Columbus fans get NHL experience despite lockout

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Columbus fans get NHL experience despite lockout

Since CBA negotiations began during the offseason, hockey fans haven't had much to look forward to. But leave it to Columbus Blue Jackets fans to find a way make the best of an unfortunate situation.

If the 2012-13 season had actually started on time, the Blue Jackets would have played the Canucks on Friday night. So a local Columbus bar decided that their team would in fact play Vancouver on the originally scheduled night. But this time, it wouldn't be in an arena or wth actual athletes. Oh, and the game would be through an Xbox simulation.

But if the whole fake-game thing isn't really up your alley, maybe this will be: Fans got a special surprise when the team's radio announcers showed up to call the game.

Could you imagine walking into a Chicago bar and hearing Jim Cornelison singing the National Anthem? Or Pat Foley and Eddie Olczyk calling a game? I bet a whole lot of Chicagoans would pack a Blackhawks bar for that.

Unfortunately for the Blue Jackets, they lost the simulated game.

But I'd bet the fans were happy just to feel excited again over their hometown team. Maybe more cities should create these types of events to attract hockey fans and bring them out of their lockout depression.

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The White Sox take on the Oakland Athletics tonight, and you can catch all the action on CSN and live streaming on CSNChicago.com and the NBC Sports App.

Coverage begins at 7 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Today’s starting pitching matchup: Mike Pelfrey (3-5, 3.56 ERA) vs. Jharel Cotton (4-7, 5.40 ERA)

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