No matter how bad things got for the Columbus Blue Jackets, passion always stood at the center of fans who have endured the worst of times. Unfortunately, the last 15 years have brought many worst-of-times moments for the Blue Jackets. This is what makes the passion for hockey in Columbus even that much more astounding.
Through it all, the fans have supported this team with an undying passion. For a variety of reasons, they kept coming out in support of the Blue Jackets, hoping one day, the team would reward their diligence. That commitment is about to pay off.
The team has undergone a facelift. In are the likes of Brandon Saad and Gregory Campbell. With them come championship experience. Columbus has never been this good on paper going into a season. Many outlets, including Sportsnet, have the Blue Jackets going to the playoffs.
It’s no wonder fans are very optimistic about the upcoming season.
But what kept fans coming back during the dark days? Many fans started to not show up to games because they thought the team had no hope. The average attendance dropped by about 4,000 fans in 10 years from 2000-2010. In spite of the drop, passion never faded.
@THWMark I've just loved hockey since I was old enough to remember. They are the sole reason why I got into and started playing the game.
— Nathan Viebranz (@N_Viebs15) July 24, 2015
The Blue Jackets, no matter the record, helped Nathan get into hockey both as a fan and a player.
@THWMark started playing hockey b/c of the Jackets. Went to the 1st game…always had hope for the future. Will always be my #1
— Isaac Oyer (@isaacisaginger) July 24, 2015
Again, the Blue Jackets helped someone play hockey. They also held out hope for better days. The team is going to reward Isaac’s commitment.
@THWMark Love of Hockey.. fell in love with game because of Miracle on Ice as a young kid.. was flyers Fan, became a #CBJ fan June 25, 1997
— Troy (@Troy_S_) July 24, 2015
Oh, what a day in June that was. It was the day the league formally announced the birth of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Many hockey fans that day became Blue Jackets fans. It didn’t matter what team they cheered on before; it was the dawning of a new era.
@THWMark but growing up a Red Sox and Patriots fan, knowing just how great it will feel once they turn the corner and start winning…
— Clint (@CGS_28) July 24, 2015
Here is a good perspective. If you are a fan of a winning team, then you know what it takes to win. It takes time. With that understanding, Clint knew eventually, the team would turn the corner. The time has likely arrived.
@THWMark in the early days it was just learning the sport and being apart of the experience. Was brought into it by a Canadian friend
— Average sim racer (@ATB614) July 24, 2015
We all have our beginnings. Perhaps one of the biggest parts of a new hockey team is giving new fans the opportunity to learn the game from others that have experienced it. It is these experiences that help give birth to the passion that is here now. Aaron’s Canadian friend introduced the game to him, and now he too is a passionate fan.
Here is passion personified. The Blue Jackets are his team. Columbus is his city. Jordan has embraced everything that is part of being a fan. This has nothing to do with the final score, or the team’s final record. It has everything to do with unconditional support of his team. This is the passion that has always been with Columbus since the beginning.
The All-Star Game gave everyone a small taste of Columbus’ passion. This season and beyond will show the league what it is truly like to cheer on the Blue Jackets. Although last season was disappointing due to the injuries, the passion never died. In fact, it got stronger. Attendance was up again. The passion will only continue to grow stronger as the years go on.
Passion. It’s the very thing that sits at the heart of Columbus, Ohio. Always has, always will.
Can’t get enough Blue Jackets content? Check out this great content from all around the world of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Our own Greg Thornberry thinks improving the Blue Jackets defense may need to wait.
The Cannon’s Jeff Little explores how expansion could impact the Blue Jackets.
CBJ Prospects of Buckeye State Hockey talks about Zach Werenski and where he might play next season.
Staying with Buckeye State Hockey, the Coach breaks down the goals of Saad and Campbell.
Rob Mixer of Bluejackets.com discusses the four prospects named to Team USA’s National Junior Team evaluation camp.
Katie Foglia of Bluejackets.com recaps the recent summit for corporate partners.
And finally, the Cannon will make an appearance in NHL 16. Read about it here.
I am a fully credentialed writer who covers the Columbus Blue Jackets, Cleveland Monsters and Erie Otters as well as the Ontario Hockey League and NHL Draft. The 2021-22 season will mark eight seasons with the Hockey Writers. I am also the site’s Credentials Manager.