Tag Archives: Columbus

Rolling Down the Track

Greetings readers,

The Gem City Rollergirls have released their 2013 schedule, which you can catch here. Don’t know what the Gem City Rollergirls are?

The Gem City Rollergirls are a flat-track roller derby team, who call the Orbit Fun Center in Huber Heights home. The first practice was in February of 2006. The team was inspired by “Rollergirls”, a show on A&E that aired in early 2006.

Roller Derby is a high-contact sport, highly-competitive throughout the games. Anyone can join, and the Gem City website describe how everyone is different. From moms to young adults, any woman that wants to play can join the Rollergirls. Practices are every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday at the Orbit Fun Center.

Flat-track Roller Derby has different elements, compared to banked-track. It’s easier to find flat surfaces to skate on, like basketball courts and the like. Like previously stated, it is a very physical sport. Players can be hit from the shoulders to the mid-thigh. Using elbows or hitting someone from behind is a no-no. There’s a penalty box in this sport, and you can foul out of the game with too many visits to the sin bin. All the rules can be read at the WFTDA website, including the parameters of the rink, illegal hits, scoring, and terms of the sport.

I remember hearing about the Gem City Rollergirls back when I was at Wright State and WWSU. I think we advertised for them, but I’m not 100% where the connection was (like if we had someone at the station who played for Gem City.)

One of the most unique things I noticed about the local rollergirl team was the nicknames. If you look at the members of the WFTDA (Gem City is not a full member, mind you), there is a team in Cleveland called “Burning River Rollergirls.” If you look at Gem City’s roster on their site, you’ll see nicknames like “Flirtini Tease”, “Demolition Curvy”, and the “Big Red Bloodshed.” “Punky Rooster” is also one that made me chuckle a bit. The nicknames are pretty fantastic and far out of the ordinary.

If you’re looking for something cool and exciting to watch, you can’t go wrong with a little bit of Roller Derby.

Sources of information from the Gem City Rollergirls’ Facebook page and the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association. Picture from examiner.com.

Until next time,

-Lee

The Capital Double (Trouble)

Greetings readers,

I read recently on the Columbus Dispatch asking the readers if the city would be able to hold a NBA team and share a venue with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Currently, there are two pro teams in Columbus. You have the Crew for soccer fans, along with the Blue Jackets in the NHL. There are a few markets that have both a NHL and a NBA team, like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Toronto to name a few.

While a basketball team sounds nice in Columbus, will fans actually see the product? Columbus has had a few basketball teams before, recently the Horizon and the Quest.

One thing you can argue with the possibility of a basketball team is that one college in town. Of course, I mean Columbus State Community College. In all seriousness, Ohio State, Capital, Otterbein…there is a ton of college sports fans, mainly Buckeye fans.

Second, basketball has come and gone throughout Columbus. What makes this plan any sturdier than the others? The Blue Jackets used to fill the arena night in and night out, but the numbers are indeed shrinking.

Third thing: Cleveland is nearby. Would the Cavaliers mind/want a fellow foe just down Interstate 71?

One thing I would like to see is Cincinnati getting a franchise back, but would what do well with the Pacers and Cavs nearby? That’s not relevant to this, though.

Could a NBA franchise work in Columbus? With enough support, I think it would succeed. However, take into account there’s college basketball to watch in the area as well. I say draft some local college folks to play, and you have a good start.

We’ll see what happens. I don’t think Columbus will get that said NBA franchise, but it’s always fun to speculate. In the meantime, support the Crew and Blue Jackets.

Until next time,

-Lee

A City Without a Jacket

Greetings readers,

If you’ve been following the Columbus Blue Jackets this year, you would know that this year is one to forget. Yes, the Jackets did record some solid wins over the Detroit Red Wings (for the first win of the season, after starting 0-7-1) and the Winnipeg Jets, but the rest of the year has been a bummer.

As of January 22nd, the Blue Jackets are last in the National Hockey League with 13 wins and 32 points, six points behind the Edmonton Oilers who have 38 points. Columbus is coming off a 3-2 shootout loss at Detroit, who leads the NHL with 65 points and a 32-15-1 record.

The next home game for Columbus is February 7th against the Minnesota Wild. The game I’m going to next is two days after, when the Dallas Stars come to town (There’s a Career Fair that day, too.)

So you might wonder why this post exists. Is it to bash on the Blue Jackets? No. Is it to hammer in the fact that the Jackets are not doing well this year when expectations were high? No. The point is, we Ohioans are lucky to have the Blue Jackets.

What if we lose them, though?

If you look at comments from other users, say ESPN, on the article about Scott Arniel’s firing, you’ll see some comments saying “Move them to Quebec City or Hamilton (Canada, not Ohio)!!” That could happen, you know.

These rumors have been swirling around the Phoenix Coyotes for the longest time, and could very well happen soon if a buyer decides to fork the cash over. Same thing can happen to the Jackets.

You could argue with anyone saying that Columbus could be a better hockey market than Phoenix, that the Coyotes have had longer time to become successful (1996 compared to 2000, or 1997 if you want to include the year the NHL gave Columbus the team), and every positive point for the Jackets. However, the buyer won’t care about those if there’s an opportunity to purchase, relocate, and profit.

What would the loss of the hockey team do to Columbus? Well, you have loss of jobs for one. People who work in the arena would see hours slashed, jobs cut, and what would be the point of the FSN Ohio Blue Line stores in the arena and Tuttle Crossing Mall when there’s no hockey team? Second, the Arena District would take a hit. Less people buying means less profits.

I know what you’re thinking: “There’s Ohio State!” Okay, but that’s a bit north of Nationwide. Sure, the Buckeyes could play a lot more in Nationwide Arena, but where does that leave The Schott? More importantly, what if someone doesn’t like Ohio State or college sports in general? How do you attract the fan then?

There’s also the Columbus Crew, but that’s also far north from the Arena District and during the months where the Blue Jackets don’t play.

While you could try bringing professional basketball back to Columbus, there’s no guarantees that will plug the loss of the Blue Jackets to the city. Would it be a repeat of the Columbus Horizon? Also, would Nationwide be too big for a new basketball team?

Argue all you want, but losing the Blue Jackets would hurt Columbus. So, embrace that you still have a hockey team, even though it’s been a tough ride for the Jackets.

Stats from ESPN, recorded on January 22nd, 2012.

Until next time,

-Lee

Command and Conference

Greetings readers,

The NHL recently configured a four conference alignment, to go into place next season.

Hockey fans should be asking “Where will my team play and who against?” Let’s break down the conferences, which are still unnamed.

Conference A is all of the Western teams of the Anaheim Ducks, the Calgary Flames, the Colorado Avalanche, the Edmonton Oilers, the Los Angeles Kings, the Phoenix Coyotes, the San Jose Sharks and the Vancouver Canucks.

Conference B deals with the Midwestern teams, such as the Chicago Blackhawks, the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Dallas Stars, the Detroit Red Wings, the Minnesota Wild, the Nashville Predators, the Saint Louis Blues, and the Winnipeg Jets.

Conferences C and D are dealt with the Eastern teams, but are split differently. The C Conference has Boston, Buffalo, Florida, Montreal, Ottawa, Tampa Bay, and Toronto. Conference D deals with Carolina, New Jersey, both New York teams, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Washington.

One nice thing about the alignment is how the rivalries are still in tact. Columbus gets to play Detroit, the Pennsylvania teams are together, the two Florida teams are together, etc…

Another nice detail is the “home-and-home” deal, where all teams play at least twice.

One question I have is how will this grid be realigned if a team does relocate? We have all heard by now that Quebec City passed a bill to protect a big corporation from any lawsuits dealing with building an arena fit for today’s NHL standards. We’ve also heard quite frequently that Phoenix is going to fly out of the desert.

If the new Nordiques were to form soon, how many ripples will that create? If the Islanders are the team to pack up and leave, that makes it easier for travel reasons, but not for rivalry reasons unless you swap out a team from Conference C. If Phoenix leaves and does land in Quebec City, then what? You can’t make them play where all the West Coast teams play (well you could, but for the sake of argument…) You could possibly flop teams around, like Dallas now plays in A and you have the new team playing in either C or D.

I do like the new setup. As a Blue Jackets fan, we get to see the Jets more, as well as continue to play the Blackhawks, Predators, Blues, and Red Wings.

Something else I forgot to mention are the games outside the Eastern timezone. The Blue Jackets will only have eight games to play out of the Eastern timezone.

We’ll see how it pans out for next year.

Sources of information from ESPN, the website of the Columbus Blue Jackets, and the CBC.

Until next time,

-Lee

The Blue Cannons

Greetings readers,

If you haven’t heard, the Columbus Blue Jackets have a third jersey out now. If you haven’t seen it, take a look.

The new logo is circular, with the words “Columbus Blue Jackets” around a blue cannon. On the bottom is a star.

In my opinion, these are nice jerseys and a great way to “roll out the heavy artillery.” With two types of blue (Union and Steel), Vintage White, and Capital Silver, these jerseys ditch the red seen in the main logo (mainly on the Ohio flag.)

With the third jersey, Columbus joins several teams in the NHL that already have a third. If you read this article from Bleacher Report, you’ll see some of the alternatives that were worn last year. Also, the New York Rangers debuted a new alternative jersey this season as well.

The alternatives have a different font than the regular home and away sets. This set will be worn on the road three times and at home. If you like to find out the schedule, give the “check it out” link another click (on the bottom of the page.)

To be honest, when I first heard about the new alternative, I was hoping Columbus would get a red top, despite Detroit being the Red Wings. I understand why the Jackets went with the blue (not just because of Detroit, but because of the team’s salute for the Union army in the Civil War.) These jerseys look nice and will debut against the Red Wings on the 26th, at Nationwide Arena.

Until next time,

-Lee