|Princess Hockey Tits|
Lets just jump right into it. The Columbus Blue Jackets have stolen a little piece of my sporting heart, making me a fan for life...or at least I think. I have never ever been a hockey fan. I always thought people who liked hockey were Canadians. The TV product sucks. And even if you find the shitty TV product, it is on the Al Jazeera Sports Network. And yet here I stand, I newly converted hockey fan who is ready to #CarryIt for all eternity. How did this happen?
For every other team that I am a fan of, I became a fan when I was 7 years old at the oldest. And I became a fan because I latched onto a favorite player and just stuck with the team; Randall Cunningham, David Robinson and Frank Thomas. I don't really remember why I picked those players/teams, so I've never really known what to look for when becoming a fan.
The more I think about it, this is an opportunity that I should truly cherish. How many 28 year old BRAHs have opportunity to become fans on their own terms? Outside of college/grad school, you are most likely born into your rooting interests for the rest of your life, and if not then you made a decision like I did at 7 years old based off of...nothing. This is serious shit.
And that's what we will be talking about today; How do you get new fans? For hockey, especially in the non-traditional markets, this is YUGE. This is how the CBJ stole my heart.
No bullshit. Every time that I would catch a player, coach or the GM on the radio or in an interview they seemed like straight shooters. No making excuses. No dodging questions. No dodging blame. Just telling the fans how it is and being honest. That plays really well to potential fans, especially in the Midwest. I can get behind an organization that isn't going to blow smoke up my ass to gain my fanhood. Give it to me real, I'm a big boy.
Young Studs. If I'm going to become a new fan, I want the players that brought me to fanhood to be around awhile. From what I understand, the Blue Jackets roster won't be changing much at all going into next year, and the names that I am most familiar with will definitely be around. I don't want my team to be in a Brooklyn Nets type situation because those fuckers are done after this year. You're going to have to win me over all over again with a new group of players. I want my fanhood to grow with the players that originally brought me to the team. Obviously turnover will happen, but those key players need to be there next year.
Available Fans. Columbus has one legitimate sports team, the Ohio Buckeyes. Nobody can debate this. That means this city has available fans, because nobody really gives a fuck about the Clippers or Crew and there are still hundreds of thousands of people in the city that aren't Fuckeyes. Columbus will support a winner, or even a competitor, as was shown this year. I don't think there are many other markets in the US that are more ready for professional sports teams than Columbus.
Star Player. Goalie Bob was the best goalie in the NHL last year, and one of them this year. He IS the Columbus Blue Jackets. Like, without him the CBJ win 15 games. And, as long as he doesn't get lured away to Great Mother Russia, he should continue to be the guy for the Blue Jackets. But every team that is trying to bring in new fans needs to have that one guy who everybody recognizes. You aren't filling up the stadium without that guy.
Fucking Awesome Atmosphere. I said before that Game 4 of the CBJ/Pens series was the 3rd best sporting event I have ever attended in my life, only beaten out by May The Forcier Be With You beating ND and Toledo upsetting Larry Fitz and the Pitt Panthers. But as far as atmosphere, I would give NWA a close second to The Big House that night...which is understandable considering The Big House had more than 5 times as many people in attendance. Everybody in NWA that night was definitely CARRYING THE FLAG to the fullest. You can't be a part of that atmosphere and not become a fan.
I was going into the Game 4 experience looking for a reason to become a serious fan and the Blue Jackets absolutely delivered. Obvs it feels good to root for the hometown team, but I can't imagine buying into any other team than the Blue Jackets right now. So CARRY IT or suck a dick.
(SPURS 3-2 FUCKERS)