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Old
02-05-2012, 01:13 PM
  #1
leesmith
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The Identity Thread

For years, our franchise has struggled for an identity. Outside of the Hitch years, where we tried to play a "heavy" game, the only term that has consistently been used to describe the Blue Jackets is "FRAGILE." Scott Howson is always reacting to what "Boston did last year" or "what Pittsburgh did (to sign their core long term)" instead of proactively identifying what works for COLUMBUS.

I think the team's identity should match the city they represent. This is a challenge because the Convention and Visitors Bureau doesn't even know what Columbus' identity is. So I'd like to discuss some thoughts on what our team's identity should be - not pretending to have all the answers here.

Here's my take, I welcome dissenting opinions:

We're Midwesterners. We value hard work and earning your money. The Columbus Crew have this right, at least in words. The Blue Jackets also have to be one of the "Hardest Working Team(s) in America." Maybe that's one reason why we get so pissed about optional practices or a country club culture?

We're the education capital of Ohio. We're one of the centers of market research and medical research in America. Batelle is located here. We value intelligence. The Blue Jackets not only have to work harder, we have to work smarter.

With all that it mind, I believe our hockey team's identity should be a team that's "never outworked, never outsmarted."

Any other ideas?


Last edited by leesmith: 02-05-2012 at 02:26 PM. Reason: Revised to remove confusing reference to Ohio State
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02-05-2012, 01:29 PM
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Well, I don't consider myself a "Midwesterner" and I am definitely not a Buckeye. So you have kind of left me behind at the starting gate.

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02-05-2012, 01:30 PM
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And I have always equated "Midwesterner" with gullible.

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02-05-2012, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by EDM View Post
And I have always equated "Midwesterner" with gullible.
You're confusing gullibility with "loyalty."


Last edited by leesmith: 02-05-2012 at 02:16 PM.
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02-05-2012, 01:42 PM
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Also, I'll add, this is the sign that hangs in the CBJ training room. These are the operating standards (aka "rules") for franchise members, but it is WAY too long to describe an "identity." An "identity" should be able to be tweeted.


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02-05-2012, 01:44 PM
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Yes, those 2 concepts are closely related. Gullible is a unwise form of loyalty.

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02-05-2012, 01:44 PM
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The Jackets should duplicate Nashville's identity - solid goaltending, great defense and opportunistic offense with a solid farm system for developing players in-house. That's how you win as a small market team in the NHL. Does Trotz have a brother that coaches, or can we at least find some other coach without a neck?

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02-05-2012, 01:46 PM
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Comparing how things work in Columbus between football and hockey is laughable.

OSU is one of the top places to be in all of college football. They have a long, winning culture. That's something we don't have in hockey. A top coach isn't going to want to come here with the incompetence we have in the upper management.

I think that's part of the problem with CBJ hockey fans they are always comparing things to college football, I could careless about college football.

I'm definitely no buckeye either.

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02-05-2012, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v3rs3 View Post
Comparing how things work in Columbus between football and hockey is laughable.

I think that's part of the problem with CBJ hockey fans they are always comparing things to college football, I could careless about college football.
You're right, but we do. Hitchcock recognized that and tapped into it.

Quote:
I'm definitely no buckeye either
Understood, but the vast majority of people who support this team are, or once were, residents of Ohio.

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02-05-2012, 02:13 PM
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I live in Ohio and I'm not a buckeye. I couldn't care less about collage sports. If your good go pro.

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02-05-2012, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by postalpez View Post
I live in Ohio and I'm not a buckeye. I couldn't care less about collage sports. If your good go pro.
Would you say the majority of people who root for the CBJ also root FOR the Buckeyes or against the Buckeyes? I'm a Bobcat, but I root FOR the Buckeyes (unless it's a mascot fight).

But you, v3rs3 and EDM make a fair point. My use of Ohio State in my premise has distracted from, rather than contributed to, the topic at hand. Let's take the Ohio State stuff out of the discussion.

I've revised my opening statement.


Last edited by leesmith: 02-05-2012 at 02:25 PM.
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02-05-2012, 02:20 PM
  #12
pete goegan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leesmith View Post
For years, our franchise has struggled for an identity. Outside of the Hitch years, where we tried to play a "heavy" game, the only term that has consistently been used to describe the Blue Jackets is "FRAGILE." Scott Howson is always reacting to what "Boston did last year" or "what Pittsburgh did (to sign their core long term)" instead of proactively identifying what works for COLUMBUS.

I think the team's identity should match the city they represent. This is a challenge because the Convention and Visitors Bureau doesn't even know what Columbus' identity is. So I'd like to discuss some thoughts on what our team's identity should be - not pretending to have all the answers here.

Here's my take, I welcome dissenting opinions:

We're Ohioans. We value hard work and earning your money. The Columbus Crew have this right, at least in words. The Blue Jackets also have to be one of the "Hardest Working Team(s) in America." Maybe that's one reason why we get so pissed about optional practices or a country club culture?

We're the education capital of Ohio. We're one of the centers of market research and medical research in America. Batelle is located here. We value intelligence. The Blue Jackets not only have to work harder, we have to work smarter.

We're Midwesterners. It's important to be nice. None of this crap about leaving a fan autograph session because you "have better things to do." The CBJ Foundation used to be a great source of price when Wendy Bradshaw ran it. That needs to be restored.

We're Buckeyes. We like and EXPECT to win. We should NEVER shy away from saying the word WIN. When the Buckeyes bring in talent for their football and basketball programs, do they bring in high school coaches and hope they'll learn on the job? No, they go out and get the best talent they can get at the time. It's not about "competing," being a Buckeye (in the state resident sense of the word) is about WINNING. And especially winning against all things Michigan whether it be sports or building cars.

With all that it mind, I believe our hockey team's identity should be a team that's "never outworked, never outsmarted and hates to lose."

Any other ideas?
I think you've done an excellent job, here, leesmith.

And EDM, though you're certainly entitled to your opinion, you're comments say much more about you than about Midwesterners.

One does not have to be a Buckeye to be a buckeye - it's the state nickname, as well as the school's.

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02-05-2012, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pete goegan View Post
I think you've done an excellent job, here, leesmith.

And EDM, though you're certainly entitled to your opinion, you're comments say much more about you than about Midwesterners.

One does not have to be a Buckeye to be a buckeye - it's the state nickname, as well as the school's.
Thanks Pete. As you know, it's important to determine the identity first, so you can THEN determine if the players and management we have fit that identity.

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02-05-2012, 03:00 PM
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Interesting proposal. The catch I see is that I don't think you set your on-ice identity by your community.

You seem to think you start from the egg, but I think it begins with the chicken.

I think identity develops more organically from your leadership and you build from those leaders down. Obviously you can pick those leaders. I've just long been skeptical about how much winning identities are truly "built" and how much is just luck or kismet.

How that identity is defined is irrelevant to me if the end result is winning.

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02-05-2012, 03:08 PM
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Added point: Once you have an identity whether it is a real thing or lazy media narrative-making, it's easy to live within those parameters, but I think the initial iteration of an identity isn't truly as constructed as fans like to think.

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02-05-2012, 03:25 PM
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A team's identity is usually drawn from management or established coaching...

Lamairello in NJ or Trotz in Nashville are examples....

Culture and Identity start at the top, there's no other way to slice it. The Top decides what players to sign, draft or trade for. They also decide who to hire and who to fire. The reason the CBJ don't have an identity isn't because of the players on the ice, its because of the suits in the pressbox.

The fact that we have no identity, five years into the Priest and Howson Era, is troubling.

We have no identity for the same reason we don't consistently win or even consistently compete, its not demanded by the men in charge.

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02-05-2012, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by postalpez View Post
I live in Ohio and I'm not a buckeye. I couldn't care less about collage sports. If your good go pro.
Being a Buckeye has nothing to do with collage sports.

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02-05-2012, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1857 Howitzer View Post
Being a Buckeye has nothing to do with collage sports.

I was going to do a collage but couldn't find enough pictures.

As far as identity goes I don't think it has to be related to ties to the city.state, etc. I think you decide one of two major ways-either a skill based, speed oriented team a la Detroit or Vancouver or you build a tough, physical team that intimidates and forces teams into mistakes. Think Flyers,Bruins,Ducks of a few years back.

Because we are far away from either I guess, I'd go for big,physical,etc. because it is probably a bit easier imo to build.

Whatever we definitely need to identify one and build toward it.

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02-05-2012, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EspenK View Post
I was going to do a collage but couldn't find enough pictures.

As far as identity goes I don't think it has to be related to ties to the city.state, etc. I think you decide one of two major ways-either a skill based, speed oriented team a la Detroit or Vancouver or you build a tough, physical team that intimidates and forces teams into mistakes. Think Flyers,Bruins,Ducks of a few years back.

Because we are far away from either I guess, I'd go for big,physical,etc. because it is probably a bit easier imo to build.

Whatever we definitely need to identify one and build toward it.

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02-05-2012, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by 1857 Howitzer View Post
Being a Buckeye has nothing to do with collage sports.
Well said. "Buckeye" is a term for all Ohioans, not just Ohio State.

Hard work, tough, honest, fighter. That's the identity I'd like to see. Giddy-up!

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02-05-2012, 06:30 PM
  #21
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I would like for this team to have an identity other than:

An easy two points

Busting your slumps

Which backup goalie is playing tonight.

Making your backup a Vezina candidate.

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02-05-2012, 06:46 PM
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I know about the buckeye nick for the state but what comes to mind is osu to most people. I spoke out mostly because of part in the origanal post about being more like osu. I still have bad blood from when osu (& the schottensteins) did everything they could to stop the jackets from coming to town.

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02-05-2012, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by postalpez View Post
I know about the buckeye nick for the state but what comes to mind is osu to most people. I spoke out mostly because of part in the origanal post about being more like osu. I still have bad blood from when osu (& the schottensteins) did everything they could to stop the jackets from coming to town.
Very understandable.

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02-05-2012, 06:55 PM
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1857 Howitzer
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Nm. .

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02-05-2012, 07:03 PM
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If these images could be incorporated into an identity, this is what I would want
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