. Assume again to the day the puck first dropped at Nationwide Enviornment.
The date was Oct 7, 2000. Ron Tugnutt took to the house crease for the primary time in franchise historical past. Over 18,100 followers got here out to observe. We had our first glimpse of how electrical hockey could possibly be in Columbus. Certainly the longer term was wanting vivid.
As nice as the probabilities regarded and sounded, I’m undecided anyone noticed what was coming subsequent. Discuss in regards to the darkest of days that ultimately led to all-time low.
Who knew what the primary 19 years of hockey at Nationwide Enviornment had in retailer? (Natalie Lutz/Flickr)
The Blue Jackets didn’t win 30 video games in a season till after the lockout of 2003-04. They didn’t qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs till 2009. The workforce hit all-time low within the 2011-12 season, but they nonetheless didn’t decide first within the following draft. There have been even followers who protested the best way issues had been going.
Groups definitely have their ups and downs. However the Blue Jackets hovered on the backside and will by no means get the footing to stand up early on.
Why Did Followers Stick Round?
It makes you marvel how Blue Jackets’ followers put up with this for thus lengthy. The one fixed was dropping. Common seasons had been lengthy and painful. Though they’d their probabilities to sort things on the draft, they missed rather more than they hit.
Though all that was taking place, followers nonetheless got here out and watched this hockey workforce with an timeless assist. It takes a particular sort of fan to stay it out via all of the struggling the franchise has endured.
Even now when instances are significantly better, there may be nonetheless disappointment taking place. We’re about to enter the 19th season in Blue Jackets’ historical past. They simply received their first ever playoff sequence. However after the thrill of this second and the season got here to an finish, three of their greatest gamers determined that it was time to maneuver on.
Though the 2018-19 Blue Jackets had the parts in place to win the Cup, Artemi Panarin, Sergei Bobrovsky and Matt Duchene wished to go elsewhere. The workforce will transfer on, however it nonetheless doesn’t take away from what many followers are feeling. It bolstered the ache that comes with being a diehard fan of this workforce.
Simply how do they proceed to cheer on this workforce? I took this query to social media and requested the followers themselves. If there was something I realized about this fanbase, it’s that their ardour is aware of no bounds. It’s an honor to be a Blue Jackets’ fan regardless of every part that has occurred. Let the followers themselves inform you their story and also you’ll see what I imply.
Tales From Blue Jackets’ Followers
From Germany to Columbus
I bear in mind being so upset when the measure failed for a publicly financed enviornment to get the then Hartford Whalers (present Carolina Hurricanes.) I’ve lived in Columbus since I used to be a small youngster in 1969. I favored watching hockey ever because the Miracle on Ice. Again then with no cable, the one workforce I knew about was the Islanders and their four-peat Stanley Cup run of the early 80’s. In 1986, I joined the Military and was stationed in Germany. It was there that I met my spouse who’s from Finland. After my time within the military was up, we moved to Finland the place hockey was like a faith. It was there that I actually fell in love with the sport. We ultimately moved again to the States in 1992 and settled in Columbus. After the vote failed and the McConnell household stepped up and obtained the Blue Jackets, I used to be thrilled. Whereas I’ve by no means had the cash to get season tickets, I attempted to go to as many video games as potential. My spouse works for United Airways so in 2010 we had been lucky sufficient to go to her associates in Stockholm and I attended the Jackets win over the Sharks.
Quick ahead to now, she was outsourced in Columbus four years in the past and we moved to Houston. I watch each sport on YouTube TV and only a few weeks in the past was lucky sufficient to see the workforce get a win in Dallas. I’ve two sons who had been born simply previous to the Jackets inaugural season and each are diehard Jacket followers as nicely. -Lenny Jobin
The Blue Jackets are celebrated worldwide with followers in lots of components. (AP Photograph/Jay LaPrete)
The Blue Jackets Are Like Household
So The Blue Jackets are coming close to their 20-year mark and the explanation for why I’ve caught by them for thus lengthy is as a result of the best way the followers deal with one another like family and friends. It’s simply such a welcoming surroundings but in addition simply how a lot the gamers inform you how a lot they recognize you and what you do for them makes you are feeling good. It’s gotten me again on my ft after my first idol Michael Jackson handed away on June 25,2009. A couple of years later I used to be recognized with tarsal coalition dysfunction in each of my ft. Additionally once I was getting bullied in school years in the past it has at all times simply been an escape for me personally and a spot to create recollections together with your greatest family and friends. That is my 10th yr as a Blue Jackets’ fan and I recognize each single second that I’ve spent with this workforce though sure they’ve dragged me via each emotion humanly potential. I don’t remorse a second of it wanting again in any respect the wonderful recollections I’ve assembly my favourite gamers all through the years and having the ability to open to them and preserving a friendship with them has been every part for me. I’m so grateful for the Blue Jackets and every part Jarmo (Kekalainen) has additionally carried out for me. Thanks! I’m staying with this workforce for the longer term as a result of we really are destined for one thing nice. -Madigan O’Brien
A Lifetime Invested
I’ve been with this workforce via all of the years and now that I’m older and extra educated in regards to the all-around sport, I’ve come to understand that I’ve invested a lot of my money and time on this workforce and as of proper now the expectations are on the highest they’ve ever been, as a result of frankly I’ve by no means seen a extra proficient Blue Jacket workforce earlier than. However now we have some main points coming particularly with Bobrovsky and Panarin dropping that elite expertise goes to be an enormous departure, however I’ll at all times imagine on this workforce. To me this hockey workforce represents greater than only a hockey workforce. They’re like household. I’ve spent 18 of my 22 years supporting this workforce. Rising up watching them and seeing them bloom into what they’re now, I’ll at all times cheer for the Blue Jackets it doesn’t matter what involves them. I’m decided and that willpower has me coming again yearly. You’ll not discover anybody who’s extra passionate in regards to the Blue Jackets apart from me and my brother. We watch each sport and if there isn’t a possibility, one in all us will watch and the opposite will ship updates of the sport. It doesn’t matter what occurs to this workforce I’ll assist them. -Adam Pineault
Blue Jackets’ followers imagine irrespective of who’s on the workforce. (Photograph by Steve Babineau/NHLI by way of Getty Pictures)
Selecting Your Group Out of a Hat, Actually
I’ve been a bandwagon hockey fan for years. At one level, I had a Trevor Linden jersey, adopted by some Bruins and Flyers t-shirts and hats. Each time, my assist at all times went unrewarded. My groups would go on season-ending dropping streaks, or favorite gamers could be traded.
Lastly, sooner or later 10 years in the past, I primarily pulled a workforce’s title out of a hat and have become a Columbus Blue Jackets fan. The franchise had a candy emblem and at last gave the impression to be on the right track with some thrilling gamers to comply with. Good instances.
As any fifth Liner will inform you, it hasn’t been straightforward to comply with this membership. Late night time Western Convention video games, administration upheavals and disappointing drafts. Finally, it grew to become a badge of honour to easily cling in there and assist the Jackets, much like being a Chicago Cubs fan.
A part of the enjoyable, in fact, is to comply with alongside on social media whereas watching Jeff and Jody cowl the video games on TV. Tweeting “LEO!” at simply the suitable time by no means will get previous. The bucket record definitely features a go to to NWA and listen to that cannon in particular person! -Randy Walton
These are only a very small pattern of tales of the eagerness of Blue Jackets’ followers. It takes a particular sort of fan to stay by a workforce who hasn’t had a lot success total. Instances are positively higher as of late and it appears one of the best is but to come back. However it doesn’t matter what occurs, you may wager on Columbus persevering with to assist the Blue Jackets til the very finish. That is really a household affair and it doesn’t get significantly better than that.