Welcome to the newest feature on MYFO: Welcome Back! We know there’s a lot of fans of football teams that have nothing to pay attention to anymore. Knowing that, they’re turning to other sports. We’re happy to help. Every time a football team’s season ends, we’ll welcome those fans back to the fold by giving them an update as to what that city’s team has been up to this year.
I was totally expecting to write an introduction to Southern California hockey for down-in-the dumps Chargers fans this morning. Hell, Norv Turner emailed on Friday night and said he was looking forward to getting to know the Ducks and Kings. Instead, we welcome shellshocked Colts fans. Yeah, I know it sucks now. But a little BJ always cheers me up.
We also welcome all those Buckeye fans who suddenly find themselves with nothing to do until Spring Practice since their team shit the bed (again) in the national title game. If not for that phantom pass interference call against Miami in 2002, you guys would be the Buffalo Bills of college football.
Your Columbus BJs are in their sixth season of existence. They are 0-for-5 so far on playoff appearances. Nonetheless, the team is on its third logo. First was the “angry bee” logo, which never made any sense. The origin of Blue Jackets has nothing to do with Yellow Jackets or any other flying insect, as far as I know. Next came the stylized “CBJ” logo, with the “J” formed by a hockey stick (what is it with incorporating sticks into logos?). That didn’t last long–perhaps someone informed team management that a CBJ is a common service that one can acquire from certain paid companions. As a result, this season features a very patriotic swooshing star sort of thingy:
Could this logo be the charm? The BJs currently have 48 points, good for third in the Central Division but only 10th overall in the Western Conference. That leaves them on the outside looking in. However, the Western Conference standings change hourly, so keep your eyes open.
The BJs continue to build their offense around the talented Rick Nash. A not-so-gracefully-aging Sergei Fedorov and Nikolai Zherdev also provide some punch. The BJs make up for their lack of snipers with plenty of toughness–Jared Boll, Jody Shelley, and Adam Foote provide the muscle. The hero in Columbus this year has been 25-year-old netminder Pascal Leclaire. Leclaire is putting up stellar numbers–2.00 GAA, .927 SV% and seven shutouts. Without Leclaire, the BJs aren’t even within sniffing distance of the playoffs–he’s the Craig Krenzel of hockey.
If Leclaire can stay hot–and he’s shown no signs of cooling off–the BJs have as good a shot as anyone to sneak into the playoffs. Although they are in 10th place today, they are also only six points away from fourth place–other than the Blackhawks and Kings, every team in the Wild West is .500 or better. Columbus ought to be able to keep you interested until the next Peyton Manning commercial airs, or the media start overhyping the Buckeyes again.
A playoff appearance would be a huge step for the BJs. Not only would it provide an enormous morale boost to fans and help attract more potential free agents, it would finally allow the ghost of Brittanie Cecil to rest in peace.