The Hooley, Friday, April 14

posted by Bruce Hooley -

The Blue Jackets won’t be in a hole they can’t escape if they don’t win Game 2 of their NHL Playoff Series tonight at Pittsburgh.

That old cliché, “a series doesn’t start until the home team loses,” couldn’t have become an old cliché if it weren’t true.

But the prospect of beating the Penguins four out of five times is not comforting, should the Jackets lose tonight in the 7 p.m. face-off.

I’ll take a victory, any victory, but I won’t feel as good about the CBJ’s chances to win this series if it should win and still not shake the scoring slump that’s dogged the team since clinching a playoff berth in mid-March.

Leading goal-scorer Cam Atkinson has been in the Witness Protection Program on the offensive end latelyk, and Brandon Saad was so disengaged in Game 1 head coach John Tortorella barely put him on the ice in the third period.

The Blue Jackets young players held up well – most notably Zach Werenski and Josh Anderson. Those two are roommates, so maybe we ought to cram the whole team into their hotel space and hope something rubs off.

Matt Calvert and Scott Hartnell were strong, as well.

So here’s hoping tonight the Jackets can put some real heat on Penguins goal-tender Marc-Andre Fleury, rather than just shots on goal that really had no chance of going in.

Maybe Fleury having a day to think about his start this time around will cause him to get nervous and play poorly.

We can hope.

Game 3 is Sunday at Nationwide. If you have a ticket, bring the thunder on those black-and-gold barbarians, no matter if it’s a 1-1 series or if the Jackets are in a 2-0 hole.

I knew the downside of the Cleveland Indians playing in the World Series would be increased scrutiny on the team’s Chief Wahoo logo.

Major League Baseball is making clear its desire for the Indians to move away from the Chief, which the club had already done, but not by completely eradicating the cartoonish image from all of its uniforms and team signage.

If you’re not Native American, you can’t feel the same emotions a Native American does with Chief Wahoo imagery and similar portrayals.

You can find something to be offended about if you’re so inclined. If I wanted to be put off by the term, Yankee, I could be. It’s not a term of endearment, but you know the hornet’s nest you’d be opening if you tried getting rid of that.

I’ve also never seen a priest or a monk swing a baseball bat in their religious garb, but no one is making a stink about the San Diego Padres mascot.

The Chicago Blackhawks claim their logo is a tribute. If you want to buy in, you can. If you want to be offended, you can.

All that aside, the Indians would be wise to dump the Chief and move on. There’s no way to object and not sound uncaring or unfeeling.

But would that be enough?

Is the organization supposed to surrender its licensing rights to the Chief when it “moves away” from him, as MLB desires.

You know some enterprising athletic wear company is going to make a killing off Chief Wahoo merchandise the minute the Indians bid him farewell.

Can the Indians truly “move away” if they are taking a cut of the money made off Chief Wahoo imagery elsewhere, just not in their clubhouse or stadium?

Suicide is a serious problem in America. This isn’t meant to trivialize it in any way. But the State of California is spending an estimated $200 million to outfit the Golden Gate Bridge with a net to prevent people from jumping to their death.

Does that seem like an outrageous price tag? Does that seem like a wise taxpayer-funded expenditure for a state that’s headed for a $4 billion budget shortfall by 2019-20?

I’m not rooting for anyone to jump to their death, but even the people behind this project admit it won’t deter determined suicidal people from killing themselves with a jump off the, wait for it, net itself!!

Does anyone think if someone is determined to kill themselves they won’t find another way to do it if the Golden Gate net deters them?

Estimates are 40 people commit suicide each year by jumping off the bridge.

Every life is precious. Any life saved is a win. But it’s foolhardy to think $200 million can best be spent for the greatest good in San Francisco or in California on a bridge net that isn’t guaranteed to fix a problem that isn’t even remotely as big a problem as human trafficking, drug abuse, gang violence, domestic violence, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, drunk driving, distracted driving, obesity or myriad of other issues that claim far more than 40 lives per-year.

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