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Camping CBJ Fans Get A Big Surprise
They say Columbus isn’t a hockey town. They say our players are the rejects of the league. Some go as far as to say we are not a professional team and that we are a joke. Sunday night the fans and players proved all the naysayers wrong.
At 5pm ,Grant and Connor Flood literally set up camp in front of Nationwide Arena’s box office so they could buy $40 green seats. Mind you these seats don’t go on sale until 5pm on Monday. They came prepared for the next 24 hours with power cords, food, and the Mighty Ducks trilogy. As Grant puts it, “This isn’t their first time at the rodeo.” Luckily, Grant has Sundays and Mondays off. His brother, Connor, on the other hand has come down with a horrible fever and will be missing school Monday. Don’t worry, it’s just playoff fever.
Charles Prior, David Ogden, and Jeremy Dover rolled into Nationwide at 8pm. To pass the time this group of guys will be studying. Both Prior and Dover go to Ohio State and this week just happens to be Finals week. Ogden attends Ohio University and was lucky enough to not have one final during this upcoming finals week. Dover on the other hand has a Civil Engineering exam at 2pm on Monday. If that’s not dedication I don’t know what is.
Taylor Sheskey and her friend, Nicole Harding, arrived around 9pm with a dog in tow. Sheskey’s dog, Gatsby, looks like Cam Atkinson’s dog on steroids. The fans are what have both Shesky and Harding hooked on the Jackets.
Ryan Lacey and his friend arrived in line at 9:30pm. They drove an hour and a half to sit in line for 17.5 hours to buy $40 playoff tickets. Lacey was at Game 4 in the Jackets first playoff appearance and is confident there will be a different outcome this series.
Around 9:45 pm two men walked up to the group unnoticed until one said “Hi guys”. The group of waiting fans immediately turned to welcome them with open arms when they realized that it was Cam Atkinson and his dad. They stopped by to bring sticks to two lucky fans. Mr. Atkinson’s immediate reaction was to give Sheskey a stick based solely on her dog. He and Cam then asked how much tickets were. Mr. Atkinson then said “I have an idea. I’m not sure if it’s legal or not. If I give you $200 that makes it $20 a ticket for you guys”. The group immediately laughed with joy. “That would be phenomenal. We are all broke college kids,” chimed in one fan. Cam turned to his dad and said, “Well you don’t have NCAA College rules here so it’s ok.” More laughter rose from the crowd. There was great conversation between the fans and the Atkinsons. Then, without warning, that $200 turned into $400. Everyone’s tickets are now 100% paid for thanks to the Atkinson family.
Moments like these are what make being a Jackets fan special. Moments like these prove that the Jackets have a substantial fan base. The kind of fans who will camp out all night, knowing there is no bathroom at their disposal, just to be able to see a playoff game. The ones who won’t abandon ship when it starts to rain or when the Jackets go on a lose streak. Jackets fans are the type of fans, win or lose, who will be chanting C-B-J at the end of Monday’s game. Columbus is a hockey town and their players are remarkable human beings. Cam treats everyone with respect both on and off the ice. He constantly embraces the Jesuit motto of “Men and Women for Others”.
Win or lose the Jackets have the greatest fans and players in the land.