Let’s hear it for the home team
I don’t know about you, but it’s been a rough year for me as a sports fan. My Cincinnati Reds barely made the playoffs last season and lost their first wildcard game to Pittsburgh. Though the Buckeyes had a shot at the treasured Rose Bowl, we suffered a painful and heartbreaking loss to Michigan State in the Big 10 Championship. Then we lost to Clemson in the Orange Bowl. For my Bengals, it wasn’t much different. After a respectable (yet frustrating) season, we lost to San Diego in the first round—the third straight year we’ve endured such agony.
Suffice it to say I need a win, and I’m counting on Columbus to do it for me. The Blue Jackets are hanging tough in contention for the NHL playoffs and—even though I say it every year—I think this is our year. Sergei Bobrovsky (or Bobby, as I prefer) is playing out of his mind and so are Ryan Johansen and Artem Anisimov. The whole team is on fire and fans are rallying—even ticket prices reflect the resurgence. The days of $15 nosebleeds are long gone, but the energy at Nationwide Arena is well worth the premium price. We’ve also got the Buckeyes. It was announced yesterday that Ohio State is a sixth seed in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament and we’ll meet No. 11 Dayton on Thursday. It certainly wasn’t best case scenario, but it could have been worse.
What’s most important for both teams at this point is that every game matters. To show your support, here are a few places I recommend for optimal viewing and cheering.
For Buckeyes fans who can duck out of the office Thursday for a long lunch to catch the 12:15 p.m. tip off, Eddie George’s Grille 27 is probably your best bet for good food and plenty of TVs. Roosters on Olentangy River Road or campus’ Varsity Club are great options, too.
The Blue Jackets take the ice twice this week and twice this weekend. The Arena District’s low key and high energy R Bar is many hockey fans go-to hockey bar, but Park Street Tavern is a nice option for fans who enjoy a little live music with their game watching. And they’ve got an excellent craft beer selection.
So come on, guys. Let’s do it for Columbus—and for my weary sports-fan soul.
Photo courtesy the Columbus Dispatch