I don’t blog much these days

February 18, 2008

I haven’t posted anything in a long time. There are a number of reasons for my absence, including work and travel load, family commitments, and other items. But the main reason I’ve lost my enthusiasm for blogging on the Blue Jackets is because of Puck Rakers. It is an interesting blog, with timely inside information and loads of comments from the readers. And they are doing a great job of killing my interest in the Jackets.

First off, the people who comment at Puck Rakers can say whatever they want, which they have no problem doing. But the level of negativity is overwhelming and stifling. Every player in this town has an army of enemies who can’t wait to rip them after each and every game. At the beginning of the season, all you read about was how worthless Nikolai Zherdev was, that he sneaked around the locker room and sabotaged his teammates equipment, that he was plotting to kidnap Rick Nash and imprison him in Russia. But I guess Zherdev must have stopped taking his stupid pills because I don’t read those comments anymore.

I can list lots of other examples, like Kris Russell should be playing in the House league at CCYHA, that Manny Malhotra is shooting from the wrong side, that Jason Chimera is a lock for the Hall of Fame.

I haven’t even mentioned the fact that most of these people who are locals don’t go to the games but watch them on television. Or else they pay too much for tickets or parking. If you think you’re paying too much, well then you’re paying too much. But that is a personal problem that has nothing to do with hockey.

But my real gripe is with the Puck Rakers themselves, Aaron Portzline, Tom Reed, and Michael Arace. These guys, who a year ago didn’t write anything unless Doug MacLean told them to, fan the flames of fan unrest better than anyone. Sergei Fedorov left the team. Nikolai Zherdev won’t talk to the media. Scouts at Nationwide to close a deal. And my favorite, the Jackets are pussies.

I know a few things about hockey and one of them is that hockey players are loyal and tough. They do not back down from a fight, they stand up for their teammates, they take umbrage when they are being shown up, they do what the coach tells them. When the team loses a game, if the media wants to question the match-ups or the game game tactics, or an individual act, fine by me. But don’t tell me the team is soft. The only thing soft about hockey in this town is the quality of media coverage.

Like I said, in the past when Doug MacLean would stand up to say that he wouldn’t trade his team for the Red Wings, nobody in the local media, save Bob Hunter long after it occurred, spoke up. When MacLean let Ray Whitney go, who questioned him? When he selected Alexandre Picard as first pick in a previous draft, did someone ask him why he evaluated Picard so high?

Now we get reports of NHL Scouts attending CBJ games. That’s great, but tell me, Puck Rakers, where are the Jacket Scouts at and who are they watching? Tell me why the team isn’t negotiating with Ron Hainsey more. And while you’re pouring it on about the latest win/loss streak of the team, tell us that in reality, the whole NHL West is not moving much. The Jacket losing streak is news, but so is Detroit’s.

The team is in the thick of things and because the other teams fighting the Jackets for a playoff spot are not doing much better, we still have hope. Not a sliver of hope, but real hope. In fact, the race for the final playoff spot might go down to the last day.

So if you miss me, I’ll try to write more. If you don’t agree with me, let me know, but please use reason and logic. My suggestion is that the local hockey community was served better by Neutral Zone Trap, Bethany, Better On Ice, Blog Jackets, and a few others. Puck Rakers has turned into a rant fest, not a site for those who love hockey.

-Truth Serum



  1. It’s been some time since I’ve posted as well. Puck Rakers definitely has something to do with it. I don’t dislike them, I just feel replaced. There’s not a whole lot of intrigue and insight I can post that isn’t already covered on something sponsored by the Dispatch.

    Those guys have an inside view of the team, both on and off the ice. I can’t compete with that, and I accept it. I don’t necessarily agree with everything they write, but hey, that’s freedom of speech.

    I read their blog via RSS, so I never see the commentary. Sounds like a lot of the commentary elsewhere on the interwebs, where it’s a bunch of useless banter that’s unsupported. I don’t care for that, which is why I stick the video on YouTube and the articles on Reddit.

  2. I usually only go to Puck Rakers to see the lines and to see if anything is really happening. I can’t stand to read the comments, I was a commenter and always posted happy nice comments about the team and what not, and one night I posted about Shelley and his leadership. I was accused of being a Shelley lover and having his pictures all over my wall and 45 sweater hanging in the closet. I’m not that girl, I knew what he meant to the team though and they like a bunch of teenagers threw it in my face.
    I also agree that their coverage is really lacking the insight that we need. I do want to know where are scouts are and what they’re doing and who we’re looking at. I want to know who they’re looking at in the Juniors and over in Europe. But they don’t give us that.
    I’ve noticed that I’m not even reading their articles on Dispatch.com anymore, unless I find something really interesting.
    I am going to post a pole over on my blog about the coverage just to see what people say about it. I really hope you keep posting Truth, you have a great knowledge of the game and I love reading your posts and shoot I have missed you guys!!

  3. I can spell by the way…poll.

  4. I’ll have more on this very soon, but I have to say that you seem to feel very similar to the way I do.

    Good to hear from you.

  5. Yes Tyler, Puck Rakers does have an inside edge that you and I don’t have, but all they do is write useless stuff. Did they think to interview Andy Murray or a Blues’ player after the game last night as ask how the team found the energy to beat the Jackets? No, instead they continue to pound away that the CBJ should have beaten the tired old Blues in their own building.

    Bethany, you make the mistake of being balanced in your comments, but Puck Rakers is not for exchanging ideas or opinions, it is merely an echo chamber.

    Another example of shoddy writing is the blogging on Chimera’s new contract. Portzline (I think) was really critical of it until he compared the contract to others player in Chimera’s range of skills, statistics, and experience. He mildly apologized the next day, but he was way off base.


  6. Alas, all I can really do is agree with your assessment, as well as your feelings of apathy ever since Puck-Rakers moved in, TS.

    And Drew, I think during one of the last times we spoke, I even mentioned that to you in passing. At the time, I really thought I was just being, perhaps, a bit too sensitive to sharing the blogosphere with MSM folk. Now, though … I really feel out of place as a blogger, to say the least.

  7. I appreciate Puck-Rakers as a source of breaking news, and I like that the Dispatch is going beyond what’s in the paper with the blog, the podcast, etc. I do appreciate having more coverage of the Jackets, especially since the rest of the local media gives the team minimal coverage.

    I do also find the commenters there to be incredibly tiresome. No one’s happy after a game like the one against Chicago last week, but over there it always seems to turn into “I’m angrier than you, therefore I’m a real fan!” or some such nonsense. A lot of them are really quick to drop the “if you disagree with me on X, it must mean you’re not a sophisticated hockey fan like me,” which is just a douchebag way of arguing (I’m sure there’s some Latin term for it, but I think douchebag sums it up 😉 )

    As for the Dispatch writers themselves, I kind of feel that there’s a lot of overcompensation going on this season. They’ve taken some criticism for going too easy on Doug for too long, and it feels like now they’ve gone too far in the other direction in order to prove their independence.

    I don’t really feel like Puck-rakers has sapped my enthusiasm for blogging. Everyone blogs for different reasons — I’ve never really seen my blog as being primarily about breaking news or straightforward journalism (although when OKT hurt his knee in camp, I posted from my BlackBerry and my post was up a whole five minutes before Puck-rakers. So there!); it’s more about here’s my perspective on things as a fan, here’s what the experience of being a Blue Jackets fan is like. But I can see where, if your focus is more on news, that not having the same kind of access the Dispatch guys have can be dispiriting. All the same, I do think all of the various Jackets’ blogs have their own distinct voices, and I hope they keep going. I’d hate for the Dispatch voice to be the only voice out there.

    I have been kind of light on posting of late, but that’s really more about this being the point in the season where I tend to lose interest a little, and also just being busy and preoccupied with work stuff.

  8. I’d encourage you to keep up the good fight, and keep your voice out there. I think back to the season preview you guys had for the Jackets, and considering where the expectations were at the start of the season, I don’t see why there’d be such negativity around the team.

    Columbus is headed firmly in the right direction, as opposed to many other teams around the league, and they’re hanging around the perimeter of the playoff hunt in the middle of February. If anything, you should be laughing at established teams like Toronto that seem to be stuck paddling with one oar.

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