Monday, July 13, 2015

What Will The Future Bring?

Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards does his
best to answer my arcane questions prior to the start of
the 2014/15 NHL season.

COLUMBUS, OHIO – As I sit in my office on a rather rainy and wet Monday afternoon, Genesis’ 1981 album “Abacab” serenading me in the background, the realization has set-in that I’ve lived in Ohio longer than anywhere else I’ve lived in my life. Just over eleven years ago I made the decision to move to the Midwest. I now call Columbus home.

It really is a great, progressive city that is full of life. There’s music at any number of nightclubs, bars, etc. The food menu that is offered all over the city means you can have almost any food from anywhere in the world. And of course, there are sports.

With their pro football team… um, I meant to say college football team, filling Ohio Stadium with over one hundred thousand delirious fans six times a year, one would think that’s all the ‘Bus has to offer.

But professional sports teams do inhabit the Arch city. There is the Ohio Machine (Major League Lacrosse) and the Columbus Clippers (AAA baseball and farm team of the Cleveland Indians). There is also the Major League Soccer, and original 1996 team, the Columbus Crew SC. There is a sizable Formula 1 fan base, too. And last, but certainly not least, are the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League.

So, why have I fallen in love with Columbus? There are myriad reasons, and the above-mentioned are just a few. The people are friendly and full of Midwestern charm. I’m privileged to call many of the people I’ve met friends.

I never set-out to be a sports writer/reporter. It just kind of happened to evolve. I started writing about sports in 2005 on a personal blog. That morphed into covering the Blue Jackets in their first playoff season of 2008/09. I was covering the Crew SC when they made a coaching and an ownership change in the summer of 2013. Along the way, I’ve also covered the NBA and other NHL teams for various media outlets.

Interviewing Crew SC goalkeeper Matt Lampson
after a match with the Dayton Dutch Lions in 2013

The owner of the Helltown Beer blog, Larry Johnson, is a knowledgeable guy about many things, but especially soccer. I’ve been honored to call him a friend for quite a few years. We record the Red Cards in Helltown podcast every other Sunday morning over coffee. We then have a beer and talk about the world of soccer. There’s a reason I call him the “Stat Man” on the show, and if you’ve read the blog and/or listened to the podcast, you will know why.

Recently, after wrapping up another episode of the podcast, Larry told me he wanted to expand the coverage of his blog to include hockey and Formula 1 racing. This excited me, as I had been writing for the regional Fox Sports affiliate covering the Blue Jackets until they decided that they would not renew my, and many others’ contracts.

And so, I now find myself writing once again about the sports I love. I will be writing about soccer (worldwide) with a Columbus Crew SC focus, the Columbus Blue Jackets (and NHL in general) and of course my long-time love of F1. Along the way, you may find musical references sprinkled in, just to keep it interesting.

I hope that you will join me and the other fine writers at Helltown Beer on this journey into the next chapter of online sports media coverage in Columbus. I promise you that it will not be boring. It may not always be what you, as a fan, want to hear about your favorite team, but it will be real, unvarnished analysis.

So, join in the conversation and let us know your thoughts on what is important to you about your team. This just may the beginning of something beautiful. Then again, it could get a little gonzo, too.

All the best,

   Rick Gethin

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