Hi, Fox Sports Ohio world. My name is Tom Fellrath, although you’re probably more familiar with me by my online moniker, The Dark Blue Jacket. I consider myself a fan of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets.
I wasn’t born a hockey fan. I grew up a huge football fan, with Saturday loyalties to Notre Dame and Sunday to the Detroit Lions. Sports are sports at the macro level, though, and you’d be surprised how much of football translates over to hockey. If nothing else, this perspective keeps things fresh and offers plenty of excuses when my thinking flies outside of the conventional wisdom.
Still, hockey wasn’t entirely alien to me. My dad put a backyard rink in for a couple winters when I was a kid up in Central Michigan. (I had figure skates to go with my oversized hockey stick though!) I used to read as a kid about how bad the Detroit Red Wings were…and they were BAD. When we moved out east, I discovered the nutty loyalty of Boston Bruins fans and caught one or two prep school hockey games. I went to a couple college hockey games at Notre Dame – but the Irish were terrible at the time. I’ve seen a healthy handful of Fort Wayne Komets (CHL, perhaps ECHL soon?) games.
As for TV, I enjoyed the NHL on FOX in the 90′s, complete with James Brown, Dave Maloney and the glowing puck. I saw the Red Wings win a couple Stanley Cups on FOX, but those were anticlimaxes after the Wings-Colorado Avalanche wars in the Western Conference playoffs. Those, my friends, were awesome.
My loving spouse, “Mrs. DBJ,” introduced me to the Columbus Blue Jackets through a work promotion in 2006, and I was hooked. This is strange insofar as my fuzzy recollection of that night was a terrible pre-Ken Hitchcock team that probably would have lost to those lousy 1990′s Fighting Irish. Still, the experience was a lot of fun…and the Fox Sports Ohio broadcasts gave me some big league sports to follow in my new hometown. So I stuck around, so to speak. What a ride it’s been!
Since the outset of the 2009-10 NHL season, I’ve written a blog called “The Dark Blue Jacket.” I’ve been writing it for fun and have some terrific friends co-writing on the blog with me. Everyone is at least as good a person as they are a writer, and we all love the Columbus Blue Jackets in our own ways. I hope to introduce you to their work as time goes on.
Back in October, Fox Sports Ohio asked me if I’d be interested in somehow affiliating my blog with this nifty collection of writers. We spent a lot of time figuring out what would work best and came up with this: An unabashed Blue Jackets fan blog on FSO’s web site. To date, I’ve never sat on press row in Nationwide Arena – and I don’t see that changing any time soon. I write as a fan, one who watches games on Fox Sports Ohio through the eyes of Jeff, Bill, Dave and Natalie while occasionally getting to the arena in person. We’re going to give this a try, this “DBJ Plus” thing, and see if we can bring a little DBJ joy (Hi, Claude!) to FoxSportsOhio.com. Considering where the Blue Jackets ended the season and what is expected out of them this offseason – new coach, trading their superstar player, a top draft position – we’ll have plenty to talk about.
It’s great to be here. I’m excited to be a part of the Fox Sports Ohio crew and thank FSO for the opportunity to bring you DBJ Plus. I hope you enjoy the blog!