My irrational hatred of the definitely not Conference III Columbus Blue Jackets bears fruit at Puck Daddy.
Fantastic. Needed some digs at the Penguins to reinforce the idea that we’re really all just rooting for the Pens to lose (even if I do find the Blue Jackets to be fun to root for.) They’re in that strange state where, if they start winning a lot, the plucky underdog Jackets will suddenly become hated by everyone, but if they keep losing, they become irrelevant. They’re the epitome of a team that needs to be mediocre to attract attention, but positive attention.
Their fate is to be the Atlanta Hawks of the NHL. And I can’t think of any worse fate than to be the eternal plucky underdog for so long that you no longer matter. Sic Transit Gloria Mundi, Jackets. But, in your case, it’s Sic Transit Mediocritas Mundi. (That may be a bit messed up, but my Latin is rusty.)
Your Latin is close enough and therefore worthy of praise
There is one inescapable truth that has yet to be addressed: no one can hate Columbus as much as we already hate ourselves. Donning uniformly XL “We are the 5th Line” shirts, freely doled out at the ticket gates before each playoff game, we allowed the Blue Jackets to indulge a desperate search for identity. Do we know what horrible future almost certainly awaits this team? Of course we do, but for a moment we allow the fleeting spotlight to illuminate our overgrown college town. Indeed, it is a city otherwise pathetically overshadowed by two other Ohio cities that have somehow retained relative prominence and strong identities despite declining into husks of their former selves. Rejected by III, entirely overlooked by the East, and marginalized within our own state, we cling to every vestige of original identity, however ethereal. You are correct, we will march to the box office and purchase overpriced Johansen jerseys, but we do so with the constant, gripping knowledge that mediocrity is likely the ultimate, and best, result. Much as the nation turns their attention to Ohio once every four years, we revel in the temporary notoriety, but with an omnipresent, dark self-loathing. Such is our burden.
I should be full of rage, ready to spit venom from my keyboard at the author who dare question the Jackets, but the truth is that your eulogy fittingly articulates what we all already know in our hearts. It seems appropriate to leave with a piece of history: we are Edward V and Richard of Shrewsbury, the Princes of the Tower, thrust into prominence by circumstance, only to disappear when convenient to those truly in power.
I feel like I’m not erudite enough to even comment at CommIII but loved the CBJ eulogy, almost as much as the Red Wings eulogy last year. Wish you would just do all of them.
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