Kudos to Blue Jackets fans who plan to protest outside of Nationwide Arena! Your passion is admirable. Your standards are wonderfully uncompromising. Your belief that you can inspire change is…well, inspiring.
I just won’t be joining you.
Why, given my respect for those heading downtown, would I choose to stay away?
One: I’m going to be officiating basketball games. (Wish me luck!)
Two: Personally, I don’t want to be perceived as campaigning for someone to get fired.
(Here are some of the best tweets on the CBJ fan protest)
Yes, I understand that waiting things out is no longer an option. Too much time has been squandered already. Intellectually, we pretty much all agree that change needs to occur from the top down.
But GM Scott Howson and team president Mike Priest are good men. Their resumes are not entirely without accomplishment, and so long as there’s the slimmest hope that the Blue Jackets can become competitive by adding personnel (such as they did in Craig Patrick), or reassigning duties, that’s the avenue I’d prefer to see the team take.
What I guess I’m saying is that we can all agree it’s been an ugly season, yet have a different emotional reaction to it.
There’s a huge problem, though, for those of use whose primary reaction is one of sadness and disappointment. There’s simply no real way to express the sentiment in a way that’s productive. So I applaud those of you who are upset!
After all, every Blue Jackets supporter has come by their scars honestly and has more than earned the right to their opinion. And those in the angry mob down at the arena have found a way to share that opinion in a way that’s captured the notice of the hockey world, which is wonderful. If they capture the notice of Blue Jackets management, that’s even better.
Perhaps the CBJ front office doesn’t understand how dire their predicament is. From their track record of slow-walking change, you could certainly argue that. So maybe a run-in with a pitchfork and torch bearing throng would do them some good.
But as for me? Here’s the only sign I’m carrying today:
Angry or sad, at Nationwide or at home, there is one phrase that summarizes the situation for us all. I borrow it from Light The Lamp, which has masterfully covered the CBJ fan protest: “Love the team. Hate the direction.”
Those who are demonstrating are emphasizing one half of that message, by staying away, I hope to emphasize the other half; but we all hope the message is received.