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Touching story on one of our players.

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Old
12-25-2007, 01:10 PM
  #1
Timeless Winter
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Touching story on one of our players.

I found this on myspace, whoever runs the Blue Jackets myspace page posted this today. This is awesome.



Tuesday, December 25, 2007 3:13 AM
By Michael Arace

There's an athlete in town who tries his best to do the right thing, but he doesn't want it trumpeted. This being the holiday season, there is a surplus of trumpets. I'm holding one right now. I'll try not to blow it too hard, but it's going to be difficult.

This athlete's story, as most stories of this sort, begins with good parents. They didn't have much, but they weren't destitute. The kids' clothes were all hand-me-downs, and their sports equipment was what a car dealer might call pre-owned. When it came to playing in pricey leagues, mom and dad volunteered for endless fundraisers to provide the opportunity. That was life.

They understood who they were, which is to say they didn't focus on what they did not have. Rather, they made sacrifices to facilitate. They also made sure their kids knew that, despite the difficulties in their paths, there were others far less fortunate. All a kid had to do was walk down the street to understand.

This athlete was doubly blessed, then. He actually listened to his parents, so he understood nothing was going to be handed to him. And he lucked out in the gene pool. He grew into a big, and eventually strong, young man, in possession of superior physical tools designed for his sport.

Eventually, he was a marquee draft pick and, as such, money was shoveled in his direction.

His father was waiting for this moment.

"The biggest thing about my parents is, they're very humble people," the athlete said. "They made me humble. When things calmed down, my dad had a talk with me. He wanted me to understand that when you are given something, it's important to give back. It's a responsibility."

The athlete is uncomfortable.

"I'm a private guy," he said.

I'll write this quietly, then.

There are the glass seats in Nationwide Arena. The athlete buys up prime seats and gives them to charities to do with as they wish. Few know who's behind the donations.

There is the scholarship. The athlete has funded an athletic scholarship at Ohio State, even though he has no direct connection to the university. Such endowments run six figures. The university trots out the donors at football games, but this athlete declined to be a part of that show. Most of his teammates don't even know of his involvement.

There is the holiday charity, Santa's Silent Helpers. The athlete is providing food and toys for 50 disadvantaged families in Central Ohio. The athlete sends the money, local churches identify the needy recipients in their parishes and cheer is spread. It is impossible to understand the depth of this cheer until you have delivered it, or received it.

There are the personal appearances. The athlete is prominent enough to be in high demand at team functions, including all the junk that sponsors demand. He does these things as part of the job. He does Nationwide Children's Hospital visits as part of his life, and he does not shy away from the oncology ward.

There is the foundation, which is in the works. It will provide for a multitude of charitable organizations both here and in Canada. Among its targets is funding for breast cancer research and awareness. The athlete's grandmother had breast cancer, so the cause is important to him.

"What I really love doing is the kids things," the athlete says. "I love seeing the smiles."

The athlete goes on to explain what it was like growing up in Toronto, getting the chance to meet Doug Gilmour or Wendel Clark or Mats Sundin.

"I was over the moon," the athlete said. "It's not quite like that here, but we still have to sell the game here, and I really enjoy being in front of the kids."

To that end, there is the No. 61 Club. The athlete has bought 30 tickets to all 41 Blue Jackets home games. The tickets are donated to kids who participate in a program emphasizing the importance of physical fitness and making healthy choices. When a kid hits a goal, he or she gets a seat to a Jackets game. The athlete was in on the design and implementation, and he puts his face out in front of it as often as he can.

There are the stories about scads of autographed sticks and hats and jerseys, and about how the athlete will pop up at this rink or that and give away his free time for the fun of it.

"We don't even know about the stuff he does," said one teammate. "I know him pretty well, and I don't know the half of it. That's what makes it so special."

The athlete is still uncomfortable.

"I feel pretty lucky," the athlete said. "I didn't grow up with a lot of things. Now, I'm in a good spot, and I'm fortunate to be in a place where I can help people that need help. Most things I do, I do private. I'm a quiet guy, a regular person. I just want to give something back, in my own way."

Merry Christmas to all, including Rick Nash.

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Old
12-25-2007, 01:58 PM
  #2
Goaliemon89
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Way to go, Rick!

We love you....keep doing what your doing....

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12-25-2007, 01:58 PM
  #3
orthosrgn2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timeless Winter View Post
I found this on myspace, whoever runs the Blue Jackets myspace page posted this today. This is awesome.



Tuesday, December 25, 2007 3:13 AM
By Michael Arace

There's an athlete in town who tries his best to do the right thing, but he doesn't want it trumpeted. This being the holiday season, there is a surplus of trumpets. I'm holding one right now. I'll try not to blow it too hard, but it's going to be difficult.

This athlete's story, as most stories of this sort, begins with good parents. They didn't have much, but they weren't destitute. The kids' clothes were all hand-me-downs, and their sports equipment was what a car dealer might call pre-owned. When it came to playing in pricey leagues, mom and dad volunteered for endless fundraisers to provide the opportunity. That was life.

They understood who they were, which is to say they didn't focus on what they did not have. Rather, they made sacrifices to facilitate. They also made sure their kids knew that, despite the difficulties in their paths, there were others far less fortunate. All a kid had to do was walk down the street to understand.

This athlete was doubly blessed, then. He actually listened to his parents, so he understood nothing was going to be handed to him. And he lucked out in the gene pool. He grew into a big, and eventually strong, young man, in possession of superior physical tools designed for his sport.

Eventually, he was a marquee draft pick and, as such, money was shoveled in his direction.

His father was waiting for this moment.

"The biggest thing about my parents is, they're very humble people," the athlete said. "They made me humble. When things calmed down, my dad had a talk with me. He wanted me to understand that when you are given something, it's important to give back. It's a responsibility."

The athlete is uncomfortable.

"I'm a private guy," he said.

I'll write this quietly, then.

There are the glass seats in Nationwide Arena. The athlete buys up prime seats and gives them to charities to do with as they wish. Few know who's behind the donations.

There is the scholarship. The athlete has funded an athletic scholarship at Ohio State, even though he has no direct connection to the university. Such endowments run six figures. The university trots out the donors at football games, but this athlete declined to be a part of that show. Most of his teammates don't even know of his involvement.

There is the holiday charity, Santa's Silent Helpers. The athlete is providing food and toys for 50 disadvantaged families in Central Ohio. The athlete sends the money, local churches identify the needy recipients in their parishes and cheer is spread. It is impossible to understand the depth of this cheer until you have delivered it, or received it.

There are the personal appearances. The athlete is prominent enough to be in high demand at team functions, including all the junk that sponsors demand. He does these things as part of the job. He does Nationwide Children's Hospital visits as part of his life, and he does not shy away from the oncology ward.

There is the foundation, which is in the works. It will provide for a multitude of charitable organizations both here and in Canada. Among its targets is funding for breast cancer research and awareness. The athlete's grandmother had breast cancer, so the cause is important to him.

"What I really love doing is the kids things," the athlete says. "I love seeing the smiles."

The athlete goes on to explain what it was like growing up in Toronto, getting the chance to meet Doug Gilmour or Wendel Clark or Mats Sundin.

"I was over the moon," the athlete said. "It's not quite like that here, but we still have to sell the game here, and I really enjoy being in front of the kids."

To that end, there is the No. 61 Club. The athlete has bought 30 tickets to all 41 Blue Jackets home games. The tickets are donated to kids who participate in a program emphasizing the importance of physical fitness and making healthy choices. When a kid hits a goal, he or she gets a seat to a Jackets game. The athlete was in on the design and implementation, and he puts his face out in front of it as often as he can.

There are the stories about scads of autographed sticks and hats and jerseys, and about how the athlete will pop up at this rink or that and give away his free time for the fun of it.

"We don't even know about the stuff he does," said one teammate. "I know him pretty well, and I don't know the half of it. That's what makes it so special."

The athlete is still uncomfortable.

"I feel pretty lucky," the athlete said. "I didn't grow up with a lot of things. Now, I'm in a good spot, and I'm fortunate to be in a place where I can help people that need help. Most things I do, I do private. I'm a quiet guy, a regular person. I just want to give something back, in my own way."

Merry Christmas to all, including Rick Nash.
I think this is great and needs to be broadcast. We are often too quick to criticize and too slow to compliment. I was finally to my first CBJ game in 2 years for the Nashville game 12/23 and I believe I heard an announcement that indicated that Nik Zherdev has purchased tickets for kids too. I am very proud of them for these efforts and can only say a vocal Merry Christmas to both.

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Old
12-25-2007, 02:22 PM
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I read this earlier today on the Dispatch website and I got choked up. It's wonderful to see this, especially from someone in Rick's position. More professional athletes, and everyone in general, should follow Rick's lead.

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12-25-2007, 05:25 PM
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I read this at breakfast this morning as well. Very good piece. Nash...your a good dude. Hope your in a CBJ sweater for life!!

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Old
12-25-2007, 05:27 PM
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Wow

Nash=CLASS

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Old
12-25-2007, 09:00 PM
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i'm proud to own his jersey

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Old
12-26-2007, 12:31 AM
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What a great story, not surprising though. Hockey players are the most giving, most approachable and most down to earth of ALL professional athletes by FAR! You read and see stories about hockey players visiting hospitals and giving back all the time. Sadly you rarely see this out of NBA, NFL or MLB players, the only articles you find written about these people away from the field involve the police or steroids or other drugs in some way. And most of the time those athletes don't even have time for someone when they ask for an autograph.

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Old
12-26-2007, 06:07 AM
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Great article, please dont leave us Rick. Management better be willing to do ANYTHING to keep this kid happy and keep him around for years to come. Everyone preaches how next year is the year, and thats said every year, but I have fears that Rick will get tired of waiting for management to put out a competative team and leave when he's an UFA (which is only 2 1/2 years away), better get to work soon Scottie or there will be a lynch mob after you if Rick decides to leave because we're not trying to be competative.

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Old
12-26-2007, 06:09 AM
  #10
Dr. Fire
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This was on the front page of the sports section of the Dispatch.

Nicely done by Arace.

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12-26-2007, 12:51 PM
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Well written and i got the feeling it was him from the start of the article. Its good to be reminded of what really counts.
<3 U 61.

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Old
12-26-2007, 02:15 PM
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Thats it!

I had been debating who to get a named jersey for. I already have a Nash old jersey in the closet and wasn't going to get a new one with him on it "to be different" and "because everybody else had a Nash Jersey"

Forget that, I can't think of any other player in the league I respect more.

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Old
12-26-2007, 04:28 PM
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That's good stuff right there, I don't care who you are.

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Old
12-26-2007, 09:09 PM
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It's great to hear about all the wonderful things this kid has done over the years. He's a great player and a wonderful human being as well.

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Old
01-01-2008, 04:25 PM
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OMG! I can now eat my own words- GULP! I thought that this kid had too much too soon and come to find out- he's just like you and I would love to be able to be! Get that??

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