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614 sports: OSU bball programs shine, new football hire, CBJ upswing

614now

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[su_testimonial]By Jimmy Lentz [/su_testimonial]

Got five minutes? Brief yourself on all the latest in Columbus sports.

Ohio State Men’s Basketball

Ohio State’s massive 80-64 upset against the #1 Michigan State Spartans at home confirmed their bright future with first-year head coach Chris Holtmann, as well as their fondness for nostalgia. Broadly reminiscent of Thad Matta’s surprise takedown of top-ranked Illinois in the Schott in 2005 (Mr. Matta’s first season), the Buckeyes exercised deft skill with a rattling confidence that showed fans locally and nationally that they are eager to return to the ranks of college basketball’s elite. OSU’s Keita Bates-Diop was the brightest showcase of this aforementioned talent, whose 32 points led him to a Big Ten Player of the Week honor. The Buckeyes host the Maryland Terrapins (14-4, 3-2) on Thursday at 7 p.m. on ESPN 2.

Ohio State Women’s Basketball

A win against that team up north is always a great reason to celebrate. The #10 Ohio State women’s basketball team took down #22 Michigan 78-71 in OT this past Sunday in enemy territory before their male counterparts took down that other team up north back in Columbus. And not only was senior Kelsey Mitchell recognized again as the Big Ten’s Player of the Week this season (third time) after 37 points against the Wolverines, but the Buckeyes are now 15-2 overall and undefeated in conference play (4-0). Next up is a drive on I-70 W to battle the Indiana Hoosiers (8-9, 1-3) in Bloomington this Saturday at noon on the Big Ten Network.

Columbus Blue Jackets

Over time, the Blue Jackets are reestablishing their place near the top of the NHL with 53 points and a second-place standing in the Metropolitan Division. Their current two-game winning streak (a SO win against Florida and an OT win in Toronto) highlights a team that simply won’t give up. Three unanswered goals against the Maple Leafs Monday night—including two goals scored in the final minutes of the third period and an Artemi Panarin game-winner in OT—reveal a rejuvenated pattern of resiliency for Columbus in the new year. The Blue Jackets return to the ice this Thursday in Buffalo against the struggling Sabres at 7 p.m. on Fox Sports Ohio.

Ohio State Football’s New Hire

Rest assured, Alex Grinch isn’t coming home to steal Christmas. Actually, it’s quite the contrary as Mr. Grinch looks like an awesome present for Urban Meyer’s defense. The now former Washington State Cougar defensive coordinator and secondary coach—who boasts an impressive defensive resume defined by high turnover ratios and schemes that disrupt passing efficiency—is returning home to Columbus to officially join Ohio State football. Urban Meyer likes to recruit coaches who have ties to the Buckeye state and 37-year-old rising star Alex Grinch (Grove City native and Mount Union College grad) fits that billing. The plan is for Mr. Grinch to help shore up Ohio State’s defense alongside Greg Schiano for another run at a Big Ten Championship and the College Football Playoff.

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News

2 star Blue Jackets players say goodbye, fans react

Mitch Hooper

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The fears all season finally came to fruition for the Columbus Blue Jackets as star winger Artemi Panarin and star goalie Sergei Bobrovsky both signed to new teams on July 1, the first day of free agency in the NHL.

Panarin will be suiting up for the New York Rangers now as the highest paid winger in the league, reports ESPN. Bobrovsky took his talents to the Florida Panthers on a seven year contract, reports NHL.com. Additionally, center Matt Duchene signed with the Nashville Predators.

After the best playoff run in franchise history, both Panarin, affectionately known as The Bread Man, and Bobrovsky, Bob for short, took to social media to thank Columbus one last time before heading to their new squads.

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Bob was the first of the day to announce his move.

“I decided to move on. I write my own story and today that’s my decision. I want to thank fans from the bottom of my heart for all support and excitement during my 7 years in CBJ. I want to thank city of Columbus. This city has been treating me and my family very well, no matter what.”

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Dear CBJ fans I have decided to move on. It was very fun road. We have done lots of good things for my time in CBJ and wish this team and city nothing but the Best! Yes we didn’t reach our goal but we became a really good competitive team. I decided to move on. I write my own story and today that’s my decision. I want to thank fans from the bottom of my heart for all support and excitement during my 7 years in CBJ. I want to thank city of Columbus. This city has been treating me and my family very well, no matter what. I want to say thank to my teammates. I wouldn’t achieve anything without you guys. It’s been a pleasure to work and compete with you shoulder to shoulder. I want to say thank you to entire Blue Jackets organization, all coaches I worked with and everyone from the stuff. Columbus will stay in my heart forever. Дорогие фанаты CBJ. Я принял решение двигаться дальше. Это было интересное путешествие. Мы сделали много хороших вещей и я желаю Коламбусу дальнейшего развития и успехов. Да мы не добились главного, но мы стали сильной боеспособной командой. Я принял решение двигаться дальше. Каждый из нас пишет свою историю и сегодня это мое решение. От всего сердца я хочу поблагодарить вас за вашу поддержку и любовь за все время моего пребывания в CBJ. Я хочу поблагодарить город Коламбус за радушный приём. Я хочу поблагодарить своих партеров по команде. Без вас я ничего бы не добился. Для меня было большим удовольствием выходить на игры и бороться за победы плечом к плечу с вами. Хочу поблагодарить весь клуб Blue jackets, тренерский штаб и весь обслуживающий персонал. Коламбус навсегда останется жить в моем сердце.

A post shared by Sergei Bobrovsky (@sergeibobrovsky) on

Shortly after, Panarin announced his decision, too.

“I was very happy to play for Columbus. I hope you won’t be too mad at me😉 You live only once.”

And as always, fans had opinions. Some chose to focus on the good times we had. And, boy, were those times good.

Others weren’t as gentle. It’s all apart of the healing process, Columbus. We’ll get through this together. That being said, it seems like there’s different emotions for Panarin’s departure compared to Bob’s.

Example for Panarin:

Compared to Bob:

But in reality, this pretty much sums up all of yesterday for Jackets fans.

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Opinion

OP: Columbus is better than Boston, change my mind

Mitch Hooper

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I’m no hockey expert, but then again, I’m not ignorant to the sport. I’m aware of what boarding is, I know when an icing call should be made, and I can see a high stick from a mile away. C’mon, give me some credit, I’m a mid-20s-year-old boy who owns an X-Box—I’ve played NHL a time or two. I say all that to say this: Columbus is so much better than Boston.

Don’t misconstrue my vast hockey knowledge with my bold statement. I’m not saying Columbus is better than Boston in the sense of athletes on the ice (although my 2013 franchise mode on NHL says Columbus is the best damn hockey team six years running), I’m saying our city is better. Our fans are better. Our beer is better. Have you ever actually enjoyed a Sam Adams lager? Hell no.

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I understand I can’t make these claims without backing them up, so I did some unbiased research and my results were incredible. If you aren’t sitting down, you might want to now.

And as if that database of information wasn’t persuasive enough, here’s an entire press conference of unbiased sports experts carefully explaining their case.

It’s compelling, I know.

The facts go even deeper. Have you ever seen a Bostonian on the moon? Or orbit the planet? Point one for John Glenn and Columbus. Neil Armstrong isn’t from Columbus, but he’s a tried and true Ohioan and that counts in our books. Half point to Columbus? We’ll take it. All the numbers are adding up and it’s clear as day: Columbus is better than Boston.

The Columbus Blue Jackets take on the Boston Bruins on Thursday at 7 p.m. in Boston. The game will be aired on NBCS.

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Sports

Twitter Reacts: CBJ sweep Lightning in historic win

Mike Thomas

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Last night, the Columbus Bluejackets finished their perfect sweep of the Tampa Bay Lightning with an emphatic game four win in Nationwide arena. It was without question the single biggest win in franchise history, sending the Jackets to the second round of the playoffs for the first time ever. But of course, you already knew that.

For your consideration (and to soothe your post-celebration hangover/exhaustion) here’s a roundup of some of the spiciest memes and reactions to the Jackets big win!

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