So you’re a Columbus Blue Jackets fan. Your team has pulled themselves up by their skate laces and dragged their season out of the NHL cellar and into striking distance of being in position to qualify for the NHL playoffs. It’s March Madness at it’s finest. I acknowledge that it’s debatable as to whether the Blue Jackets will make the playoffs – 12 of the last 19 on the road is a bit of a cold shower – but there’s no denying that the Blue Jackets have grabbed the attention of the “major” NHL media as indicated by the CBJ’s placement in the various power rankings:
* 19th at FOXSports.com
* 13th at NHL.com
* 7th at The Hockey Writers
* 20th at CBS Sports
* 17th at ESPN
No matter how you slice it, the Blue Jackets are knocking on the door. It’s been a while, what with the fact that the team hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2009. Heck, this team hasn’t been in the general league dialogue for on-ice performance since Thanksgiving weekend of 2010, when the Blue Jackets and the Detroit Red Wings faced off with first place in the NHL’s Western Conference on the line (now known as the high water mark of the Scott Arniel era).
It’s been a while since our team has been in the mix. But we’re here now, and we’d best comport ourselves appropriately. It’s one thing to be excited about our rockin’ good goaltender and the team’s ten game standings point streak. But the key, my friends is to do so in such a way that…well…spares you this type of ridicule.
EXAMPLES OF WHAT NOT TO DO
If your team has a player married to a Grammy-winning performer, do not let the Grammy-winning performer do what this one did at a Predators game:
I’m sorry, folks, that’s country music. And while some people might fancy country music, it has no place in the National Hockey League.
Moving on, there are gimmicks and there are tired gimmicks. This was funny once or twice, but you can see how tiring it becomes well before the video ends:
And then there’s the omnipresent seafood fetish from our friends up north:
Or bad lounge singers from Beantown. I give Rancourt credit for putting his heart and soul into it, but that’s where I draw the line:
And then you have Chicago.
In no uncertain terms do you want to model your behavior after Blackhawks fans. Just don’t. I mean it.
That goes for SIX AND A HALF MINUTES, ladies and gentlemen. <shakes head>
Oh dear. But what’s more devoid of self-respect…that or this?
That song…oh, how I loathe that song. It’s like a house party gone terribly, terribly wrong. And then mix it with the dancing. I can’t un-see that. Neither can you. I’m so sorry.
But what if your team actually wins it all and hoists the Stanley Cup? How about avoiding…this?
EXAMPLES OF WHAT TO DO
It’s so gloriously simple. Leo gets the “LEO!” cheer, Leo belts out a pitch-perfect anthem, Leo pumps his fist…and the game starts. Classy, yet with an undeniable local twist.
How about celebrating a goal? Here’s a decent example of what to do:
Of course, you can’t forget the cannon.
Now, what if you’re in an opposing rink? Do you just sit on your hands? Heck no! Break out the “Miracle” speech!
You’ve gotta love Matt The Mask.
And who boos the “Miracle” speech? Really, who? Oh yeah, fans from an arena that plays country music.
In closing, I’ll suggest that Blue Jackets fans pay close attention to Tom “Skraut” Larrow’s visual clues. Cheer hard, cheer loud – and keep it classy.
Oh, and leave the shirtless dancing to Kevin.
Have some fun out there, CBJ fans…and LET’S GO JACKETS!