Want a taste of the sporting action at America’s most exclusive venue? Oliver Bateman takes you to Nationwide Arena, home of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
You leave the house clad in your finest union blue and goal red attire. Nationwide Arena beckons–and goodness knows how many fans will be there slavering over their beloved hometown Columbus Blue Jackets. 1,000? 500? This much is true: if you don’t depart at least twenty minutes in advance, you may not get the first parking spot in the garage.
How could your old friends back home in the Quad Cities possibly understand what you’re about to witness? There’s no way they could ever conceive of what hockey is like when it’s played in an atmosphere that’s been described by some commentators as “almost as exciting as what you’d see at a good minor league arena.” This is the big time, for sure.
And we haven’t even gotten to the best part: until he gets traded, you’re going to get to watch bruising right winger Rick Nash light up the nets. Kind of, anyway: he scores what, 70 points a year? That’s got to put him among the top 500 or 600 people to ever play in the NHL. He’s at least as good as Paul Ysebaert was back in EA’s legendary NHL ’94 video game.
But wait, there’s more (as if you needed more, knowhutimean?): tonight the Blue Jackets are taking on the Nashville Predators. Can you think of a more storied rivalry in all of sports entertainment? One with two more recognizable “brand name” teams involved?
No, of course you can’t. You’re living in the most cosmopolitan and exciting city in the best state in the best country in the best of all possible worlds. Your life has peaked. It’s all downhill from here.
Tell me this, though: How’s the view from the top?