Blue Jackets fans are in all the right places

Sam Gans, student at Notre Dame, is a lifelong fan and saw his homemade sign get national exposure on ESPN's College GameDay

Monday, 10.29.2012 / 3:00 PM
Jack Lyttle  -

Amidst a sea of Notre Dame gold and Irish green, Sam Gans was hard to miss. He was

displaying the colors of his hometown team – the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Gans, a Columbus native and student at Notre Dame, was among the hundreds

gathered on an October Saturday near Touchdown Jesus and the venerable Notre Dame


ESPN’s “College GameDay,” the weekly on-site showcase of the biggest games in college

football, had come to South Bend. As his fellow students showed their support for the

Fighting Irish, Gans got some airtime for his other favorite team, flashing a “Carry the

Flag” sign for all to see.

The moment created all kinds of buzz among Blue Jackets fans, and it was the talk of the

community – both inside and outside of Nationwide Arena.

We posted a photo of Sam and his “Carry the Flag” sign on our social media channels,

and we were soon flooded with positive responses from our fans. The overwhelming fan

response prompted us to track down the man responsible for that national TV moment.

Sam was kind enough to share with us the inspiration behind his now-famous sign and

give us some insight about his lifelong passion for the Blue Jackets.

CBJ: Tell us about your “Carry the Flag” sign:

SG: I'm really obnoxious with my friends about the Blue Jackets, and I often say the old

CBJ slogan "Carry the Flag." As a huge Irish and college football fan who has watched

GameDay going back to his Buckeye-loving days as a kid, I knew I had to camp out and

make a sign for potentially their only visit to ND during my time here. I couldn't really

think of something very creative, so I figured I might as well show my CBJ love, along

with a little bit of an inside joke with my friends.

Overall, it was awesome to have a sign represent the CBJ on a highly-viewed national


CBJ: How long have you been a Blue Jackets fan?

SG: I've been a fan since third grade - the first season. I was at the first-ever game, the

5-3 loss to Chicago. I cried in the parking lot afterwards, and my dad tried to console

me and say there would be many more games, which was true, but I was devastated

because there would never be another first game.

CBJ: What makes you a CBJ fan?

SG: My family has had two season tickets in section 103, row K since the beginning, and

we love hockey and Columbus. My brother (two years younger), Dad, and I were the

ones who went primarily in the early years. My sister was born six months before the

first game so she's really grown up with the team and now goes to a lot of games, too.

It's always been a family affair and a great way to bond.

CBJ: What do you think of the CBJ fan base?

SG: I think the CBJ fan base is one of the most underrated in all of the NHL, if not all of

professional sports. It's full of knowledgeable and passionate people. I think the Jackets

actually do a very good job overall interacting with the fan base. Things like Front Street

Fridays are great to increase interaction between the players and fans, and the Twitter

and Facebook pages are a lot of fun, not the typical boring pages like many teams do.

CBJ: How is it being a CBJ fan at Notre Dame?

SG: Being a hockey fan in general at ND is really cool. ND has one of the top programs

in the NCAA and the students get very into it. Even inter-hall hockey is big, and my

dorm, Zahm House, has a huge cheering section for its games. The unique thing about

a private school like ND compared to a state school is the student body comes from all

over the country. I know fans of Chicago (way too many of those), Detroit, St. Louis,

Nashville, San Jose, Los Angeles, Buffalo, Boston, NYR, Colorado, Minnesota, Pittsburgh,

Philadelphia, and Washington, and that creates a lot of trash-talking.

Thank you, Sam, for being a true Blue Jacket fan.

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