I never thought I would say this, but is there anything more fun right now then watching the Columbus Blue Jackets compete in the playoffs. “Compete” being the operative word in that last sentence. Last Saturday The Blue Jackets evened the series with the Pittsburgh Penguins 1-1, rallying after being down 3-1. Saturday was the first playoff victory for the Jackets and the momentum carried over into last night’s home game. I’ve decided that if you want to read about the Blue Jackets in depth you can go here, or here, or even here. I would instead like to focus on something that I am 100% embracing this year: The bandwagon fan.
The bandwagon fan is typically something I loathe. I never am wild about people hitching their wagon to a team on a hot streak when they can’t name at least 30% of the starters on said team (I think that’s a fair number regardless of the sport).Why 30%? It requires someone to not only know at least the 2 big super stars on a team, but also the role players who make the team what it is — I’m looking at you Dane Sanzancher, and Jon (the correct spelling) Diebler — While I find it totally okay to “root root root for the home team,” personally, I will not be overly disappointed if The Reds lose in a playoff — The Browns on the other hand are a totally different animal, as my shock seeing them make the playoffs would probably send me spiraling into an victorian period hysteria. With that said, I am throwing all my bandwagon rules out the window. After watching the game last Saturday I want to own a Sergei Bobrovsky jersey, become a regular at R Bar, and start telling people “The real Jack Johnson makes hockey happen not banana pancakes — although he might do that too.” Why the sudden sea change in my typical bandwagon philosophy? After watching at Pint House last Saturday night with an actual hockey fan — and having the time of my life I might add — I realized that this playoff run is getting an incredibly large part of Columbus excited about hockey (see the photo), which is only a good thing for this city. In a town that is said to have one pro team — who are all amateurs according to Mark Emmert — Columbus deserves a pro team with an well-versed fan base. If this means that the Blue Jackets get a bunch of bandwagon fans to make this a hockey town, then I say all hands on deck! Strap your horse to the wagon and have some fun watching these guys make history! And maybe just maybe those bandwagon fans will learn the names of Dubinsky, Atkinson, Calvert, Umberger, Letestu, Murray and Wisniewski (see what I did there?).
I’m calling it, even after last night: Blue Jackets in 7.