Today’s edition of the #CBJ Community Spotlight focuses on John Kemp, champion of #CBJ00 and milk. Everyone should be following John, if nothing else, for his delayed reaction game-tweets during the season. John doesn’t get to watch the games until later in the evening after everyone already knows the result. With all of the 3rd period collapses this season you got several gems around 1am along the lines of “Up by 2 after two periods, looks like we’re winning this one!” which we all knew wasn’t the case. He’s got a great sense of humor and he knows his hockey, though he apparently can’t count to 5 (as you’ll see later). He’s a #CBJ optimist like me so that earns him several points in my book!
Who is John? In his own words:
I’m that #CBJ fan on twitter that typically isn’t able to watch any games live on TV, and will watch them via DVR later in the night. Since I can’t live tweet my thoughts while watching, they usually come out in a big batch around midnight or 1am for no one to see!
I grew up in Wisconsin and moved to Ohio just before High School. During all of those years in Wisconsin, I didn’t play hockey or watch much NHL. It wasn’t until the Blue Jackets came to Columbus that I realized a true respect and passion for the game.
In 2002, after about a year of trying roller hockey, I bought ice hockey gear (most of it from @morgan_ward_140) and started to learn to skate (mostly from @morgan_ward_140). I was addicted the moment I first stepped on the ice with full gear, and I’ve played hockey at least once per week ever since (10 years).
I greatly enjoy playing hockey outdoors, and it inspired me to put up a 22’ x 42’ ice rink in my back yard. I will also spend one weekend a year in Michigan playing pond hockey with friends. When I play outside, I become “Buckeye Gretzky”. A you tube search for that name will being up a couple of videos of @Buckeye_Gretzky.
On to the questions!
The easy questions:
1. Favorite #CBJ player & why:
Rick Nash. For me, Rick Nash IS the Blue Jackets. He was the first and pretty much the only All Star we’ve seen, and the way he has embraced the team and city commands a lot of respect. You can question his ability to take a team over as a captain, but from the time I was 5 rows away when he scored his first NHL goal in his first NHL game, I’ve been hooked. It will be a very sad day for me if (when) he gets traded. All of the speculation and rumors have helped soften the blow, but it will be difficult to stomach seeing #61 in another sweater. I just hope the return will be good, and in the end it will work out best for both parties.
2. Favorite non-#CBJ player & why:
Martin St Louis. Tough to explain why, but I’ve always enjoyed watching him play. Maybe I just like seeing a little guy do well in the NHL. He was a Hobey Baker Award finalist, and is 5’ 8”. He also led the NHL in points with 94 during the ‘03-’04 season. (*cough, Cam Atkinson).
3. Favorite #CBJ moment:
Without question Game 4. I have a hard time putting into words the emotion that all of Nationwide Arena felt for that entire game. It was unlike anything I have ever seen, and I will always remember it. Imagine the perfect meal in front of you, and you are allowed to take just one bite. Game 4 whet the appetite for many CBJ fans, and we are all desperate to feel that again.
4. Favorite general hockey moment:
Playing in a Chiller Rec League team that went 12-0 during the regular season and 3-0 in the playoffs for the only hockey Championship title I’ve ever been a part of. Also, just about every minute skating outside during the annual pond hockey weekends.
5. Team you would root for if #CBJ had never existed (not moved):
Probably Toronto. You gotta love their history and passion of the fans. I once declared the Maple Leafs as my play-off team to root for since the CBJ never make it, but they haven’t exactly been playing well either lately. Other than CBJ, I think I would enjoy seeing the Leafs win a Cup the most.
6. Favorite non-#CBJ jersey (in general, not that you own):
While I like how obnoxious the Oakland Seals jerseys are, I enjoy the Montreal Red, and the Pittsburgh alternate baby blues. I have a thing against buying jerseys, but I decided to make one exception to that rule, if I ever can find an HC Davos jersey from 2004 with #61 Nash on it.
Some tougher questions:
7. What are your expectations for the #CBJ in the next 1, 3 and 5 years:
One of my favorite things about being a Super Fan is the right to turn off rational thought. All reason tells me that no matter what, ’12-’13 has to be a building year, but it’s so much more enjoyable to think that it will make a great story to see the team go from worst to the play-offs next year. Even with my eternal optimism, I still can’t see this team going as far as the third round of the play offs even within 5 years. Over 3-5 years I hope to see consistency with this club, and where having a play-off team actually becomes normal, like it is to other spoiled fans.
8. If you were GM of the #CBJ, who do you draft at second overall & why:
If Yakupov is there at 2, I would want the CBJ to draft him, but since that is not likely, then one of the skilled forwards (I can’t tell you which one, but whichever one doesn’t work out in a few years, not him). Ryan Murray may be NHL ready according to scouts, but the Blue Jackets are actually *decent* at defense, and this fan base may be too fragile right now to not get a high scoring prospect kid in here to save the day.
9. Would you rather see the #CBJ be more competitive next season but miss the playoffs or get another high draft pick & why:
I cannot handle another season of losing. One thing this team has had a lot of is high draft picks. It is just too hard to predict (or they are very bad at it). Either way, give me a season that keeps me engaged and glued to my DVR at midnight on game nights for all 82 games.
10. Can you list something(s) that you like and something(s) you’d like to see changed with the #CBJ community:
The twitter specific #CBJ community is great. I really enjoy having daily interactions with fellow Super Fans. I love meeting all of the personalities at the various TweetUp events. This team has never won a Play-off game, and was dead last in the league all year. You wouldn’t know it based on the energy the #CBJ fans bring. It is very impressive, and I’m happy to be part of it.
Want changed: It’s inevitable, but losing can really split a fan base. When Howson traded for Carter, he was praised highly. Now it seems CBJ fans fall into two camps, those that trust Howson to turn it around, and those that want him gone. I can’t say either are right or wrong, but another great thing about a winning season is not to have to even debate it.
11. Who are 5 #CBJ twitter accounts you think more people should be following?
These don’t count as part of my 5, but when you first sign up for twitter and declare yourself as a CBJ fan, your first 6 follows should be @AlisonL, @DarkBlueJacket, @JeffLittle_10MM, @bzarcher, @CBJProspects and @RobMixer. You should also be following @RedditCBJ, but if you are reading this, then you probably already are…
- @SirChadlyOC – Very funny, always seems to jump into a conversation at the right time and crack me up.
- @AKrygier – Also very funny, and quick to make fun of just about everything.
- @Canadan82 – Very knowledgeable CBJ fan, and I tend to agree with him on just about everything except trading Nash.
- @derdrache – Great guy, and terrific photographer. Epic beard as well.
- @Morgan_Ward_140 – Taught me pretty much everything I know about NHL history, how to play the game (in a rec league), and has a great Blog I’ll highlight in the next section.
- @osujoe – Best friend since Freshmen year in college, Joe is the co-host of the Cannon Report podcast. They just finished their first season of the show, and it is well worth you checking it out. Very funny, and mostly hockey talk… thecannonreport.com
12. Any shout outs you want to give or blogs/twitter accounts you want to help promote?
Go subscribe to the Distinct Kicking Motion Blog: distinctkickingmotion.blogspot.com
And follow @DKM_Hockey. It brings honest perspective from a long time player, coach and lover of hockey. You will find some great blog pieces and hockey poetry from time to time. Also, the @CBJ_Bulldog is a contributor to this site and is the biggest CBJ fan you will see.
13. Any final thoughts… on anything? (optional)
3 fun facts:
- In an effort to not share a hashtag with non Blue Jacket fans, I once gained some momentum in a movement to use #CBJ00 which started to get people asking questions and finally the official CBJ twitter account announced they were not changing #CBJ.
- I organized #PracFest last year, but had to do it during the week, thus a rather limited turn out. Will try to get it going on a Sat this season.
- I also play Boomer on Twitter (@CBJ_Boomer). Secret is out now, ran out of good puns anyway…
Embrace being a fan.
Enjoy what it means to get excited for every trade. draft or free agent pick up.
Allow yourself to have ridiculous optimism.
Be patient, our time will come…