Dear Blue Jackets,
This is an open letter not to the marketing, the ownership, or the front office, but instead to the 23 players who call themselves the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Why are you doing this to us?
I don’t know if I love anything as much as I love Blue Jackets hockey. I live for jumping up at the sight of the puck in the net and the red light, for chanting LEO!, for pregame drinks with my friends at RBar, for the boys in Union Blue. I don’t expect Stanley Cups or conference finals or blow outs every night, all I ask for is that you guys show up every night and give it your best effort. I dedicate a large majority of my disposable income to you and drive four hours round trip on game nights, and I am watching you make more money in one season that I will ever make in my life. I make sacrifices to watch this team play. I used to drive almost six hours and 500 miles round trip to watch games and still managed to make it to 13 games in one season.
I’m from Cincinnati. I’m used to loveless relationships with teams. The Bengals, anyone? I watched the Reds in some of their worst stretches of baseball (2010 was like a surreal, out of body experience). I know the feeling of loving a team who has no interest in loving you back. It’s like the love of your life cheating on you and then dumping you at the altar in front of your entire family. It’s embarrassing and it hurts.
I’m losing my love, Blue Jackets. I’m losing the will to keep dumping my energy and finances into something that leaves me embarrassed and in tears. This is not a bad team made up of bad players. The difference between this team and Loveable Losers of the past is that the ownership and management cared enough to wheel and deal for something different and better. There are a lot of solid players on this team and a lot of guys who are going to be amazing when they get a little older and stronger.
There is simply no excuse for any of this. Management gave you the pieces.
You are better than this, and I hope you realize that before it is too late.
Sincerely and painfully,