I knew at some point I’d be writing this, but it still came too soon in my mind. When I started writing here I applied to be one for the Dallas Cowboys. However, I saw a Facebook post stating that they needed writers for Hockey too, and I said I could write for my local team, the Columbus Blue Jackets. As they say, the rest is history.
I started out small in 2020, with only about 1,700 readers, total, from May to December. I made $5 per 1,000 readers, but I didn’t care, because I was a female sports writer with a disability. To me, this was an absolute dream job. Our CEO found this group, on Facebook, called Columbus Blue Jacket Fans. I joined and started posting my articles there. Not every article was flawless, or received well, but I worked hard to hone my skill at sports writing.
The trades, drafts and such were always important, as was the playoff run in 2020. However, the most important articles I wrote, in my mind, were those regarding the untimely loss of Matiss Kivlenieks, or “Kivi” as we all called him, fondly. I still remember the morning of July 5th so vividly. I went to bed late, at about 5:00 AM, having been up editing a book I wrote. I woke up at 9:00 AM, and this odd, gut feeling told me to check my phone. I saw the notification for ABC 6 news, and I wanted so badly for them to be wrong. Even writing this now, I still get chills.
I checked every source I typically used, from ESPN to CNN, NBC 4, WBNS 10 TV and so on. I believed one had to be saying it was a horrible, internet rumor, but it wasn’t. I was numb as I wrote that first article for you, I promise, I was. I then couldn’t get back to sleep, so I I went out and fed the squirrels an entire bag of peanuts, in complete shock. I cried, multiple times, as I’m sure you all did the same. In this tragedy though, I saw something beautiful. I saw fans from every part of this world rally around the fans here, the family of Matiss in Latvia, and his hockey family here in both Columbus and Cleveland. I was the first who called the funeral home in Cleveland, for the goalie prayer cards, I think, because the secretary had no idea what I was talking about. Mine is at the front of my hockey shelf, which I now have, and there it will remain. “Kivi Forever”.
I can’t tell you how many Columbus Blue Jackets items I’ve bought since July. I loved my job before, writing for all of you, but now that you’ve embraced me 5th Line, I can’t imagine not writing. This is why I’ve set up my blog, “The CBJ Writer” because I have to keep doing this, for you all and for myself. Soon this website will be no more, and there was no way I could stop. I figured that out after crying over the idea of stopping for 30 minutes straight! This team, and you all, make this so enjoyable. Right now, I don’t have enough readers to run ads and be paid, and you know what, it doesn’t matter. That is how much I love doing this, day in and day out, with all of you.
I want to thank Ryan, the CEO of Skullking Sports, for not just giving me a chance to write, but for helping me find something I absolutely love doing. I applied for this on a whim during a world-wide pandemic, and never would’ve believed having so many readers who I cared about, and cared about me, that I would set up my own blog. Yet, here we are. So thank you all, for the kind comments, and also the not so kind ones. You’ve built me up to this point, and I can’t wait to discover this new world of writing for you, on my own Blog.
New Blog: https://thecbjwriter.blogspot.com/