Sunday, October 28, 2012

"The first thing he did was hold everybody accountable"

“The first thing he did was hold everybody accountable, on and off the ice, especially the way you carry yourself and represent the organization,” Tkachuk said. “He got everybody in shape, made sure everybody acted like a professional. The bar was lifted.”
“You’d have to believe something has been missing (in Columbus),” Leetch said, “something above the players and the talent. It’s bigger than that, and that’s the stuff that J.D. understands.”
“There’s an all-inclusive mentality, absolutely, and there’s tremendous patience in that man. But he ends up just extinguishing people who have their own agendas, or people who undermine the effort to all push in the same direction. He sniffs out the bad apples in a hurry. He has no time for those people.”
These quotes are from today's Dispatch.  This is a must read, especially for everyone who has wanted a new direction at the top of this franchise.  Be sure to check it out here.

-FANS

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A.C.E. In The Hole


Dare I say "love the team, like the direction?"

With the hire of John Davidson, that is absolutely true.  It will take a lot more to reach "love" status but at least I can ditch that "hate" word.

It doesn't matter how we got here, the fact of the matter is we are finally here, taking a HUGE step towards becoming a winning organization.

I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am to write something positive about this organization for a change.  I must have been contacted by 10 different people asking me or telling me their opinion about this move to bring in John Davidson:

"What do you think about JD?"

"Glad to see cbj got Davidson"

"CBJ hire, a good one?"

"Nice move by CBJ today"

It felt good to say with a straight face that this is a big time legitimate attempt by ownership to address the real problems with this franchise.  That this move has franchise-altering potential -- it's that big.  Bigger than any trade.  Bigger than any coach hire/fire.  Bigger than any All Star Game.

There are six reasons why I love this move:

1. It moves Mike Priest out of hockey ops and into a role he's much better suited for, business ops.
2. Scott Howson, and the entire hockey operations department for that matter, now has an experienced hockey executive to answer to.
3. I like the fit for Davidson.  He comes into an organization desperate for someone to lead them.  He comes into an organization that has no place to go but up.  He comes into an organization in transition from the Rick Nash era.  He comes into an organization with 3 first round picks from which to build from.
4. Davidson is known to surround himself with proven hockey minds and is extremely well connected in this league.  He adds instant credibility.
5. Davidson knows how to market the game and rejuvenate fan interest.  I listened to his 97.1 The Fan interview on the way home and the guy is a phenomenal speaker.  This market needs this.
6. Full autonomy to make hockey related decisions.  This must be there for this to work.

John Davidson is what I'm calling our A.C.E. in the hole (yeah, I just made that up - but I'm running with it!).

A = accountability
C = culture
E = expectations

And as any honest poker player (do those exist?) will tell you, if you have enough ACEs in the hole, chances are pretty damn good you will be a winner.

This thing was never going anywhere until someone is able to fundamentally shift the accountability, culture and expectations pillars of this franchise and the only way that can happen is from the top down.  Hitch made a helluva a run at it, but hindsight being 20/20 -- he was just too far down the food chain without enough support to make it stick.   With the hire of John Davidson, ownership has now put a guy in the right position at the right time who has the power, experience and know-how to make it stick.

Sure he may fail, but you know what?   You've got to try something because what we have now has not worked and continuing with the status quo is the definition of insanity!  I'm thrilled ownership has reached this conclusion as well and if after a few years we find ourselves in the same spot -- that's when you ante up and try again, and again....as many times as it takes to get it right!

Personally, if I were on the CBJ marketing staff, I'm having John Davidson record a message to the fans tonight and I spam it out to everyone.  Forget the All Star Game or this "Join the Battle" slogan, that stuff is like a bonus -- here one year, gone the next.  I start selling his plan, his resume, his road map for long term success because I believe that is what the long suffering fans want to hear.  I certainly know it's what I want to hear.

Now as Cap'n noted, John Davidson isn't perfect.  He can't waive a hockey stick and make things magically better over night, it will take some time.  Success, as we know all too well, is never guaranteed in this business and ultimately he will be judged just like everyone else -- on wins and losses.  It's also important to note that St. Louis didn't really take that big step until Doug Armstrong took over full time GM duties from Larry Pleau who in turn, hired Hitch as his coach last season.

While I'm personally prepared to give Davidson some time fix this thing, what I want to see is incremental improvement each season:

Priest/Howson's first 5 years:
2007-2008: 80
2008-2009: 92 (playoffs, swept in 1st round)
2009-2010: 79
2010-2011: 81
2011-2012: 65

AVG: 79.4

Davidson/Pleau/Armstrong's first 6 years:
2006-2007: 81
2007-2008: 79
2008-2009: 92 (playoffs, swept in 1st round)
2009-2010: 90
2010-2011: 87
2011-2012: 109 (playoffs, lost in 2nd round)

AVG: 89.6

The biggest difference is that Priest/Howson peaked in year #2 whereas the Davidson group took a couple of slight step backwards but ultimately peaked in year 6.  Davidson also took the Blues from a 57 point team to an 81 point team in his first season whereas Priest/Howson went from a 73 point team to 80 points.

I've been extremely critical of majority owner John P. McConnell but I also give credit where credit is due -- and without a doubt John P. McConnell (and Mike Priest from the sounds of it) deserve a ton of credit for bringing JD on board.  Make no mistake, this wasn't a cheap addition.  We're talking millions of dollars here.

So welcome to Columbus John Davidson.  I hope you've come to town with your hard hat on ready to roll up your sleeves as there is a lot of work to do!!

John

-FANS

Note:  If you would like us to share your opinion on this hire, please send your email to pr@jacketsfans.com

Davidson Not Perfect, But an Improvement Just the Same

Former St. Louis Blues President of Hockey Operations, John Davidson appears to be near signing with the Blue Jackets to serve as the team's President of Hockey Operations and suggests that ownership may finally be getting serious about improving the quality of its front office.

Davidson is a rarity in the respect that he isn't an executive coming off a poor performance by his prior franchise.  The Blues finally lived up to the expectations many have held for them since Davidson arrived in St. Louis this past season.  However, the Blues had new ownership and that ownership was anxious to save cash and so Davidson and his comparatively expensive salary was viewed as a luxury they could no longer afford.  With that said, Davidson's departure from St. Louis is also a tell that the new ownership group viewed their GM, Doug Armstrong, as more important in the team's turnaround than Davidson was.

Davidson can be an important piece in the turnaround of the Jackets franchise...if he is a part of the solution and not the whole solution.  He did two key things in St. Louis that the Jackets desperately need.  First, he put "aces in places" by putting the right people in positions to improve the team.  Yes, it ultimately cost him his job and, no, it didn't always work (take a look at the coaching carousel during his tenure).  However, what you get with Davidson is the polar opposite of former president and GM Doug MacLean--a guy who is going to put together a team to handle coaching, day-to-day hockey ops, etc. as opposed to a guy who wants to micromanage the details.  In that respect, Davidson is a manager's manager--a guy that builds a talented team beneath him and steps back to give them room to operate. Second, and equally important for franchises like St. Louis when he arrived and Columbus now, Davidson is more than capable of re-building fan interest. 

Keep in mind that the Blues were in a free fall when he arrived.  This was a storied franchise that had seen a record streak of playoff appearances end and become a perennial bottom dweller.  Their arena was half empty (at best) on most nights.  Which was something for a franchise that helped build the lore of Scotty Bowman who took the team to 3 straight Stanley Cup Finals...in their first 3 years of existence.  They had the league's worst attendance in 2006-07.  But, not only did Davidson help bring in guys like Armstrong to turn around the franchise's on-ice fortunes, he addressed the team's attendance woes by a series of season ticket promotions.  The most memorable was probably this one--if the Blues failed to make the playoffs in 2010-2011, fans were not obligated to make the payment for the second half of their season ticket price.  http://blues.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=64064&navid=DL%7CSTL%7Chome  The team didn't make the playoffs, but the fanbase was nonetheless reinvigorated.  I remember watching the Blues home games that year and being impressed with the resurgence of the fan base.  They were at 100% of capacity for the season, 7th in the league in attendance.

Davidson and his management team built the Blues from the goal out.  In his 6 drafts with the Blues, they took a defenseman in the first round 4 times.  Tired of their goaltending woes, they went out and swung a trade for Jaroslav Halak in the summer of 2010.  They followed that up the next off-season by making an under-the-radar signing of Brian Elliott.  When the team struggled out of the gate in 2011-12 (recall they seemed on a similar fate to the Jackets at that moment), the Blues management didn't hesitate and brought in former Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock to get the team's defense to perform as they felt it should.  The Blues turned it around and had one of the best records in hockey.

Again, a lot of the credit goes to Armstrong.  But Davidson deserves his due.  He was the guy who brought Armstrong in not initially as GM, but as understudy to Larry Pleau.  Given that Armstrong was nominated for GM of the Year, this apparently worked out pretty well.

He'll have a familiar set of tasks in Columbus to what he had when he arrived in St. Louis.  But clearly he loves a challenge.  What we can expect from Davidson is a polished voice coming from the top of the management chain--Doug MacLean without the snake oil.  He's also someone who is going to build a culture of accountability--there were other ways he could have boosted ticket sales, but the way they did with the "Playoffs or Bust" approach went a long way to building credibility with the fans in St. Louis. 

His biggest challenge will be what to do with the rest of the hockey ops team.  Don't necessarily expect Craig Patrick to disappear immediately.  Patrick may be crucial for Davidson to quickly evaluate Howson and others in the hockey ops department.  Davidson's success or failure ultimately will be determined by his decisions with regards to who he hires and fires beneath him.  If he pulls it off again with another franchise at the bottom of the standings he could be as legendary as that Scotty Bowman guy.

--Capn Cornelius

The Ownership Accountability Clock Has Stopped

With the announcement expected today, October 24th, 2012, that the Columbus Blue Jackets have hired John Davidson as the President Of Hockey Operations, the ownership accountability clock has stopped @

  200 days, 8 hours, 57 minutes, and 17 seconds

We would like to encourage anyone who has thoughts they'd like to share on this hire to please shoot us an email at PR@JACKETSFANS.COM and we'll post it!

Much more to come from FANS on this exciting news!

-FANS

Friday, June 29, 2012

Playoffs or Bust

Much has happened in Jacketsland since F.A.N.S. turned in its petition to John P. McConnell.  The first thing was the re-signing of Todd Richards as head coach.  This was interpreted by some in the blogosphere of a direct rebuke of the demand of Jackets fans for a change in leadership at the top.

However, as is often the case with the Jackets, things may not have been what they seemed.  As the focus turned towards the NHL Draft, news leaked that John P. McConnel and current team president Mike Priest, had conversations with John Davidson, currently with the St. Louis Blues about the possibility of Davidson, who had an out clause in his deal with St. Louis, joining the Jackets as President of Hockey Operations, a move which would have seen Priest removed from decisions with regards to the team's hockey operations, focusing instead on the area he is actually qualified to handle--finances.  Despite some early excitement about the possibility, things have since cooled with Davidson still attempting to extricate himself from his contract, his out clause having officially expired.

The NHL Draft provided the Jackets with a potential franchise cornerstone defenseman in Ryan Murray.  It also exposed just how poor the franchise's depth in goal was with the Jackets trading for Sergei Bobrovsky and then picking 2 goalies within 24 hours...and still finding themselves needing another 1 or 2 pro goaltenders to start the season.

The Draft did not, however, provide the resolution to the Rick Nash situation that many hoped for.  If anything, the number of suitors for Nash seems to be dwindling, with teams like Philadelphia and Toronto already turning their attention elsewhere, San Jose seemingly disengaged after Howson's repeated demands for Logan Couture and the Rangers waiting for Howson's demands to decrease while focusing on acquiring Zach Parise in free agency.

Which brings us to today.  Here we are two days prior to free agency with no clearer picture of what the team's plan is going forward.  A plan which was allegedly hatched in January.  A plan which was provided first to Rick Nash...who thereafter demanded a trade.  While we are light on details, we are told the plan isn't a "rebuild" but a "reshape".  Come Sunday, we're going to have a much better idea what is meant by "reshape."

If what is meant by reshaping is rebuilding on the fly to compete not just years from now, but this very year, then we should see the Jackets very active in free agency in order to acquire a goalie which allows the team to send Steve Mason to the minors or the unemployment line and several forwards in order to rebuild the depth that has eroded over the last several years.  An additional depth defenseman that would allow us to ship off the contract of Marc Methot or to use another defenseman as trade bait for a forward wouldn't hurt either.  If reshaping means competing now, we should expect to see a Nash trade that is centered around players who can help this year or next rather than long-term prospects or picks.  A trade like the one rumored to have been offered by the San Jose Sharks included Joe Pavelski, and one or two roster players.

But, if reshaping is really just a euphamism for rebuilding cooked up by a Chicago PR firm, we can expect to see little done in free agency.  A small acquisition to fill out a roster spot or two.  A trade of Rick Nash largely based on picks and prospects.  Steve Mason still on the opening night roster as either the 1A or 1B goalie.

If reshaping is merely a rebuild by another name, then we can expect a similar result to last season in the upcoming season as a lineup of pluggers is sent out there to Join the Battle...to get yet another lottery pick.  But if reshaping is really and truly meant to be something different than rebuilding, there should be one goal and one goal only--making the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

From where I stand, it would be incredibly misleading for ownership and management to make a big deal about this being a "reshape" and not a "rebuild" if there wasn't a distinction, particularly after this past season.  Beyond that, Scott Howson himself has crowed that we are only a couple players away.  If so, then he should feel confident that he can achieve the low bar of building a team capable of making the Playoffs--something accomplished by more than 50% of NHL teams each season.  With plenty of cap space, and even more after a Nash trade, with at least one additional pick in next year's draft and with some depth on defense, Howson should have some pretty big bullets to get the couple players he needs to complete the puzzle.  His job starting Sunday is to do just that.  Failure is not an option.  It is Playoffs or Bust.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Reaction To Richards Hire

We received this letter from a fan named Stephani who gave us permission to post it in this space.  She also sent it to GM Scott Howson and PR Director Todd Sharrock:

On December 26, 2006, I fell in love with hockey. I went to my first game with my family and we defeated Boston in overtime. After that game, I became a loyal fan, started skating and now play recreational hockey in the Chiller leagues. I have loved the CBJ unconditionally as I have grown as a player and fan. I participated in the Nashville trip in November and had a blast representing our fans, still hopeful for a comeback and future. But now I feel like I'm becoming a fan looking for a new team which is a really hard thing to say in my six short years.

I am sure Richards is a great and nice man, but is there honestly no one on the market to become our head coach? Or is it that no one is willing to join a franchise with such a poor reputation? This announcement makes me really sad even after the worst season is finally over. We have some amazing former players (and coach) that are on teams in the playoffs which make me so happy for them, but so sad that we couldn't do anything when they were here. And we're about to lose another who will likely go on to another team, prosper and win a Cup as he was meant to do. The players remaining are wonderful as well and deserve so much more than the cards they are being dealt.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know where the culture of this team begins and since nothing has changed, I guess my excitement for the franchise will just continue to deteriorate. I have unsubscribed from your CBJ Newsletter because I cannot take anymore announcements that show no signs of progress for my team. 

Sincerely,

Stephani - A really bummed fan.

P.S. On January 28, 2013 the All-Star game will be but a distant memory (with the exception of all the revenue businesses will be smiling about), but if nothing changes for our team, our city will go back to being a joke in the NHL and no one will care how great of a visit they may have had in our awesome hockey town. I hope you remember that as you continue to drive focus on something that really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of problems that this franchise faces...especially if we do not even have an All-Star to send to the game.

Thanks for sharing Stephani.

For A New Start (F.A.N.S.)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Open Letter to John P. McConnell - May 9, 2012

th letter to you. As promised, we received
Today the following letter was delivered to John P. McConnell along with your signed petitions. 

Our final tally was 1,002 signatures in only 9 games.  Thank you to all of you who made this possible!  We will keep the pressure on ownership and management to deliver the team that this devoted fan base deserves!  Expect additional updates over the summer on how you can stay involved.

Dear Mr. McConnell:

This letter is a follow up to our previous February 29 signatures on a petition from our fellow fans demanding the removal of Mike Priest as President and Scott Howson as General Manager of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Over the course of just 9 home games, we were able to obtain 1,002 signatures with a minimal number of volunteers and almost no press coverage. We received numerous e-mails of support from other fans who liveoutside of Columbus and were not able to attend one of those games. More than 200 fans
entered Nationwide Arena for the season finale with signs demanding the removal of Mr. Priest and Mr. Howson.

In short, the fans of the Columbus Blue Jackets have spoken. The signatures on this petition are but a small sample of the angst within the fan base—angst which is justified based on the fact that with no less than four different coaches the team has now finished dead last in the Central Division three consecutive seasons, something the Jackets had not done since the first 3 seasons. The decisions facing the team this summer will likely determine its success or failure not just for next season, but for seasons to come. The current management team has not established a track record that suggests they should be entrusted with such decisions, especially matters regarding coaching. If any reminder is needed on that point, one need look no further than Kevin Dineen, the former Blue Jacket who was passed over for Scott Arniel the last time the team needed a new coach, who now has more playoff wins in one season than Mr. Howson or Mr. Priest have in their entire tenure with the team.

We hope that you will fully consider this matter and act expeditiously to install a management team befitting of your devoted, if frustrated, fan base. We fear that a failure to act at this point will have a detrimental effect not just on the team’s future on-ice performance, but on attendance and general interest in the team amongst that fan base.

Should the status quo be maintained, we will continue to monitor the situation and act accordingly.

We have attached copies of the signed petitions with contact information redacted. Copies of this letter and those petitions will be shared with members of the press.

Very truly yours,

For A New Start
pr@jacketsfans.com

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Nontraditional Fans of Hockey

From Grantland:
Prospects are different in hockey. They aren't the finished products of the NBA and NFL drafts. But they also aren't baseball draftees — low-yield investments whose maturity rates are insanely long and nowhere guaranteed. Hockey prospects fall in the middle. They're drafted at 18, crude and green. A few can make the jump. Most enter the maze of minor hockey leagues underneath the NHL.

They're all considered buds of pure potential, but theirs is potential that's expected to come to fruition fairly soon. (If at 25, 26 they haven't poked into the NHL daylight, they're busts.) They're kept buried in order to build the strength to compete in the corners, and to get accustomed to the speed of the professional game. They're planted in the favorable conditions against lesser competition so they can germinate as players.
Really, though, it's psychological. These draftees have all been their teams' best player since they were 5 years old. They've gotten to where they are because every time they hopped the boards, they honestly believed they were about to take control of the game. To thrust them into the NHL before they're ready is to disabuse them, or, worse, to make them delusional.

This is one reason why Columbus, Phoenix, and Florida are considered hockey's scorched earth, and why fans grieve for the heirloom players these teams draft every June. They don't (and can't) allow talented young players the time to develop, to get physically and mentally mature to where the play clicks for them like it has in the past, when they had the heart to insist themselves upon the game. Instead, these children (and they are children) are tossed onto desolate teams. Their self-conception, the one thing they've known to be true — that they can score or stop someone from scoring at will — withers. They rarely recover.
Great read with much more here.

For A New Start (F.A.N.S.)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Another PSL Holder's Letter To The Columbus Blue Jackets

*NOTE-- this letter was written by a PSL holder and while we may not agree with everything that is said, F.A.N.S. is an advocacy group and platform for fans to speak their minds and wish to be heard.


Here is another letter sent to the Columbus Blue Jackets from a season ticket holder. We were given permission to post this under the condition we did not use he or she's name:



Heather, 

Per our phone conversation last week I wanted to follow up with an email and give a little background as to where I stand on renewing my tickets for the upcoming season. 

 I grew up 30 miles north of Columbus in Licking County and have always wanted a professional team in Columbus to root for ever since I was a kid playing little league baseball.  I remember dreaming of a day when Columbus would get a professional baseball team or maybe an NBA team, so when Columbus was awarded a NHL franchise in the late 90s while I was a student at OSU I was ecstatic that I finally had a team to root for.  While in the beginning I could not afford season tickets I would find a way to go to about 3-5 games a year and have a good time with friends.  After graduating from OSU in 2003 I moved to St. Louis for work and got the pleasure of watching the St. Louis Blues extend their 25 year streak of making the Stanley Cup Playoffs with players of the caliber of Keith Tkachuk, Al Macinnis, Chris Pronger and more.  After the lockout I bought season tickets with a co-worker for 2005-2006 season to see some of the worst hockey the Blues had ever played but supported them(except when Columbus came to town) and had a good time at the games.  I have been a season ticket holder with the CBJ since I moved back to Columbus in 2006 and I was excited to be home and be in a position to enjoy watching my team on a regular basis.   

Now that you have a little background let me dive a little further into our conversation from last week.  At that time you asked if I had received my renewal package and if I had any questions.  I let you know that I had indeed received it and had no questions.  You then asked if I was going to be renewing this upcoming season and I informed you that I am at a crossroads on if I am going to renew or not.  I am not going to lie to you and tell you I am not going to renew as there is still a chance that I will but I will put that chance at 50/50 right now.  My problem with renewing and spending the money that the CBJ is asking is as follows: 

1)  After 5 years at the helm, Scott Howson and Mike Priest have not proven that they can build a consistent winner.  I applaud JPM of giving the green light to these men to spend extra cash to ice a competitive team and even with that they did not.  Scott Howson has made multiple bad decisions that have backfired and put this team in a position where they are in as bad or worse of a position than when he took over.  He has signed young, unproven players to long term deals(Mason, Brassard, Jake V), he has made trades of good young NHL talent for aging vets that did not pan out(Tarnstrum, Clark), and he has left holes on this team year in and year out  that were not addressed in the off-season (Goaltending this year, #1 Center/Defensemen in years past).  Mike Priest has not acted on weaknesses in the front office from less than par scouting (No 2nd round picks on the roster and only 3/5 Priest first rounders still on the team), turnover at the coaching position(4 coaches in 5 years) and no action in change at the GM position with less than desirable performance. 

2)  Pricing of concessions is out of control.  If $10.00 wasn't bad enough for a cheeseburger basket, the CBJ felt that they had to raise the prices this year on multiple products.  Any free concession night during the year was easily made up for with these increases so I see this as no added benefit.   

3)  Promotions for single game events continues.  Please let me know how I am supposed to enjoy paying the prices I did for my seats to see people with as good or better seats with a free hat, hot dog, soda, popcorn and ice cream for the same price or less.   

4)  Service outside of yourself this season has been trying.  I felt like at times your staff at the arena were not adequately trained as I knew the Arena policies better than them and while these policies normally were not a big deal, let me give you two examples of how the lack to training impacts me.  1)  As you may remember on a Friday night game during the season I had 17 clients and their wives/girlfriends from one of the engineering firms that I call on at the game.  When I went to purchase drinks for those clients we had 17 IDs and I had my company credit card.  The server at the beer stand would only allow me to run 2 drinks per transaction.  I explained to him that it was two beers per ID and not per transaction and he refused to run the transactions on my card.  As we spoke that night he was wrong and was not properly trained.  While this may not seem like a big deal for most people the problem I have is that one round equated to 9 transactions on my expense account at work.  When I went to fill out my expense account those 9 transactions took me over 20 minutes to enter in lieu of the 2 minutes it normally takes.  If would of had to continue this throughout the night it would have taken me between 1-2 hours to fill out the expenses just for this one venue and one event when it normally takes about 10-15 minutes.  I can assure that someone that works on 100% commission is not happy to lose 1-1.5 hours of productivity due to a NWA training issue as that could equate to thousands of dollars of income for me.  2)  During the last game of the year my wife and I were able to enjoy our first CBJ game since our son was born just over 2 years ago.  While we had a great time, we had to leave early during the third period to get home to our son as the sitter had sent a text stating that he was starting to breakdown a bit.  On our way out of the North-East Rotunda we were informed by the security guard that we could not exit there and had to go to the main gate.  When I explained that we were not re-entering and started for the door he once again stated, more firmly this time, that he was not to let us exit through that door.  My wife and I then had about a five minute walk back to the main entrance to then retrace our steps back past the North-East exit that we originally tried to leave through.  While 5 minutes may not be much to you or me, please try explaining that to our 2 year old son at home.   

So that brings me to where I am today.  As a six year season ticket holder I have found it more frustrating than rewarding being a season ticket holder and that mainly has to do with the product on the ice.  During this time I have watched the St. Louis Blues go from the top of the hockey world to the bottom then back to the top again all the while Columbus has been near the bottom.  The old saying really rings true "Winning cures everything."  If the team was in the hunt for the playoffs and had a chance of winning one playoff game the high concession prices and the lack of training of the staff may be a little easier to take.  With Howson and Priest still running the show I have no confidence that they will be able to bring the results I desire and I leave you with this question:

Those positions are performance based positions just like my sales position is.  If I were to miss the sales figures that my company expects me to hit for 5 years and my numbers were not improving but in fact were trending down......would I still have my job?   

The answer is NO!  As a public company my shareholders do not accept failure or they pull their investment.  My superiors understand that and if someone is not performing they are let go and someone who will perform is brought in.  This is how it should be with the CBJ.  As a shareholder of the CBJ I am on the fence on whether or not to give the CBJ one more year of my investment of (4) full season tickets.  If I see that ownership is willing to make a change and fire Howson and Priest, I will renew the next day.  If not, then I am 50/50 on if I will renew.  Currently I am waiting to see how ownership responds.

Please let me know if you have any questions. 

thanks, 



We have no idea if letters such as this even reach the eyes of the decision makers in this organization which is a big reason why this advocacy group exists - to provide a voice/visibility for those frustrated with the direction of this franchise.  Will continue to do so until this franchise's honor is restored and maintained.

We would like to encourage all fans who have sent in letters to email them to PR@JacketsFANS.com.  We will post them all in the way were sent to CBJ management.

For A New Start (F.A.N.S.)

PSL Holders' Letter To Columbus Blue Jackets

*NOTE-- this letter was written by a group of day 1 PSL holders and while we may not agree with everything that is said, F.A.N.S. is an advocacy group for fans to speak their mind and wish to be heard.

This is a letter that was recently sent to the Columbus Blue Jackets management by a group of PSL holders.  We were also made aware of it and given permission to post under the condition we remove the names:

To:        Columbus Blue Jackets
From:    Account #
Date:     4/13/2012
Re:        Cancelation of Season Tickets
This letter is to inform the Columbus Blue Jackets organization that we the members of Account # will NOT be renewing our season tickets.  The reason our group has reached this decisions is that we believe the Blue Jackets organization is an outright embarrassment to the NHL and Columbus. The GM and President must go!!!!!!  Neither of these two individuals have the slightest clue of how to build this organization into a winning franchise.  Since this organization refuses to listen to the fans, repeated calls for dismissal of the obviously incompetent GM and President, we have chosen to stop supporting this failure of an organization.  We have been season ticket holder since day one of this organization but we cannot tolerate this absolute failure of a so called “professional hockey team” any longer.  It is quite obvious that your organization treats the season ticket holders like fourth class citizens and takes for granted that we will continue to renew our tickets year after year.  Why should we do this when we can walk in off the street and for $25 get a ticket, $10 food and beverage voucher, hat, box of Timbits and a coffee. This is a far better deal than what we get for being there from the beginning.  We are tired of spending our hard earned money on a bunch of cry baby millionaires that can't put together 60 minutes of effort to win a hockey game. As a group we have stopped watching the Jackets on TV, and we boycotted most of this year’s games simply because we didn’t want to waste or time and money on a bunch of lazy millionaires who are comfortable losing game after game!  This team sucks so bad we couldn't even sell any of our tickets, and believe me we tried to sell as many as possible. Our group went from being a bunch of diehard fans to now wearing other team’s jerseys. In addition, the prices you charge for beer ($9) is absurd, none of us has bought a beer in the arena for the last 2 years.  We just can't see spending any more money on this pathetic team!  It is doubtful that any of us will go any games in the future, but if we do it will be to watch & support the visiting team, and maybe then we can capitalize on one of those sweet non season ticket holder deals.  Perhaps at the start of next season as your sitting in your empty arena, you will hopefully then realize what a mistake it was to take your fans for granted.  However, I doubt that this organization will give so much as a rat’s ass about this as you have sucked us dry of every dollar you possibly could.  Just a FYI on how Columbus fans feel about how absolutely pathetic you’re organization is, we were unable to sell our PSL via E-Bay or any other means, NOT EVEN FOR HALF PRICE and NOT EVEN FOR ONE THIRD PRICE. So we would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to this organization for stealing our $1500.  We would also like to inquire if you provide us with information on how we could start a racket like yours so that we might go about legally stealing $1500 from folks.  In addition, please remove our names from any and all mail listings (both electronic and old fashion snail mail), and or phone listings.

Here is some additional information that you may wish to pass along to other former CBJ fans.
     
      Uses for CBJ merchandise:

#1) Use CBJ jersey’s to wash dog after being sprayed by skunk as CBJ.

#2) Use CBJ t-shirt to wipe your backside after taking a crap in the woods.

#3) Please do not try and donate CBJ clothing/merchandise to places like Goodwill as they will not accept it.  These organizations only accept clothing in good useable condition that people would actually want to wear. These people may be poor and homeless but they do have some standards.

#4) Use your CBJ hat(s) to throw on the ice after visiting team scores a hat trick.

#5) CBJ flags make a great diaper for your baby.

#6) Autographed pucks make great furniture movers so you don't ruin your floors.

#7) Autographed hockey sticks are a great fire starter for your fireplace or campfire.

#8) Use the money you waste on “CBJ hockey” season tickets and take road trip to see 29 real hockey teams in their home arenas.

#9) Use CBJ trading cards to provide examples to your children how it’s ok to put forth only a 10% effort while being paid millions of dollars and fine it acceptable to settle for consistently losing.

#10) A CBJ scarf is great to hang yourself with, if you decide to stay a fan.

We have no idea if letters such as this even reach the eyes of the decision makers in this organization which is a big reason why this advocacy group exists - to provide a voice/visibility for those frustrated with the direction of this franchise.  Will continue to do so until this franchise's honor is restored and maintained.

We would like to encourage all fans who have sent in letters to email them to PR@JacketsFANS.com.  We will post them all in the way were sent to CBJ management.

For A New Start (F.A.N.S.)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

"All They Really Want Is For That To Go Away..."

Via the Dispatch chat today:
Q: What was the reaction from management to the F.A.N.S. movement? Other than throwing out people with Anti Howson/Priest signs? Do they even care at this point or are the blinders on?

A: They're in a tough spot. They have to act like they care, and they have to act like they're listening. But all they really want is for that to go away.
More:
Q: When would the window of opportunity/probability on firing Howson close... or has it already?

A: All signs as of today point to GM Scott Howson staying in his current role with the club. Could they make a move in the next week or two? Absolutely. But there's no indication that's being considered. To the contrary, it's hard to imagine ownership allowing Howson to oversee trade talks involving a player as significant at Rick Nash if you don't trust him to be your GM. I can't imagine they'd send Howson to Toronto for the draft lottery if he's not their guy. The way this has been sold to ownership -- best I can tell -- is that the arrival of senior adviser Craig Patrick has helped buttress the front office, that Howson needed a sounding board and a veteran, experienced voice to help consider significant moves. If Howson were going to be fired, you would most certainly expect it to have happened before now.

 More:
Q: I still don't understand how the people (Priest, Howson) that put this failed plan together are being trusted to now come up with a new plan. Would this work in any other hockey city?  Philly fans would probably be rioting by now.

12:26:45 Portzline: In pro sports, it's very unusual for a club to have such a high payroll -- it was fourth-highest in the league at one point early in the season -- and such a low spot in the standings. That's a toxic mix, especially for a market the size of Columbus. They believe the hiring of Patrick as senior adviser has changed the dynamic in the front office. We shall see. It's possible that with two non-hockey lifers at the top of the organization -- majority owner John P. McConnell and President Mike Priest -- that they simply don't know where to turn, or who out there could be trusted to turn it around. I had breakfast with three very smart hockey people this morning, guys in the business. There thought was that a very impressive hockey guy like Ron Hextall or Ron Francis should be brought in, allowed to hire his own people, given autonomy on big decisions and let them grow the franchise.
Message to ownership - we aren't going anywhere until accountability, pride and honor are restored and maintained to this franchise.  It's up to you.

For A New Start (F.A.N.S.)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Columbus Blue Jackets Were The Least Efficient Of The 30 Teams With Just 1.06 points Per $1 Million Spent

From the Calgary Herald:
"The Stanley Cup playoffs begin this week to sort out the league's best team, but according to a Bank of Montreal report released Tuesday, the Nashville Predators are the "Hockey Cents" champions of 2011-12.

The Predators were tops for being able to earn 2.02 points for every $1 million (all figures in U.S. dollars) in player salaries applicable to the league's salary cap.

The last-place but highly paid Columbus Blue Jackets were the least efficient of the 30 teams with just 1.06 points per $1 million spent."
The next closest was the Edmonton Oilers at 1.22 points per $1 million spent.

You can find the enitre list here.

For A New Start (F.A.N.S.)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Up Close And Personal

Meet Wayne Morroni.  Wayne is a day 1 season ticket/psl holder in the lower bowl Time Warner Lounge area.  Wayne has had enough and will not be renewing after this season.


Meet Frank and Vicky Dengg.  Frank and Vicky are also day 1 season ticket/psl holders.  They sit in the upper bowl first row.  Frank and Vicky have had enough and will not be renewing their season tickets after this season.


Meet Chris Burke.  Chris is a season ticket/psl holder who has had enough and will not be renewing his season tickets after this season.  NOTE: Nationwide Arena "Factory of Sadness" T-shirt.


These two gentlemen may not appear at first glance to be CBJ fans, but they are.  Or should we say "were".


Now look at what these two gentlemen were wearing underneath their Boston Bruins jerseys.


As they explained to us, they have had enough to the point they are moving on to another team entirely.  Their plan after the game against the Islanders concluded, was to remove their CBJ shirts under their jerseys and either A. toss on the ice if they were close enough or B. leave them in their seats.

These are just a sample of real stories shared to us up close and personal in the plaza in front of Nationwide Arena on Saturday from fans that have been here from the beginning.  Folks who have spent thousands of dollars and thousands of hours supporting this team.  These are fans a franchise cannot afford to lose. These are fans who have finally said enough is enough.  These are fans whom, after 11 seasons, have reached their breaking points.

We would love to share more stories from fans who have also said enough.  Just shoot us an email with your story at PR@JacketsFANS.com and we will make sure your story is heard.

Finally, a special thanks to all the folks who stopped by yesterday (and every game since this advocacy group began) for sharing their stories, signing the petition, displaying/making signs and wearing neon green t-shirts.  This group was created for you, the fans of the Columbus Blue Jackets, and the participation has been nothing short of remarkable.  Also a special thanks to Beau for donating 4 tickets to volunteers for last night's game.












We are in the process of tallying up the petition signatures and will we be sending those to the Columbus Blue Jackets organization ATTN: OWNERSHIP.  We will keep you updated as we continue on our mission to restore and maintain this franchise's honor.

For A New Start (F.A.N.S.)

Friday, April 6, 2012

End of an Era--What Comes Next?

Saturday's season finale against the Islanders promises to be the end of an era.  The chances are high  Saturday will be Rick Nash's last game as a Columbus Blue Jacket.  Whether the Captain makes an appearance is now in doubt.  One of the team's "learning men," GM Scott Howson, announced today that a back injury suffered by Nash might keep him out of the season finale. 

What remains to be seen is whether Saturday will also mark Scott Howson's last game as GM of the franchise.  Since his ill-conceived press conference announcing that Nash had requested a trade, Scott Howson has been doing his best impersonation of the Invisible Man.  One would have thought he was off in Hollywood shooting a big screen version of the hit TV show Frasier as little as Howson has been around lately.  Howson's bosses have also been tight lipped.  Team president Mike Priest has restrained himself from declaring that "Howson hockey is Blue Jackets hockey!"

But soon enough it will be abundantly clear whether change is coming or whether we should just hit snooze on Sunday if we hear Sonny and Cher on our alarm clocks.  Under the stewardship of the current management team they spent a record amount on player salaries to end up dead last in the league by a country mile.  And while we are thankful to have the All Star Game, it is bittersweet when there is a good chance that the Jackets will have no player representing them in the game as the guy who was most likely to do so was so unimpressed with the "plan" the management team set out in January that he immediately asked that they "consider" trading him in the best interest of his career.

Saturday marks our last opportunity this year as fans to make a statement with regards to what we think needs to be done to get this team moving in the right direction.  Let's go out there and make a loud statement in one voice.  Do so in a respectful manner, but be direct.  We'll again be asking for signatures on the petition to have Howson and Priest removed from their posts before and after the game.  We'll have 200 pre-printed signs and another 200 poster boards for you to write your own messages to ownership and management.  Come join us this one last time this season and help us send a message to ownership that we love the team, but hate the direction.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Columbus Plans To Take Back Team With F.A.N.S.

A nice article here on F.A.N.S. from a blog called PuckDrunkLove.com:

*NOTE--the opinions of Puck Drunk Love are solely their's and, in particular, we view F.A.N.S. as fighting a war for the team, not a war on the team.


"A revolution has begun! The fans of the Columbus Blue Jackets have declared war on the team. And with the team recently agreeing to stay in the city until 2039, now is the perfect time for the fans to defend their ground.
A new advocacy group in the city Columbus was formed in early March to bring a winning hockey club to the city. Simply named "CBJ F.A.N.S.", their goal is to restore and maintain the franchise's honor. CBJ F.A.N.S. (For A New Start), have begun to travel the long road in hopes of not being the butt of every NHL joke."
Read much more here!
For A New Start (F.A.N.S.)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

How Soon Howson--Habs Fire Gauthier

The ownership of the Montreal Canadiens didn't need to see any more.  Sitting dead last in the Eastern Conference, they made the decision today to fire Pierre Gauthier.

The move comes a little over 2 years after Gauthier was hired to replace Bob Gainey. 

Gauthier's Habs sit 15 points ahead of the Jackets in the standing and one point ahead of the Edmonton Oilers for 29th in the league.  But in a city like Montreal where incompetence is not tolerated, it was clear that Gauthier was a dead man walking, particularly after hiring an Anglophone coach to the consternation of his fanbase.

As Jackets fans, we have to ask how soon will our team's owners realize that after 5 years of incompetence, Howson should join Gauthier in the ranks of the former NHL GMs?

ESPN Ranks The Central GMs

"Ranking The Central GMs" via ESPN's "insider" paywall:

"It's one thing to build a contender from the ground up, which was the challenge for Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson. It requires that you have success high in Round 1, while finding a few pieces in the later rounds. But once you build a contender, it's another thing to maintain it. After all, players age or leave via free agency, and the window of opportunity closes.

Some of these teams recede back into the lottery and are forced to re-build. But others like the Detroit Red Wings and (to an extent) the Nashville Predators, have found a way to stay competitive for long periods of time -- and a huge factor is the draft.

Both Preds GM David Poile and Wings GM Ken Holland have been able to find talent -- high-end talent -- outside of the first round, which is pretty crucial because good teams generally don't land in the lottery. In fact, good teams often don't have first-round picks because they swap them at the trade deadline for immediate help. So proficiency later in the draft becomes fairly important.

The last few weeks, we've been ranking the NHL GMs based on their drafting history. (So far we've hit the Southeast Division, Northeast Division and the Atlantic Division.)

And this week, we're heading to the Central, where we run into five GMs in fairly different situations. Before we begin, here's a recap of the ground rules:

1. We're not simply judging the GMs based on the quality of players they have drafted. Because a guy with four top-five picks will always be far better than someone who consistently drafts in the late first-round. So, instead, we're looking at how well they've drafted relative to their draft position.

2. We know some GMs let their scouts make the final calls on draft day, but they are still responsible for the picks.

3. We're looking at drafts from 1990 to 2008. Recent drafts are discounted because the jury is out on the large majority of those picks.

4. Metrics are based on Tom Awad's GVT, which is an advanced stat that encompasses all aspects of the game.

And we're off:

4. Scott Howson, Columbus

Value added per pick: minus-0.53 GVT/season
Drafts: Columbus Blue Jackets (2007-present)
Top picks: Matt Calvert (No. 127), Jakub Voracek (No. 7)

The sample size is quite small -- only 16 picks before 2008 and 36 picks overall -- but Howson has added almost no value via the draft, which is a huge reason he is fixed firmly on the hot seat. Ryan Johansen (No. 4, 2010) may be his best pick, but he doesn't count in these rankings since we're not counting anyone after the 2008 draft. So that leaves Voracek, who was somewhat of a disappointment before he was dealt to Philadelphia. The other top-10 pick was Nikita Filatov, and we all know how much of a headache he was before being dealt to Ottawa earlier this season.

Otherwise, the only other player who has contributed anything of note is Matt Calvert, who was a good find in the fifth round. It has been five disastrous drafts for Howson, so it might be tough for the Jackets' brass to let him have another shot, especially in such a crucial year when they could have the No. 1 overall pick and perhaps more if they trade Rick Nash.
3. Doug Armstrong, St. Louis Blues

Value added per pick: 0.02 GVT/season
Drafts: St. Louis (2011-present),Dallas Stars (2002-2007)
Top picks: Jamie Benn (No. 129), Loui Eriksson (No. 33), James Neal (No. 33), Trevor Daley (No. 43)

Armstrong has never been the GM when a team had a lottery pick. In fact, the highest pick he's ever had is No. 26 -- yet he's still managed to find a handful of All-Star players, which should be applauded. He's been at the helm for just one draft with the Blues, so there's no judgment to be made there. But he did good work with the Stars where he drafted Benn, Eriksson and Neal -- all outside of Round 1. In fact, Benn was drafted at No. 129 and could end up being one of the biggest steals of the decade, depending on how his career develops.

All that said, Armstrong has managed to get only 36 percent of his picks to the NHL, and 17 percent of his picks have played 82 NHL games. That's well below average -- but it's easily offset by the high-end talent he's found without anything close to a lottery pick.

2. David Poile, Nashville

Value added per pick: 0.07 GVT/season
Drafts: Nashville (1998-present), Washington Capitals (1982-1996)
Top picks: Pekka Rinne (No. 258), Peter Bonda (No. 156), Sergei Gonchar (No. 14), Shea Weber (No. 49)

Poile has been doing this a very long time, and he's gotten better with age. With the Capitals, he had some strong finds like Bondra, Gonchar, Andrew Brunette (No. 174) and Jason Allison (No. 17). But there were also major failures, like Alexandre Volchkov (No. 4) and Alexander Kharlamov (No. 15). While his time in Nashville has also had a good share of failures -- Brian Finley (No. 6) and David Legwand (No. 2) being the worst of them -- he's found a way to not be reliant on high draft picks, much like Ken Holand in Deroit.

He and his staff have become great at finding value in the late rounds, nabbing players like Cody Franson (No. 230), Patric Hornqvist (No. 230), Martin Erat (No. 191) and Anders Lindback (No. 207). In addition, Rinne and Weber are among the top value picks of the decade. With first-rounders, they've done a decent job as well, drafting the likes of Ryan Suter (No. 7), Dan Hamhuis (No. 12) and Scott Hartnell (No. 6). Financial issues have forced him to part with some of these guys, but the core of this current Predators team has been built via the draft by Poile and his scouts.

1. Ken Holland, Detroit

Value added per pick: 0.416 GVT/season
Drafts: Detroit (1998-present)
Top picks: Pavel Datsyuk (No. 171), Henrik Zetterberg (No. 210), Johan Franzen (No. 97), Niklas Kronwall(No. 29)

What Holland and his crew have done in Detroit is nothing short of incredible. He drafted the two biggest steals of the last 20 years -- Datsyuk and Zetterberg -- which prolonged the success of a franchise that should've receded when its All-Star core was aging. In addition, the Red Wings have added key players to their lineup -- almost entirely without first-round picks -- which is pretty much unheard of. Among them are Franzen, Kronwall, Jimmy Howard (No. 64), Valtteri Filppula (No. 95), Jiri Hudler (No. 58), Jonathan Ericsson (No. 291) -- the list goes on.

That said, they take risks and fail often. But there's only so much ice-time to go around, so a few home runs will take you a long way. In short, there's a reason the Wings' scouting is legendary.

To be ranked ...

Stan Bowman, Chicago

Value added per pick: N/A
Drafts: Chicago (2010-present)
Top picks: N/A

The jury is still out on this GM until he accumulates a larger sample.

He didn't draft before 2008, so he doesn't qualify for these rankings. But he and his staff have had two great finds at the 2011 draft -- Brandon Saad (No. 43) and Andrew Shaw (No. 139). Saad, whose stock dropped sharply before the draft, ended up making the Opening Day roster. While he's since been sent down, his future remains bright. Shaw, who was passed over in the 2009 and 2010 drafts, has been a fan favorite this year with his tough style of play. Finding these non-first-round contributors should be an encouraging sign for Blackhawks fans.

Bowman's predecessor, Dale Tallon, was the master of using his high-first rounders wisely. But as we noted last week, he couldn't find value in the late rounds. The timing could end up being perfect for the Hawks. Tallon came in to re-build the franchise -- which, as he's showing in Florida, he's pretty good at. And Bowman is here to maintain it, and as Holland and Poile have shown, sustainability of success is much easier if you can find late-round value."


For A New Start (F.A.N.S.)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Volunteers Wanted

As F.A.N.S. closes in on a milestone in its petition drive to have Mike Priest and Scott Howson removed as the management team of the Columbus Blue Jackets, we are calling on all of you to help us get over the top during the next two games and beyond.

If you are interested in helping to get signatures on the petition, meet up with the members of F.A.N.S. in their Stinger Green shirts at 6 p.m. before the games tonight and Friday.  We will be seeking signatures on the petitions before and after the games and need as many volunteers as possible.

If you'd like a petition to have signed by others in your free time or if you are out-of-town, e-mail us at PR@jacketsfans.com and we'll send you the petition form.

Games like the last two just are not acceptable at this point in the franchise's history.  Dead last in the NHL isn't acceptable.  And Scott Howson and Mike Priest being maintained despite this pathetic showing is most certainly not acceptable.

We can make a difference, but we need your help!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

13 Point Challenge

Below is an email sent to the Jackets from season ticket holder Roger A. Schaefer of which he gave us permission to share here:

"I have put a significant amount of thought into the renewal of my season tickets, but wanted to provide some feedback from a die hard CBJ fans perspective:

First and foremost, the sincere lack of effort to retain season ticket holders is incredible to me.  To continue to reintroduce the same "benefits" to the season ticket holders, without as much as a telephone call is indicative of the lack of loyalty to those of us who have spent a significant amount of our hard earned money, for a far less than stellar product.

Free food nights, where many of us do not glutinously indulge, preseason parties with the team would be great if the product was worthwhile, and the players had a tendency to last more than a few months until the annual rebuild, and even more spectacular, selling tickets to the games with hats, drinks, mugs, and food for $35, makes those of us who paid full price feel a little short changed.  In addition, the PSL lacks any credibility.  Not only do we not get the opportunity to sit in the prime seats that we paid for (NCAA basketball etc.), there is risk that we may be moved outside of the lower bowl for the NHL All Star game.  I realize that the NHL drives this, but what good is the PSL?

Further, from my personal perspective, chasing a long time season ticket holder from the arena with a security detail and a Columbus Police Officer, for an approved sign because "management doesn't like it", then not so much as a follow up, an apology, or even recognition that your security detail completely disregarded my first amendment rights, is shameful.  As a veteran who served to protect those very rights, I am appalled, and ashamed that the organization gives such low regard to our constitution.  You, and your organization are a failure in this regard, and each of you should feel embarrassed.  It was nice to see though, that the recognition in the Dispatch, as well as ESPN, showed the fans disgust with the continued failures and lack of direction.

With this in mind, I find it distressing that the leadership of this team, after evaluating their performance, can comfortably continue to draw salaries from the organization.  I am certain that an employee of mine, or me for that matter would not retain a job if performance were as substandard as that of the leadership of this organization.  With that in mind, I would like to issue the 13 point challenge to the leadership and athletes on the team.  This challenge is indicative of the fact that no team has made the playoffs (at least in the modern day era, maybe forever) after being 13 points out of the last playoff spot.  Under this challenge, which formerly would have crossed the 13 point threshold in February or March, but of late has been more so in the early winter, rather than February or March (it was actually December 1st this year, the LA Kings in 8th place had 30 points & the CBJ had 17 points), the leadership of the team (Mr. Howson and Mr. Priest) will donate their paychecks to the worthy charity of their choice, following the passing of the 13 point deficit.  I would also like to see the athletes donate a portion of their salaries also, but understand that this would make Columbus an even further less than desirable market for talent.  Further, it would be of strong interest for the season ticket holders to be able to allocate some of our payments, post crossing the threshold, to our charity of choice.  These funds should not be reduced from team revenue (as other, more competitive organizations should not foot the bill for the CBJ lack of performance), thus ownership will drive accountability in the leaders that they employ.

I fully realize may be a little far fetched, and likely will not be given serious consideration, and maybe I am just venting, but I cannot stand by, dropping payments for this inadequately led organization.  

Mr. McConnell, it is time that the annual rebuild end.  Let's build a winner, your loyal fans have begun to dwindle, even reverting to organizations calling for a new start (see web page jacketsfans.com - F.A.N.S. =  For A New Start). We are ready; we are die hard, and want more than a slogan of hard core hockey.

Roger A. Schaefer

Account number 480467"

Very powerful and thank you for sharing Roger.

For A New Start (F.A.N.S.)

Mocked


This was brought to our attention from a CBJ fan named Deanna's (pictured above with her mother Evelyn) facebook page:

"Well FANS I had entirely too many comments to add here so if youd like to hear more go to my page, all being said if you dont know me yet I STILL love my Jackets (why?) but I asure you from my side this is all said with love...

YET two interesting comments were made last night and into this morning Id like to share so heres In Case You Missed It:

1st: Flipping to the Flyers - Tampa Bay game intermission Liam McHugh (over on NBC) giving Highlights of CBJ - Wings game said "Hey did anyone let Columbus know they are already officially The Worst in NHL? Or did they miss hearing that?" (I have nothing more to add to this so fill in your own ___)

The 2nd: On NBC again this time on Post Game an interesting convo between Bill Patrick and Jeremy Roenick again describing same game using the words "Clinic, Carnage, Wings Rolled Over the Jackets, No Coverage, Goal Tending is Pathetic" as IF thats not painful enough they then proceeeded to HUMM CIRCUS MUSIC! Where Bill Patrick snickered and says "Oh were not laughing at you.." Followed by Mr. Jeremy Roenick comment of "YES WE ARE!!" (FANS again I insert a ___ for your own thoughts but I was wounded by the game and at again being the laughing stock of the NHL or all pro sports for that matter)"

The continuous mocking of the Blue Jackets such as this is happening every day, every where (including Columbus), in every hockey circle.  This franchise has become the butt end of every professional sports joke and it's unacceptable.

We, as fans, hold this franchise to a much higher standard and it's time ownership did as well.

The mockery must end.

Thanks to Deanna for the post and the picture!  Absolutely LOVE the original shirts!!

For A New Start (F.A.N.S.) 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Dolphins Owner Ross Calls Protester To Discuss Team's Offseason Moves

Here is part of an article from SportsBusinesDaily.com regarding the reaction of Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross to a fan protest held by 25 Dolphins fans last week:

"A fan protest at Dolphins HQs last Tuesday “created a ground swell powerful enough to reach the top of the embattled franchise,” and team Owner Stephen Ross “reached out to at least one of those upset fans Thursday night,” according to Izzy Gould of the South Florida SUN-SENTINEL. Dolphins CEO Mike Dee “arranged the call” to 20-year season-ticket holder Jason Lawrence, who said, "I was nervous as hell. I was shaking, and everything. I thought they were going to be upset. ... It was the coolest thing I ever did in my whole life." Lawrence said that he “asked about the decision to trade leading wide receiver Marshall to Chicago for two third-round draft picks.” Lawrence: "(Ross) said they had been shopping (Marshall) for a couple weeks. Nobody would return their phone calls about getting him. If Chicago didn't take (Marshall) … they would have ended up cutting him very shortly after that, and got nothing" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 3/24).

SHREWD MOVE? YAHOO SPORTS’ Doug Farrar wrote the phone call was “an interesting gambit, but there's still something rotten going on in that organization ... and all the PR spackle in the world won't make it go away” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 3/24). The MIAMI HERALD’s Salguero in an open letter to the team wrote under the header, “Dear Miami Dolphins, We Can’t Stand It Anymore!” Salguero: “If things don’t get better for us, things are going to get worse for you.” He continued: “In past years, you could explain the reasons for such struggles and get sympathy or understanding. But we’re not hearing it anymore. That’s what happens when people get fed up” (MIAMI HERALD, 3/25)."

Sounds awfully familiar doesn't it?

Check out the rest of the article here.

-F.A.N.S.-