By Professor ggrib
There is a black splotch or pallor on the Columbus landscape. A splotch that probably will never quite go away. In Columbus, we like winners, actually we demand winners. Giving up 5 goals and a lead and slinking out of Philadelphia with our tail between our legs not with a win, but with nothing except shame is akin to losing to that team up north. It’s simply not tolerated. Most of you who might be reading this, do not remember Walter Cronkite. Years ago one of Walter’s more famous statements in a program series called “You are there” was “December 7, 1941, a day that will live in infamy”. in historical fact, the quote is from F D Rosevelt’s speech to congress after the Pearl Harbor attack. In a way, this collapse is as much a landmark as “Pearl Harbor”. The blackness will cover all involved for many years, possibly to the end of their careers . Curtis McElhinney’s career is forever marked. Although all goals were certainly not all Curtis’s fault alone. The defense forgot to defend at LOT.
There is a distinct possibility that Todd Richard’s tenure in Columbus will be ending when his contract is up at the end of the season. Good or bad, in hindsight after missing several games, McElhinney may have been tired, lost concentration or whatever. But in any event, after the 3rd goal a goaltender change should have been made. At least it would have changed the momentum of the game. In any case, the coach’s career is now marked and not for good.
As for the players, who actually gave up the goals, gave up their assignments……… it will be hard to pinpoint individuals, so the blame will be spread to all. Thus each individual’s culpability will be spread to the point it will mostly be forgotten……..in time.
But in the city of Columbus, the collapse will be quoted forever. There are hockey fans in Columbus, but there are many more “fair weather” fans and just people who are aware of the fact that the Blue Jackets exist, but “don’t amount to much and are losers”. The collapse will be used as a point of example for the “worthless team”.
Is there redemption? Not truly. But the stigma can be alleviated by winning and getting to the playoffs and not losing like last time. But the stigma will never be washed clean. Could this be the death toll for the Blue Jackets in Columbus? I hope not, but Columbus wants winners. Losing like they did is just not acceptable.
December 18, 2013…..A day that live in infamy.