Blog Archives

Is Ryan Johansen A Crybaby?

The Nashville Predators faced the Columbus Blue Jackets at Columbus’ Nationwide Arena this past weekend and a former Jackets player is a little miffed at how he was received.  Ryan Johansen played for the Jackets nearly four NHL seasons before being involved in a blockbuster trade that brought Seth Jones to Columbus.
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Ryan even was involved in 2015 All Star festivities in Columbus after a stellar 2014-15 season that saw him amass 26 goals and 45 assists.  It is thought in many circles that Ryan was traded because he & head coach John Tortorella did not see eye-to-eye.

Apparently when Ryan returned to Columbus this past weekend, he expected a warmer return than he received; “I am a little disappointed they didn’t put anything on the Jumbotron and say ‘thank you’ or anything like that,” Johansen told the Columbus Dispatch. “I think we all know who made that call, but whatever.”  The “who” is more than likely John Tortorella.

No, the only reception he received at Nationwide Arena was boos from the CBJ faithful.  So what do you think?  Did Ryan deserve some recognition from CBJ management or is he just being a whiner?


“Weird Al” Nails Sports Media

I am not a fan of “Weird Al” Yankovic.  The only thing of his I even remotely like is “Amish Paradise”.  Everything else of his I find rather annoying.  But I will be damned, Al & Company just perfectly captured the world of sports media in a 3:30 skit.

Watch the genius that apparently I have missed all of these years–

What Will We Do Without Football!?

So the Super Bowl is over and the New England Patriots are your NFL Champions.  So has the depression sunk in yet?  The sadness of now knowing football is done for yet another season. Couple that with the fact that Central Ohio just finished celebrating a National Championship season for the Ohio State Buckeyes and the funk becomes even greater. Cheer up friends! There are plenty of things to get excited about until the start of the next football season.

Ohio State Buckeyes Basketball
Thad Matta, D’Angelo Russell & the Ohio State Hoopsters are already in the middle of another exciting college basketball season!  It should be another fun battle in the Big Ten Conference as we head to March Madness…where the BasketBucks will probably get upset by another mid-major.

Columbus Blue Jackets
We are coming off  of a wonderful NHL All Star experience here in Columbus, so why not get behind your Columbus Blue Jackets?  Why let little things like the CBJ digging themselves into such an early hole that the Stanley Cup Playoffs seem like a pipe dream or a roster decimated by injuries to stars like Nathan Horton and Sergei Bobrovsky keep you from being a member of the “5th Line”?

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL (Cincinnati Reds & Cleveland Indians)
It won’t be long before the “Boys of Summer” will be in Arizona getting ready for another Major League Baseball season!  Don’t tell us you aren’t getting a little bit excited for a marathon 162 game season in which both the Cincinnati Reds & Cleveland Indians will march in the hot summer sun to…..most likely mediocre seasons at best.

Who are we kidding??  We are going to be miserable without football.  So keep working on those mock NFL drafts and counting the days until the Buckeyes Football Spring Game.  We can make it until then, right?

Welcome To NHL All Star Week, Columbus!

It is finally here!  NHL All Star Week in Columbus.  This is the Capital City’s time to shine and show the rest of the sports world that we are capable of putting on a great show on a big stage.  Who knows?  It just may lead to a “Winter Classic” being held at Ohio Stadium.  Imagine that…the Blue Jackets & Red Wings “getting it on” at The Shoe!  Just remember, put your best foot forward, CBus.  (Be nice to out-of-towners….even if they root for other teams.)

Here is the schedule of when, what & where—

The All Star Winter Park is already open at McFerson Commons across the street from Nationwide Arena .  It is anchored by an NHL-sized outdoor rink that will feature public skating, hockey, private events and various other programming. The rink will be equipped with bleacher seating for 500 people, a skate rental tent and four heated locker rooms.  Get more info and a schedule for public skating HERE.

A “Snow Slide” will stand 34-feet tall at its peak and span 85-feet with an additional 175-feet running along Nationwide Blvd. The three-lane slide, which will be positioned along the westbound lanes of Nationwide Blvd. between Marconi Blvd. and West St., will feature three separate access points of varying heights to allow people of all ages to participate. The Snow Slide will be open Thursday, January 22 through Sunday, January 25 at a cost of $2 per ride (cash only). Hours of operation will be 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday and Sunday, and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

The NHL Fan Fair will be held at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.  As the official fan festival of the 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend, NHL Fan Fair will offer hockey fans of all ages three days of family friendly interactive games and attractions, special appearances, trophy and memorabilia displays, live TV and radio broadcasts, music, food and dozens of other dynamic activities. All attractions will be included with the price of admission.  Get a full Fan Fair schedule & pricing info HERE.

Both the NHL All Star Skills Competition & All Star Game at Nationwide Arena are sold out, but we would imagine there will be opportunities to either win tickets or watch the events on large screens in and around the ‘Wide.  The greatest hockey players on the globe will compete.  Plus, the Blue Jackets’ very own Nick Foligno has been named a team captain and joins Ryan Johansen & Sergei Bobrovsky as Jackets who will be a part of Sunday’s All Star Game.  The Skills Competition will be held on Saturday, January 24th at 7p and the All Star Game will start at 5p Sunday, January 25th. Both will be televised on NBC Sports Network.
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Show the rest of the world that Columbus is a Hockey Town!

Be sure to listen each weekday to the “UnNamed Torg Show” (12-1p; Replay at 6p) & “Stiller Project” (4-6p) during NHL All Star Week for Complete Coverage!

Breakfast With The Blue Jackets

With the exception of their inaugural season, the 2014-15 NHL Season for the Columbus Blue Jackets is the most anticipated. Coming off of a great 2013-14 Season and playoff series vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins, fans are expecting a lot from Sergei Bobrovsky, Ryan Johansen, Cam Atkinson and the rest of the CBJ.  To celebrate the excitement, our friends Torg & Elliott from our ‘sister station’ QFM96 hosted “Breakfast With The Blue Jackets” at the R Bar in the Arena District.

Hundreds waited with anticipation to enter the R Bar and party with their fellow “5th Liners”!

“LEO!” Blue Jackets National Anthem singer Leo Welsh started things off and talked to the guys about what it is like to sing “The Star Spangled Banner” in front of 18,000+ fans.

Original Blue Jacket Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre stopped by and shared stories about the first season of the Jackets and also shared what he is doing now.  He is a Real Estate Agent for The Raines Group!  Who wouldn’t want to buy a house off a Blue Jacket?

We are so grateful that Blue Jackets Head Coach Todd Richards was able to join us after a game the night before in Buffalo. You could tell Torg was excited to talk to “Coach”…something was even said about Torg owning a Todd Richards “blow up doll” he interviews at home…but we digress.

Fox Sports Ohio’s CBJ Play-By-Play man extraordinaire Jeff Rimer swung by after his morning cup of coffee to talk the NHL He also shared stories of encounters with Muhammad Ali and Pete Rose.  We could listen to ‘Rims’ talk sports all day long.

Who do you follow the best NHL Play-By-Play man with?  The best damn NHL color commentator in the business, Jody Shelley!  Jody is so smooth on Fox Sports Ohio and he was smooth with our guys.

GM Jarmo Kekäläinen joined the show and even though Torg referred to him as a “Bond Villain”, he did a great job of letting everyone attending know what he and the organization expects from the squad.

Jackets President of Hockey Operations John Davidson wrapped the show up and shared his vision of what he expects from the Blue Jackets this season and beyond.  He even laughed at Jarmo being referred to as a “Bond Villain”.

But talking Blue Jackets Hockey wasn’t the only thing going on.  We thank the Blue Jackets for giving away tickets and prizes to those who attended!  Anne Marie Dennison won this team autographed stick!

Jacket Backers Julie & Laing were ‘called into action’ to make football picks against Torg & Elliott.

A fun time was had by all and we thank everyone who attended!  We also would like to thank Karen Davis, Blue Jackets Director of Communications and the R Bar for all of their help putting this together and their help with pictures!


artillery2 The Columbus Blue Jackets have made the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second time in their existence and a fantastic fan movement has begun for it.  The gentlemen of The CBJ Artillery and Blue Jackets Nation; TJ Nocar, Matt Pfeffer and Jordan Mills created the “5th Line” movement.  The “5th Line” is akin to the “12th Man” in football, where fans are called upon to make a difference for their team with unwavering and loud support.   #WeAreThe5thLine actually was the brainchild of TJ who runs the @CBJ_Nation twitter account.  The hashtag made its debut on twitter April 5th on @TheCBJArtillery account and “blew up”.  Thousands have used the hashtag, including Ohio Governor John Kasich himself.  Blue Jackets players have even got behind the movement, including Cam Atkinson, Matt Calvert, Jack Johnson and James Wisniewski.  Local apparel retailer Homage joined the movement…printing up #WeAreThe5thLine t-shirts, which have been flying off shelves.
The Columbus Dispatch did a great profile of the movement and the guys behind it and The CBJ Artillery even did a segment on our very own “BIG Show with Matt Finkes”!  TJ, Matt & Jordan are to be credited for helping build an ‘identity’ for a team that unfortunately has taken some bad raps regarding it’s fanbase.  The Jackets finished 27th out of 30 teams in NHL attendance this season and unfortunately whenever the Blackhawks, Penguins and Red Wings come to Nationwide Arena it seems as if the Jackets are playing a home game.  It is efforts like #WeAreThe5thLine that help build a team’s  legacy.  We are proud to be part of the movement.
Go Jackets!  #WeAreThe5thLine

Columbus gets “Olympic Hockey Fever”

It was an amazing scene this past Saturday (2/15) as throngs of Columbus Hockey fans converged en masse on the Arena District packing the R Bar and Three Legged Mare to watch the USA vs. Russia Olympic Hockey game.  The lines to get into both places began forming around 5am to get a decent spot to watch the game.
I had the privilege of making it into the R Bar to be part of the festivities.  The atmosphere was electric for such an early hour….and yes, the beer was flowing.  The Blue Jackets made it even more special by having emcee Mike Todd, fan favorites Jody Shelley and Fredrik Modin on hand along with some great prize giveaways.
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The R Bar was at capacity and beyond.  Those who were unable to make it in watched outside on large monitors from windows lining the patio while waiting for people to leave.  The game itself was amazing….a hard fought affair that honestly at times seemed as if Team Russia was going to take control of.  But Team USA kept fighting and when Fedor Tyutin’s late goal was disallowed, the energy in the room increased tenfold.  You could tell you were part of something special and those watching didn’t want it to end.  Of course, the issue of five Blue Jackets on the Russian team cropped up during the morning…but it didn’t matter, everyone in attendance was pulling for Team America (with the exception of two Russian hotties standing near me who cheered every time Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made a save, which wasn’t all bad).  National Pride was at a fevered pitch as we were united for all of America, except Michigan, of course.
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Near the end of the game I spotted Dispatch sports columnist Bob Hunter standing a few people away.  I couldn’t help but remark, “I guess Columbus is a hockey town, huh?”  He laughed and expressed his amazement at how so many turned out so early on such a cold morning to watch Olympic Hockey.  I also kind of felt bad as Bob tried to take pictures of the crowd with his smartphone.  Bob is not the tallest person in the world.  I wanted to ask him if he would like to get up on my shoulders to take pictures.

So the game ended in a tie, the overtime was scoreless and of course most of you know how it ended….TJ Oshie of the St. Louis Blues in epic fashion with not one, not two, not three but four shootout goals.  After that what happened at the R Bar?  Let’s let the video do the talking……

So you still don’t think Columbus is a Hockey Town?  I have seen many sporting events in person, on tv and with gatherings like this.  Watching Buster Douglas knock out Mike Tyson almost 25 years ago at a campus bar will always be number one on my list of sports moments viewed…but what happened this past Saturday is a very close second.  Columbus Hockey Fans are truly amazing.

Columbus a ‘Hockey Town’??

With the recent run of success the Columbus Blue Jackets have had; a lot of finger pointing has been done at so-called ‘bandwagon jumpers’.  Is Columbus a ‘Hockey Town’ or is it just full of people wanting to ‘get in’ on the new, shiny, fun toy?  I am sure there are a lot of people who don’t know a cross check from a bad check.  But yes, I do believe Columbus is truly a ‘hockey town’.  There are many youth leagues in the city of Columbus now….and we even boast 5 Chiller facilities that host public skating and hockey for youth & adults.  Plus, Ohio State Men’s & Women’s Hockey has good support.  But more than anything that proved that Columbus is a Hockey Town was the great success of the Columbus Chill.  If not for the Chill, the Columbus Blue Jackets would not exist.
cchill From 1991-1999, the Columbus Chill packed them into the Coliseum at the State Fairgrounds.  Thanks to hilarious marketing by GM David Paitson and the Chill front office they were unparalleled when it came to minor league promotions.  They won over Columbus sports fans with wild fun and yes, some bare knuckled brawling.

This video captures in great detail the essence of the Chill and rebirth of Pro Hockey in Columbus—

Yes, the Blue Jackets have captured Columbus’ minds and hearts with their fantastic streak (which unfortunately ended on Saturday Night)….but none of this would be possible without a tip of the cap to the Columbus Chill.

Can the #CBJ go all….the….way??

stingerWell, well, well….look who is back in the NHL Playoff Hunt and back in the hearts and minds of Columbus sports fans.  The Columbus Blue Jackets or more socially media known as the #CBJ.  After a tremendous push to end the 2012-13 season left them just short of the playoffs, this season started out very slow and very troubling.  The team looked sluggish, the locker room seemed splintered; Todd Richards, the Blue Jackets’ man in charge, seemed puzzled.  Add to that an injury to star goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and a delayed beginning to Nathan Horton’s Blue Jacket career and many casual Blue Jackets fans responded with a “here we go again”.

But lo and behold, Horton finally made his debut and Sergei was able to get healthy and rested thanks to good fill-in work from backups Curtis McElhinney & Mike McKenna.  All of a sudden, the team didn’t look so sluggish, the locker room seemed to come together and Todd Richards didn’t seem so puzzled.  With the current four game winning streak, casual Blue Jacket fans and Columbus residents in general are interested and excited by Blue Jacket hockey again.

Let’s be honest, there are a core group of CBJ fans that live and die with the team…attend most games (many from the upper tank), and wear their Blue Jacket sweaters win or lose.  But for this team to thrive and survive, they must capture the hearts and minds of the casual fan.  Buckeye football and basketball rules the Capital City, no one can argue that…but if the Blue Jackets can build on this current run of four wins in a row and continue to play winning hockey, they can capture  Columbus.  Let’s be honest, everybody loves a winner.   Can the CBJ go all…..the……way?  Ok, let’s not get crazy…but if they could at least make the Stanley Cup Playoffs and win a first round series, it would go a LONG WAY.

Excited by the Blue Jackets current run or just a die-hard CBJ fan? Or do you just like beer?  Join us for the 95.5 The Game/Columbus Blue Jackets Celebrity Bartender Event!  It’s a great way to hang with your fellow Blue Jackets fans or meet some new ones!