Columbus Blue Jackets winger Cam Atkinson was helping out by calling up and thanking season-ticket holders, and captain Nick Foligno made sure no good deed goes unpunished by pranking Atkinson into believing he was calling an upset fan wanting more access to the team.
The Columbus Blue Jackets, like many teams throughout professional sports, try to offer their season-ticket holders the best possible experience. That’s especially true after a tough season that saw an up-and-coming Jackets team face a difficult start to the season and finish with the league’s fourth-worst record.
One of the ways the Blue Jackets are trying to thank their fans is by having some of the players ring up season-ticket holders and thank them for renewing their tickets and sticking with the team. And in a video released by the team Friday, it was winger Cam Atkinson who was doing his best to show his appreciation for fans who will be back to watch the team next season. There was more than meets the eye to Atkinson’s day on the phones, though, as Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno was waiting for his moment to try to get under his teammate’s skin.
Atkinson is asked to ring up “Tony Mazza,” a season-ticket holder who feels like he isn’t getting enough access to meet the players or be a part of special events. Little did Atkinson know that Mazza was actually Foligno sitting in another room.
— ColumbusBlueJackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) April 28, 2016
The look on Atkinson’s face when Foligno calls him “the small guy” is great, but Atkinson’s reaction to “Mazza’s” critique of Foligno is even better. Foligno probably wishes Atkinson would have disagreed with the fake season-ticket holder’s assessment of the captain’s play, but we digress. You’ve also got to give it up to Foligno for not cracking at any point, especially when he says he wants to meet “Tortellini,” which would be coach John Tortorella.
No word on whether or not Atkinson exacted some revenge, but if he kept working the phones after the prank, Foligno shouldn’t be too surprised if he’s meeting an almost endless line of fans after every single game next season.