Guess What?! The Jackets made the PLAYOFFS….

I’m excited, you’re excited, the city is excited, now listen to me talk about it for 20 minutes… with a little Crew talk thrown in at the end!

I know what you’re thinking… two pod casts in less than a month… CRAZY!!! I’m right there with you.

Listen and have a giggle won’t you!?!

http://www.spreaker.com/user/youinterviewlikeagirl/were-talking-playoffs-cbj-playoffs

One of these days I’ll get back to editing my audio… until that day, you just get plain ol’ me. (Sorry, so sorry) :P

 

Stay tune for more…. yes, I said more! :)

 

Until next time,

Peace, Love, and PLAYOFF HOCKEY!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

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Facing The Past

After trying unsuccessful to write this thing…  I went all audio blog/podcast on you.  I didn’t even edit it so you get to hear me sound like a goober. And trust me, I really do.

Enjoy that. :)

You know you want to listen to me ramble on for almost 20 minutes on Rick Nash’s return to Nationwide Arena , all you have to do now is click this link below..

http://www.spreaker.com/user/youinterviewlikeagirl/facing-the-past

Some times I wonder why I choice the career path I have…. lol

Stay tuned,  I hope to have something Columbus Crew related up by Saturday~

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2013: The Year That Was

We all know I’m behind in the blogging department, so you’ll have to excuse the fact that 2014 is two months old and I still haven’t recapped  2013.  That’s about to change.

Oh 2013, what can I say?! We had a good time. We enjoyed each others company. And when December 31st came, we vowed to never call each other again.  I lied. I’m sorry, but too much happened last year not to share. Forgive me. I promise after today, it’s really over.

What do you say, how about we recap, you know, one more time, for old times sake?

And of course, for the readers too! Without them this is kind of pointless, eh.

Here are the best and biggest events in 2013:

#1: The internship (and a back story)

So, back in 2009 I had this amazing internship that I loved more than life itself.  I won’t say who it was with, but just know it was in the sports department of a local radio station.  It, in my opinion, was the best “job” in the world. I was doing things and talking to people most sports fans only dream of.  I felt so lucky to be where I was.  It was a good thing and as we know, all good things must come to an end.   And when it did late in the summer of 2010, it crushed me.  I mean this was my life. It was all I had known for a year and a half.  Now that it was over, I didn’t know what to do or where to go.  I was in shock, I couldn’t believe it was over.  I never thought I’d see an end because for some silly reason I thought for sure I was going to get some kind of job out of it. I don’t know, maybe I was just naive, or had belief in myself and talent or maybe I just thought my hard work and perseverance would pay off, and when it didn’t the walls of my tiny world came crumbling down around me.  I didn’t have a plan for “the what happens next”  so I did what every rational, perfectly normal person who had just saw the bottom drop out of their dream does, I gave into defeat. I surrender to the dark side.   I thought, shit, if I can’t get hired by a place I busted my ass at, what’s the point anymore.  I must not be good enough. I’ll never make it this business. I might as well quit. Call it for what it is, time spent and money lost and move on with life. I couldn’t though and that was the problem. No matter how hard I tried to stop being in love with something I felt that didn’t want me, I just couldn’t do it. I thought about getting back in to the field everyday. I applied for job after job. Got rejected time after time.  So finally, I decided if I couldn’t get a job, I’d make one for myself. Enter this blog. I had high hopes and thought it would be a way to slowly move back into the profession I loved.  I also thought because I had worked for a legit outlet  and people knew me that I wouldn’t have any issues trying to get permission to cover things. Oh, but I did. PR people laughed in my face.  The very same PR people who months ago told me it was a joy to have me around, and how if I ever needed anything they were just a phone call away. It’s funny how things change when you no longer have a big name affiliate associated with your name.  All of the sudden, you’re not the same person to them you were months ago, instead now you’re just a struggling nobody and that gets you nowhere fast.  I decided to go on and just write as an “outsider.” I kept up with the blog as much as I could, but for a while it kinda depressed me to have a reminder of a life that didn’t want me. So, once again, I walked away.

Then in January of last year, I decided to go back to college. In May, I was lucky enough to have my boss at the old internship let me come back for a second round.  I promised myself I would work my ass off even harder this time than I did the last.  And I did. I had the honor of covering events I would have never dreamed of before.  I interviewed bigger names. I had more responsibility.  I was loving life because yet again, I was where I wanted to be.  I had my doubts when I first started back up, I can’t even lie about it. There were days when that whole “am I good enough” put itself back into my brain.  I fought it just as hard as I fought to prove to some of my “co-workers” that I belonged there. That just because I was an intern didn’t mean I wasn’t talented and couldn’t do their job and be better at it.  It was a struggle some days.   But I enjoyed it because I was there. I was doing what I loved.  My life was back to normal.

That normal came to an end December.  I didn’t want to see it end and I was sad but it was different this time.

You’ve probably read all  this and thought damn, why would this be the best of 2013, well, I’m going to tell you.

I think that my internship was undoubtedly the best thing to happen to me in 2013.  It made me fight for what I want. It forced me to believe in myself and my abilities again. It gave me hope. It gave me pain. It give me a new prospective. I saw more of the “inside” world. I tried harder. I did different things. I came out this time a lot wiser than the first time. It made me better. It changed me. I saw things for face value. I learned more than I ever expected to. I gave it all I could.

There is still nothing more I strive for in life then to have a successful career in radio. Mainly sports radio. It’s all I’ve wanted for about five years now. I’m not there yet.  I’m just a girl without an affiliation again. I’ll be “fan” this year, I’ll take it all in from sitting in the stands instead of standing on the sideline, but the simple fact that I made it back there after I lost any hope of it ever happening again, proves to me that sooner or later my day will come.  That one day someone out there will be looking for exactly what I have to offer.

#2: Toronto

I have these crazy friends who I simply adore. They are the father-son duo known as Tony and Andrew. Big Jackets fans, bigger Crew fans.  In July, they let me tag along on a family trip (which included 3/4 of their clan) north of the border.  Like all good family vacations this one was centered around a Crew/TFC game.  Also a trip to the Hockey Hall Of Fame was in the cards because as big as a hockey fan I am, I’d never been there.

And so off we went, our sites set on Oh, Canada.

Our first stop on the adventure: A sports bar in a little town in the middle of nowhere Canada for dinner.  I can’t even remember what town this place was in but it was a couple of hours away from London, which was were we were sitting up shop for the trip. We walked in and even though it was the middle of summer, they had hockey on just about every TV on the wall. I was in heaven.  Other than that, it was a typical sports bar…. with only a few minor Canadian differences.

Exhibit A:

20130726_195405They print mustard labels in English AND French!!  I was so geeked I took a picture to show everyone back home. (If we haven’t established this already, yes, I’m a dork.)

Exhibit B:  Our waiter. He was so polite and friendly.  The first time he actually said “eh” I couldn’t believe it. I looked over at Tony who was sitting in front of me and ask him if he had heard it. He said he hadn’t so I made him listen the next time the waiter came back.  We both giggled like silly Americans when the waiter indeed said it again.

Exhibit C:

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Every few minutes this goal light would go off.  I watched it for a while trying to figure out what in the world would set it off. After a few times, I finally brought it to the attention of the rest of the table.  We had a healthy debate about it, (you know like you normally do about a goal light going off in a restaurant) and finally came to the conclusion that it was to let the wait staff know an order was up.

Exhibit D: They offered gravy with your fries on the menu.  Yeah. I’m opposed to this notion, but that didn’t stop Tony and Andrew both from egging me on to dip my fries in brown gravy.  I won’t lie, even though I thought it sounded gross as hell, I tried it.    Turns out, it was pretty ok.  Poutine on the other hand, is an entirely different story. ( We’ll get in to that later)

See, just like I said, completely normal sports bar! :)  All kidding aside, it was a nice little place. If I’m ever up that way again and can find it, I’d probably stop.

After dinner we were back on our way.  Got in to London about 10 that night and Andrew, his sister and I took a walk around the mile and half the encompassed the hotel.  We found a Tim Hortons (duh, cause we’re in Canada) and marveled at how even the lobby was open 24 hours.  Doesn’t take much to amaze us.

The next  morning we hit the road and headed into Toronto.

As we rolled into the city, I took this picture of BMO Field

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It’s not the greatest but I was in a moving car on the freeway. What can I say?!

Next stop: Hockey Hall of Fame!! I was beyond excited. I had goosebumps just waiting in line.  I’m not ashamed to admit, I may have even cried a little bit too.  Tears of joy, of course.

Share my joy with a few pictures, eh.

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I really don’t think a place has ever made me as happy as HHOF did. If you’re a die hard hockey fan, it’s some place you should visit at least once in your life time.  Just amazing.

All excited and hopped on HHOF “highness”, we moved on to the Crew game.

Decked out in out Crew gear, surrounded by a sea of red, we walked up to BMO Field. One of the Toronto police officers took one look at us and jokingly said ” nope, sorry no Crew fans allowed in.”   We laughed and continued on our way.  When we finally got inside, Tony and Andrew were overjoyed. Not because we had made it, but because there’s a poutine stand inside of the stadium.  That’s practically all they talked about the entire trip.  How good it was, how I needed to try it, how much I was going to LOVE it and how we needed it in the U.S., I had to disagree with the fellas.  If you don’t know what poutine is here’s a crash course. It’s  french fries covered in gravy and cheese curds. It’s a considered a delicacy in Canada.  Highly popular up there too. Like I said, they have stands at BMO Field.  I didn’t get the chance to take a picture of it because the guys inhaled it so quickly, so here’s stock photo from Wikipedia..

800px-OriginalPoutineLaBanquise(photo courtesy of Wikipedia.com)

I know, right. I thought the same thing.  And before you ask, yes, I tried it. Personally, I’m not a fan, but hey, to each their own yo.

Anyway, while those two were chowing down I was busy watching Crew pre-game warm up and taking pictures.

One of my fave’s

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The Crew and Papa Dom drew first blood with his terrific goal!! Later, however, the game turned out to be a wash. Literally. It started to down pour around the 78th if I remember correctly. I mean a holy temperature drop, side ways winds, heavy rain, everything on your person becoming soaked.  It was awful.  I have stuff that was in my bag that day that is still kind of damp.  Terrible. And what really topped the terrible off, TFC came back, tied it, and went on to win it in stoppage. My memory is a little fuzzy, but I THINK it was literally in the last couple of seconds of stoppage too.  2-1 TFC.  Dejected, soaked, sad, and all hungry again, we made the walk back to the car.  We didn’t expect the rain so no extra change of clothes either.  Gross huh.  We ended up going to dinner with a couple of Tony’s friends in the city.

Sitting in soaked clothes, wet, tired, beat, and crushed by a soccer outcome, Andrew and I struck up what has become known as “the great cleat debate.” We were going through my pictures of the game when Andrew looked at me and said “wait, you didn’t get any shots of the second half?” To which I replied, “I did, that one of Josh (Williams) is from the second half.” We went back and fourth for a few minutes before he said ” No, it couldn’t be because Josh changed his cleats in the second. He took the orange ones off and had yellow ones on, I swear he did, dad, didn’t Josh have yellow cleats on in the second half?!” This went on for a while until finally I told Andrew that the next chance I got to ask Josh about this subject I would.  We changed the topic of conversation and went on with dinner.  Before we left, I went down into the washroom (as they are called in Canada) and saw this sign hanging there..

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As you can tell from the photo, Cellphone Courtesy Month was  a total bust for me.

We got to London, hung our stuff up to dry and called it a night.  Well kinda, Andrew and I tweeted each other from the same room for a good chunk of time. It’s just what people do nowadays. :)

I don’t know if you can actually see how wet it is but here’s the Crew gear…

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The next morning we we’re on our way back to the USA.  Of course we stopped at Tim Hortons for breakfast because when in Canada, you do as the Canadians do.

I was shocked how much smaller their smalls are then ours…

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it’s not as girthy as ours in the US. I felt jilted. I mean I thought if any thing in Canada the coffee’s would be BIGGER not smaller. Whatever. I’ve moved on…..

And so has the trip to Canada. At the end of it all, I had an amazing time even though the Crew lost, we got soaked, and the Mountain Dew tasted funny.

Oh and for those of you wondering about the outcome of  “the great cleat debate”…. I asked Josh the next time I interviewed him.  He got a laugh out of the topic and told me the answer.  Turns out Andrew and I were BOTH right. Josh started the second half in his orange cleats, but when it started poring, he changed them.  Sometimes it’s really nice to have an internship where you can ask silly questions.

#3: Dos a Cero 2013  (aka USA vs. Mexico )

This was my first ever U.S. Men’s National game. Like ever, ever.  I covered it for the internship and was completely blown away.  The fans are like no other. It’s like a normal soccer crowd times 20. They are insane! They go all out. Get decked out. They love their team and rooting for their country. I was really impressed to be quite honest with you.  I had no idea what to expect and what ever I did, it far and away was better than anything I could have imagined.  I know when the team came out for warm ups and the crowd let out the loudest cheer ever, I got goosebumps. Then when  the sold out stadium sang the Star-Spangled Banner, I got goosebumps.  The “HOME” banner, goosebumps. After both goals were scored, goosebumps. The “Dos a Cero” chant, GOOSEBUMPS!!! (It was 90+ degrees that day too so I know the goosebumps were not from being cold, ok)  It was such an amazing experience.  I would love to do it all over again some time.

Here’s the HOME banner I spoke of…

1237010_10151901693320320_58071280_n(photo courtesy of Nolan Wong)

The thing I loved most though, was the fact that it brought every one together. My friend Nolan made the trip in from California and we got to hang out a for couple days.  All my Crew peeps were there. It was my friend Nate’s last game at Crew Stadium  before he moved to California.  I mean how cool is it to say that 24,584 people came to tailgate with you before you left?! It was kinda like an awesome going away party. Too bad he was rooting for Mexico.

I got the chance to interview him and Mike Rogers, another friend of mine about the game before heading in to do official media duty.

http://www.spreaker.com/user/youinterviewlikeagirl/mike-and-nate-usa-mex

Speaking of people I interviewed at tailgates…. this next one is um, shall we say special. I grabbed General Juicer of Yellow Nation Army, a local Crew Supporters group.  I had no idea that this would turn out the way it did…..

OK world, I give you “the enlightening revelations that flow from Gen Juicers mouth” (his words, not mine.) Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

http://www.spreaker.com/user/youinterviewlikeagirl/juicerusa-mex

As you can certainly tell….  a good time was had by all at the USA vs. MEXICO game back in September.

And you know, I had like two or three more “top numbers” I wanted to give you, like the Jackets late run for the playoff and the Crew scoreboard fire but after that, I can’t. I just can’t.  Way to go Juicer. Way to ruin my thought process.

So I guess I’ll end it here.  2013, we’re done. Finally.

Until next time

Peace, Love, and Stupefying Events!!

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Ah CBJ memories, we will enjoy them

The Jackets are celebrating their 1,000th game tomorrow against the Flyers.  They’re asking fans for their favorite CBJ memories through social media and what  not.  When I saw that I was like “what a great way to celebrate.” Then I decided I wanted to do my own take on the subject.   You know, I’m a rebel and I do what I want,  so I thought  the best way for me to celebrate this milestone, would be to dedicate an entire blog to the topic. (So rebellious I know)

I reached out to a few of my CBJ friends/family on Facebook and asked for their stories as well.

Without further ado, this is what I got:

First up, my “hockey mom” Betty:

“I have some stupid ones.. Like Modin skating into the zone and Ice Ice Baby comes on randomly, he hit a slapshot and GOAL !! Or the time the beach ball/balloon thing came floating over the ice and a RedWing swung at it, it lifted the curse and we won. Or  the net just falling on Mason, no one touched…MouseTrap. Denis glove save on Joe Sakic, the Playoffs were intense, and the last game against Nashville of last season intensified times 10. Bob waiving to the crowd after a win, the BroHug with Folingo. Jake’s penalty shot against Chicago. Beating the Kings their first visit to NWA with whats his name.. Having a split house with Buffalo fans…GO HOME BUFFALO…enough? lol”

Isn’t she great?!? :) I love Betty. She is like no one else I know.  She and her son Jimmy Chili are like blood family to me. That’s one of the things I LOVE most about hockey and going to CBJ games, the “hockey family” you get and the bonds you make. Those are what make the tough times better.

Next up, my actual mom:

“One of them is that home game against Nashville where Wright, Ling, and Shelley were all on the starting line and seconds after the puck dropped, it was nothing but fights.  That’s one because Jody fought (mom loves Jody Shelley like an ice cream man loves hot weather.) My second is the NYE game against the Oliers  where Rick Nash scored a hat trick.  His mom and step-dad where sitting in glass seats and he came over and hit his stick on the glass in front of them.  My third one is winning Kris Russell’s game worn jersey off his back.  I was  so excited when I pulled Kris’s number from the pile because he was one of the numbers you really wanted. You told me “draw either Mason, Russell, or Dorse,” you really wanted one of those three. I’ll never forget that. He even hugged me after he gave me the jersey. That was just a few days after your dad had passed away and I really needed that hug.”

I love my mom. She’s the best mom a girl could ask for. Her and I have been in this CBJ thing together for 12 plus years now. She goes to more than most of the games with me and we always have a great time.  We even do CBJ road trips, something we need to get back into soon.  Oh and yes, she’s loved Jody from the very beginning .  Antoine Vermette holds a very close second, however.

And we’re on to the next one, My friend, Jesse:

“Spacek’s OT goal vs Chicago in the season finale. Racing home from work and flipping on the TV mere seconds before Nash’s goal of the year. Espen beasting at the All-Star game. Robert Kron’s hat trick (7-6 over I think Florida). That fight between Laraque and Shelley that lasted 2 minutes and the crowd went ape-shit. The name Hannes Hyvonen. Dan LaCosta and a bunch of AHLers shutting out the Wings. Every shootout that involved Jaroslav Balastik. Jason Williams’ “fakeout” shootout goal, I believe against Toronto. Malhotras comments after the “distinct kicking motion”.

Off the top of my head…

There are so many good ones. Berard slap shots and Methot hip checks and Ling swinging like a maniac. *sniff* love this team.

Line brawl with the Rangers after we pasted their bitch asses. Whooping Detroit 9-1, Nash had that hattie.  ..meeting Andrew Murray at the Reynoldsburg library… Jason chimera always having a black eye. Lol. “

Jesse loves hockey, this is why he and I are friends.

So do you guys know that crazy masked man you sometimes see roaming about Columbus?! Yeah I got his story too. Ladies and Gentleman, Mask Juice:

“Opening Night of the Inaugural Season, I sat in the very last row 210 & remember standing and slamming my hands & elbows against that metal wall behind me the entire night and especially when that other Bruce (Gardiner) scored the 1st goal in team history. It didn’t matter that we didn’t win. We had NHL hockey! I had lost my voice, bruised my body as much as Tugnutt had, and left many marks on that damn wall, and still, I wouldn’t trade it for any other night in franchise history (yet).”

It’s all been said about the Mask Juice, so I really couldn’t add anything that hasn’t already been said.

I now turn to a fan of the Dominik Hašek, a hater of Brett Hull, long time hockey fan, a mom, a wife, a student… she’s the myth and the legend, my friend, Jessica:

“Taking Lily to her first CBJ game…granted it was in Toronto, and it was only preseason, but we won and it was a fantastic experience…………..

The playoff series against Detroit…the excitement (and hope) that we had before that first game in Detroit, the excitement (and hope) that we had even in-game four…I thought for sure that we where going to pull off the ultimate comeback…..

The way the players have embraced this community…from visiting Nationwide Children’s Hospital, to Chimera and Manny and the Salmons family, and to the way the boys have always been so fantastic to Lily.”

Jess is great! She let me invade her home and use her adorable daughter Lily for a college project  I was working on last semester. Her love of hockey just blows me away. It’s not often you find another female who is just as passionate as you are about the sport of hockey.  And before you ask, no, neither one of us got into hockey because of our husband or boyfriend.  (We get some form of that assumption A-LOT!)

From all the way across the pond with the last second submission, my British boy, Dave:

“If not too late, any game with the aca, sitting behind the cbj bench during a game, sitting second row from the glass and watching Dorse deliver a smack down, back stages passes with the awesome you, and maybe not passing comments on passing people not in any way connected to aforementioned player. The RBar bartending session with Methot and Dorse. Above all, Vinny and the scoreboard incident. A show of defiance, of resurgence, a sign that we are marching back, especially being against Detroit a team that has our number for so long.”

Dave normally travels once or twice a year to come watch the Jackets play. Did I mention he lives in London, as in London England?!  He’s probably one of the most dedicated CBJ fans I know.

Some guy I know named Bosko just sent me this via facebook:

“My favorite was the time you threw whole pieces of cake at me when I was like 5 rows in front of you”

I then went on to ask him if I could put that on here and he replied….

“Well I was being sarcastic obviously, but sure. My real favorite was the last game of the year last year”

I’ll have you know, Greg, it didn’t happen like that. It wasn’t a whole cake, it was a piece of strawberry shortcake and it was only some of the whipped cream off the top.   That was a fun  night too. Any night I can pick on Bosko it’s a great memory. :D

And last, but never least, my ex-producer, ex-ice cream supplier, ex-co-worker, and all around great fake husband, Sam:

“I think it’s going to be our first playoff game in NWA! I had a headache for three days because of how loud it was!”

I text him yesterday and I asked him if he wanted to share his favorite CBJ memory. He told me ” Hmmmm…. I’ll have to think about this one!” I was like yes, absolutely. Here I was thinking, oh I’m going to get this great earth shattering answer that only Sam can produce. I got two lines.  Two lines. It’s still better than nothing, I guess~ :)

Ok, ok enough of everyone else’s it’s my turn….

My top 6 moments are as follows:

6. The Duvie Westcott/Sean Avery battle royal.   Avery was with Detroit and a pain in the ass as always. He chirped at Duvie and all hell broke loose. They fought one, went to the box, continued to chirp in the box, got out of the box and fought again. Duvie cleaned Avery’s clock.   Sometime I miss Duvie just for this fight alone.

Here’s video of the one fight.

5.  ” Sick, Sick, Sick, by Rick, Rick, Rick” ( as Danny Gare called it) also know as THE goal.  If you are a CBJ fan you remember this one like no other.  The date was January 17th 2008. The game was against the Yotes in Phoenix.  Rick Nash was fed an outlet pass by Mike Peca. He then got by not one, but two defenseman  and made just a sick play.  The Jackets win 4-3.

Another video link, you know it…

Six years  later, it’s still beautiful.

4.  The Jackets beat the Preds 3-2 in OT. March 27th 2004.  The game was in Nashville. I was there, seats were three rows behind the Jackets bench.  Oh, it was also the night Nash scored his 40th goal of the season.  That was fun to see in person. I’ve never liked Nashville. The fans are rude, their goal horn is terrible,  they ALWAYS make fun of the CBJ/the CBJ fans, when ever  we would cheer  the standard ” let’s go jackets” the Preds fans a few rows back would replace it with ” last place Jackets.”  I replied with ” well at least we didn’t have to refund our season ticket holders half of their money because of our teams shitty play.” That shut them up. (Nashville was doing horrible despite promises to be a better team and the then owners refunded STH  half of their money back because the team wasn’t living up to what it had promised)  And then one year they did a Stinger looking bug attached to a fly swatter giveaway the night they played the Jackets. Yeeeeeaaaah never been a fan.  This night however, was a good one thanks to Tyler Wright and Trevor Letowski.  Trevor set up Wright for the goal that won it in overtime. I don’t think I have ever jumped up and yelled as loud in an away arena as I did that night!! The Preds fans were really unhappy with us but no-one cared. Some of them tried to start crap with us as we left our section. I had a guy stick his foot between my feet as I was walking and tried to trip me. It was super classy on their part. The best thing I remember though, walking out of the arena with the other handful of Jackets fans that were there cheering “Let’s Go Jackets” at the top of our lungs. It was amazing.   Probably one of the best road games I’ve ever been to. 

Here’s two pictures from that night….

Nashville 04

I have a much better camera now than I did. :D Plus I took a picture of the pictures with my phone. I can’t remember where the disk is that these ones are on and I have limited time here.

3: The Chicago game that clinched the playoffs. April 8th 2009.  4-3 SO  The Jackets were trailing heading into the second. Vermette and Jason Williams both scored to tie the game 2-2. Chicago’s  Havlat had other plans though, and  scored to put the Hawks back in the lead. On to the third we go. Rick Nash scored to force  OT.  Fedor Tyutin  scored in the shootout.  Jackets won and the first ever playoff berth in team history was born.

The morning after the game I was driving to St. Louis  for the game against the Blues on the 10th. I got phone call from a friend asking if I had seen the paper before I took off. I hadn’t so I stopped at a gas station in Dayton just to pick up a copy of the Dispatch.

This is why…. CBJPLAYOFFS3CBJPLAYOFF2I need to get both of these framed.  Probably soon, too.

2: April 27th 2013. A heated race for the last playoff spot in the West was taking place. The Jackets were fighting for their lives. For them to make the playoffs not only did they have to beat Nashville, but they needed some help from two other teams. It was something crazy like if the Wings lost  in regulation, the Jackets could still make it, or if the Wild just lost period, the Jackets would be in. Either way, the Jackets fate was out of their hands.  It kind of reminded me of a page out of a choose your own adventurer book. Enter the last home game of the season.  Nashville was out of the playoff race and no doubt looking to play spoiler for the Jackets.  The arena was packed. It was loud and out of control. The atmosphere was just electric. (I’m getting goosebumps right now just thinking about it.) People were excited about the Jackets again. I, personally was so excited about this final push because there was nothing more in the world I wanted than another round of CBJ playoffs.  Going into the third, the Jackets were down 1-0. That all changed though. Brandon Dubinsky struck first. The crowd went crazy.  Jack Johnson struck second. The crowd lost its mind. Cam Atkinson struck third and with 30 seconds left in the game.  We all knew that was it.  The Jackets would beat the Preds, keeping the hope alive. 3-1 was the final. The game was amazing. The feeling everyone had was amazing. Watching Jack Johnson stand on the ice after the game,  throwing his hands up over and over  to encourage the crowd was aw-provoking. It showed that the players were just as excited as everyone else. I told my mom as we stood there listening to JJ speak,  that no matter the outcome of the rest of the night, this game was on the list of my top CBJ games ever.  It wasn’t first on the list, but it was a very close second.  We all know how the rest of the night went so I won’t re-hash still fresh wounds, but when I think back on that game almost a year later…. I can still feel the emotion of that moment come over me.

These are three of my favorites I took  from that game….

933926_612866185410124_1004530957_n551302_612868512076558_206857225_n164653_612869695409773_2001495709_nLook how packed the arena is… I love it.

AND FINALLY….

1: April 23rd 2009. Last game in the playoff series. I didn’t even have tickets to the game until that morning. It was a total last-minute decision to go. I woke up that morning and something inside of me told me that if I missed  what could be the final playoff game for the Jackets that season  I would regret it for the rest of my life. What ever that something was, it was absolutely right.  Goosebump city.  I remember half the arena standing through the entire third period. It was insane. The energy, excitement,  the come back rally by the Jackets, the complete BS penalty called by the refs, what sounded like the entire arena booing when the ref’s made the call, the resounding “Let’s Go Jackets” chant that seemed to get louder as the third period went on. For the first time I heard the Jackets fans drown out the Wings fans. It warmed my heart. This game is still the single greatest game I’ve witnessed in Nationwide arena.  Yeah, the outcome wasn’t favorable but the feeling of just being there, being  part of it and experiencing it all first hand was what really mattered to me.   Such an unreal moment.  I’ll never forget it.

Some physical ever lasting memories from that night:

18745_100826653280749_1556807_n18745_100826593280755_1238639_n18745_100826629947418_6258998_n18745_100826639947417_4029886_n18745_100826643280750_641922_n1560463_764960900200651_1263124852_nI would also like to note that I went to three of the four playoff games. The first one in Detroit and the two at home.  Neither of them compare to that last one.

The Honorable mentions: I, much like everyone else, have a ton of moments I could have picked…. Even though these ones didn’t make my top 6, I wanted to include them:   In no particular order… My mom getting Kris Russell’s jersey,  this record breaking seven win game streak we are currently enjoying, Bob applauding the crowd that chanted his name on January 10th of this year, being in the crowd and watching Nash score his first goal in his first ever NHL game,  the notorious ” the puck was in his pants” goal scored against us,  Hitchcock’s “we won the hockey” comments after the Malhotra “distinct kicking motion” goal was disallowed in Dallas,  and  making the end of the year ” Thank You Fans”  CBJ video in 2004 because of  this sign I made…

1607012_765001763529898_253926071_nYes I know, I cut heads off… rest assured it’s really me. I’m the one wearing the purple nail polish, much like today.

Gee, ok was it good for you?! I know it was good for me! I hope everyone enjoyed this little walk down CBJ memory lane!

A big thanks to all  who took part in this one!  I’m glad we all have great memories and we love this team as much as we do.

Until next time,

Peace, Love, and Here’s to a 1,000 more!!

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Words Aren’t A Girls Best Friend

It seems that lately I’m starting these things with “its been a while since I last wrote.” I’ll admit, it has.  For some odd reason, I just can’t see to get my act together and keep writing on a current basis.  There is more than enough going on in the world of 614 sports that could keep me writing for days, yet I don’t. Is it because I’ve lost interest? Nope, that’s not it.  Could it be that I’m lazy?! Maybe. Or am I just busy? That could be a possibility too.  I did have the internship this summer and that kept me up to my elbows in sports coverage and I loved every second of it. I just didn’t have to write about it.

And there it is. I didn’t have to write about it.  Me and strong writer are two things that do not belong in the same sentence. Even if I had the ability to be a strong writer, I couldn’t sit down and write what needed to be said with justice.  I’m a firm believer of making people feel like they were actually involved in the event you are writing about.  You want them to feel the emotion of the big play that wins the game or the heartbreak of the loss. To understand what it was like at that very moment. To accurately describe the scene with your words is what ever great writer provides to their readers. I, however am no writer. (I’m barely a journalist, but that’s another story.) I’m not great with words. I never have been. I hope one day that changes but until then I will try to stick with what I know and that is reporting.

So here’s one item I’ve been trying to report on since December:  The trade of Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum. It’s been a hard subject for me to write about because Andy is, was, and always will be one of my all time favorites. Not just as a Crew player but as an over all human being.  On the Crew side of things, he was always a wonderful interview. He never pulled any punches and always told it like it was.  He tried to have fun with it, there was never a dull second when Gbaum was standing in front of the mic.  As a reporter, it was very refreshing to have Andy around.  On the personal side of things,  Andy is my dude.  So much so that  someone once joked that they were going to have a “Gbaum is my homeboy” shirt made for me. It never happened tho, I was really disappointed.

Anyways, one of the things I enjoy about this profession is the interaction I am privileged to when it comes to athletes.  I get to be around them a lot. As time goes on, you get to know them and witness their personalities first hand. And even though it’s frowned upon, sometimes, over the years, you just can’t help but to form a friendship with one or two of them.  I was lucky to have that happen with Andy.  I think that’s why writing about his trade is such a hard topic for me.  I wanted to find the right words to do him justice. I’ve written three blogs on the subject and never posted one of them. Last week as I worked on what was to be a fourth one, my mom who knew I was struggling, said this to me ” just write what is in your heart, it’s the most accurate thing.”

Hmmmm. Write what is in my heart. Sounds easy enough, right. Ok, let’s give it a shot:  I’m super sad that the Crew traded Andy. He and his wife Lacey are two of the most enjoyable people to be around. I’ll miss them both. It is wonderful that they get to be back home with this trade, but it won’t be the same here.  Columbus’s loss is Kansas City’s gain.  I know better than anyone that pro-sports is a business, but sometimes this part of the business just sucks.

I have nothing but respect for Andy and wish him all the best in KC! I already have July 16th circled on the calender.

Wow, I did it and that wasn’t too bad. Damn it, I hate when the mom is right.  AND it only took me five tries!!!

Thing number two I wanted to report on: The Jackets. They are on fire, yo. Currently they are on a six game winning streak.  With 52 points, they are holding on to the last Wild Card spot in the East.  That is something CBJ lovers have NEVER been able to say at this point in a season.  While one of my friends doesn’t want to get excited just yet, I think it’s ok to get a little tiny bit excited.  It’s a new milestone in CBJland, even if it doesn’t pan out, rejoice my friends, it mean progress has happened!

Oh speaking of milestones, the CBJ’S 1,000 game happens this Thursday!! That should be a good time!

On a non CBJ hockey related note:  Did you happen to catch the hockey game that broke out from the fights in Vancouver on Saturday night?!? No, you say?! Well here my good people, enjoy a video and an article thanks to deadspin.

http://deadspin.com/flames-canucks-features-line-brawl-two-seconds-into-gam-1504407615?utm_campaign=socialflow_deadspin_facebook&utm_source=deadspin_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

John Tortorella is the first human being I actually don’t know how to feel about. I mean, you gotta love his passion, but on the other side of it, wow, just wow man. I don’t know what else to say, other than I better watch myself cause I don’t want Torts coming after me next!  Kidding.

I think that’s going to do it for this time around.

I’ll try to update as much as possible. I have tons of stuff from last year I’d love to get up in a blog… eventually.

Until next time,

Peace, Love, and Good Luck Andy!

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Off-season update and soccer afternoon in Canada

Hey how are ya?! How’s the family?! Been a while huh, so let’s catch up, shall we.  The NHL season came to an end roughly a month ago with the Chicago Blackhawks  winning the Stanley Cup in a crazy game 6 thriller.   The Bruins held a 2-1 lead in the third and in seventeen seconds they lost it all.  At 18:44 Bryan Bickell scored the tying goal. At 19:01 Dave Bolland scored the game winner.  Seventeen seconds and boom, the Hawks had their second Stanley Cup in four seasons. 

Bring on the off-season. Things sure have been busy since that 24th day of June so here’s what you need to know in a nutshell :

Tyler Seguin no longer is a Boston Bruin. He was traded to the Dallas Stars. (I was sooo hoping the Jackets would get him.  Dreams dashed.)

The Lightening bought out captain Vincent Lecavalier. (Vinny to the Jackets?!?! Nope, dreams dashed yet again.) He’s a Flyer now. 

The Flyers bought out Ilya Bryzgalov and Danny Briere, Danny Briere. (The second Danny Briere is brought to you by the 12 days of Jeanneret.)

Ilya Kovalchuk retired from the Devils and the NHL.  Only to sign with SKA St. Petersburgh of the K.H.L. soon after. 

The Canucks traded Cory Schneider to the Devils. 

And more from the Devils department… Jaromir Jagr just signed with them. 

Jarome Iginla signed with the Bruins.

Daniel Alfredsson signed with Detroit. 

In Jackets Land: They re-signed Sergei Bobrovsky (who won the Vezina btw) and picked up Nathan Horton in free agency. Horton need shoulder surgery which he had last week and isn’t excepted to be in the line up until December.  

Oh and they now hail in the Metropolitan division of the Eastern conference.  Yes, you read that correct.   Don’t believe me, here’s the proof…… 

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=678456&print=true

Also, NHL players will play in the 2014 Olympics taking place in Sochi Russia.

So there you have it, updated hockey info.  I’m sure I missed a lot but I did say in a nutshell remember. :)

Soccer afternoon in Canada, Eh?!

Everyone knows that hockey is the first love of my life, but did you know that I often have an affair with Major League Soccer in the summer?! Oh, well the cat is out of the bag. 

This weekend I am heading to Canada to watch  the Columbus Crew take on Toronto FC. I’m going with some awesome friends of mine who also plan on taking me to the Hockey Hall of Fame as I have NEVER been. Yes, I’m a huge hockey fan who’s never been to the HHOF, I am a disgrace. I know, I know.  I’m hoping to blog about the entire experience but I make no promises. I still haven’t finished the chronicles  of a traveling fan series from last year.  I need to get on that actually, thanks for reminding me, self.

Ok well I’m going to call it a day. 

Until we meet again,

Peace, Love and Go enjoy this…. http://youtu.be/qpMLTZNhzzU

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Five Months Later…..

The last time I wrote the NHL lockout was in full swing.  Fast forward five months and  the NHL playoffs are in full swing.  The stupid lockout finally came to an end in January.  We enjoyed a 48 game season… well most people did but I cursed it left and right because Gary Bettman picked the start of a new college semester to end the lockout, making life impossible for some people. Thanks Bettman, my love for you just continues to grow! (That’s sarcasm just in case you didn’t catch it.)  The Jackets started off, well like the Jackets, but what’s the old saying.. it isn’t how you start, it’s how you finish?!  And they provided a finish that no one expected. 9th in the west, two points out of a playoff spot. *Grumbles* Stupid Minnesota and Detroit winning, crushing the dreams of the second ever post-season in CBJ history. I’m still bitter but it’s not every season the Jackets make a playoff run right?!  I mean come on.  The underdogs of the league who no one expected anything out of because we lost some guy named Nash (traded to New York Rangers in the off-season). The never-ending goal-tending problems still an ongoing issue, and a front office staff who in some opinions should have been thrown out like yesterdays bad trash a long, long time ago. Plus there was the awful season and coaching change the team was coming off of as well.  Already dead last in the NHL coming into the 2012-2013 season “they” didn’t even give the CBJ a chance. It was clear that the Jackets had fallen hard and 30th in the league was where they were suppose to land again.

So what happened?!  I personally think it was a number of things. The hiring of John Davidson was the start. JD, he don’t play and I love that about him. He has this no-nonsense attitude that I think the Jackets organization lacked for a very long time.

Then there was this goalie… um, what’s his name?! Bob something.  Hmmm maybe this YouTube video will jog my memory……

Ah, yes BOBROVSKY!  He tore it up in Columbus, so much so that the Jackets traded (one time key holder of all CBJ fans hopes and dreams for a better future) Steve Mason to Bob’s former team the Flyers at trade deadline.  Bob did so well in fact that he’s been named a finalist for the Vezina Trophy. For those of you who have no idea what that is all about, I’m going to tell you. The Vezina is given annually “to the goalkeeper adjudged to be the best at his position” as voted by NHL general managers and the League. The other finalists Henrik Lundqvist and Antti Niemi are both currently in the second round of the playoffs, so what does that tell you?! Bob would have been there too if it wasn’t for the damn Wild…….. bitterness coming out, must….. let…… it…… go.

Anyways, moving on…..

Jarmo Kekalainen, yeah he’s another awesome piece to the new CBJ puzzle.  All you need to know about that is in February 2013 Scott Howson out Jarmo Kekalaien in. And his last name is just so much fun to say Kek-a-laien.

The team on the ice didn’t hurt either, and while the Jackets didn’t have a big super star anymore, what they had was a group of guys who actually wanted to be in Columbus and make this team a better one. The additions of Artem Anisimov, Brandon Dubinsky, (both acquired in the Nash trade) and Nick Foligno (acquired in a trade with Ottawa for Marc Methot and better known as Lou Ferigno to some of us thanks to my friend Jessica) really seemed to help out.  Enter trade dead line……moves were made because again, JD he doesn’t mess around. The biggest deal involved the New York Rangers  (SMH those guys again) and included Brass Monkey that funky monkey Derick Brassard, number four John Moore, and because apparently Derick/Derek’s only work in a package deals, Dorsett went as well.  What did Columbus get in return (No, it wasn’t Rick Nash back…. ) you know, Marian Gaborik. Not a bad deal in my mind, but I do miss Brass.  That french Canadian accent of his just couldn’t be beat.  He’s doing well with the NYR’s… I guess some times all you need IS that change of scenery to live up to potential. (Um, paging Rick Nash, has anyone seen Rick Nash?! I kid, but really.)

The first game after the lockout was against Nashville, in Nashville and they won it in a shootout! A CBJ win in Nashville was something that hadn’t been done in years (only two wins at the Gaylord Entertainment Center/Sommet Center/ Bridgestone Arena since the 2006-2007) so hopes were high. Then it all went down hill from there. They only won two games in January, and two games in February.  I won’t lie, it was ugly. Things started picking up around the end of February. They even had a streak going!  Here’s the photo to prove it…..

317526_590792937617449_796330827_n

(You gotta love NHL Memes on Facebook.)

True Story.  It ended up as a 12 game point streak and thus far the longest in franchise history.  The streak was broken March 23rd in where else but Nashville, however the Jackets would go on to get points in 12 out of the next 16 games after that. It turned out to be a complete battle to the very end; an end that of course had them playing with the “choose your own adventure” book handed to them.  Had they won a few more game in the first month or so they would have been the controllers of their own fates, but alas it did not go down that way.   Towards the end of the season they did everything they could but it just wasn’t enough. The Jackets did go out with a bang though and a comeback 3-1 win. That final home game of the  season vs. the ever evil  Nashville Predators was probably one of the best games I’ve ever seen played in Nationwide Arena. The first of course was the second home playoff game in 2009. Oh that infamous “too many men on the ice” call still haunts my dreams four years later.   I digress…   The point here is that despite everything being against them, the Jackets put an effort forward.  Was it enough? Well, no, but will they learn from this season and carry it on to the next, I certainly hope so. I would love to see the Jackets dominate the East next year… ( that’s right as of 2013-2014 we are an Eastern Conference team…will I love the move and curse Bettman for not doing it sooner or hate it and curse Bettman’s name for moving them in the first place… only time will tell.) I would love for the Jackets to be a force to be reckoned with. I want the world to see the “last place Jackets” taking over and no longer being the joke of the NHL. I think it’s about time this sleepy little hockey town puts the hockey world on notice.

So, it is with high hopes I say…..

Here’s to 2013-2014! May it be even better than the last!

 

That’s going to do it for now…

Until next time,

Peace, Love, and BOBROVSKY! He’s the number one cop on the force.

 

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