|Mick Kern is, in my opinion, one of the best on-air voices at|
XM's NHL Home Ice channel. But what's his beef with
First, let me start on a very positive note. I greatly enjoy your work on XM Satellite Radio's NHL Home Ice channel. Your run on "The War Room" has made my mid-morning travels around Central Ohio much more entertaining, and I've learned a lot about the history and sport of hockey through your excitable (dare I say manic? madcap?) approach to your show. I'm still enjoying your work on "Hockey Today" but admit I prefer the fast-action stylings of your "War Room" work a little more. Still, I always perk up when I hear you on the air.
It's come to my attention over the past couple of weeks that you've fired the proverbial cannon shot over the bow of my beloved Columbus Blue Jackets. To paraphrase, you're suggesting that Columbus is a poor hockey market and that that team would be better off relocating to Cleveland. I also understand that other Blue Jackets fans have done their part to excoriate you and your Habs-loving soul for these transgressions. (I also note that you're supporting the movement of the CBJ to the Eastern Conference, a wise move if there ever was one.)
Hear me out: Columbus is actually an incredible sports town, one that has been beyond patient with its NHL franchise through nine lousy seasons and one season capped off by zero wins in its only Stanley cup appearance. To have the level of support that the CBJ receive despite having a solitary moment of glory in the entire history of the franchise speaks volumes about how great a hockey town this is...and how much greater it could be should the franchise finally turn the corner and become an NHL power. We in Columbus are hopeful that general manager Scott Howson's offseason moves (bringing in Jeff Carter, James Wisniewski, Vinny Propsal et al) may have done enough to put this franchise on a winning course for years to come. Time will tell, but we'll be in the stands at Nationwide Arena regardless.
Which brings me to the crux of this open letter: If you should happen to find your way to Columbus, Ohio this season, please contact me at darkbluejacket [at] sbcglobal [dot] net far enough in advance so that I may be able to host you (schedule permitting, alternatively finding a suitable host if I am unavailable) for the evening. Such an excursion would involve pre- and post-game festivities at any of our great Arena District establishments (including the legendary R Bar Arena) and taking in the game at Nationwide Arena. I also would happily take responsibility for alerting the CBJ fan community and the team of your presence, perhaps facilitating an even better experience in what we consider to be the finest arena in the entire National Hockey League. It should go without saying that you would be either be my guest in the general admission seats at Nationwide - or, should you desire, I will make arrangements for you to sit with "Those Who Can Not Cheer" in the press box. Your call. Regardless, you will surely enjoy your evening in Columbus.
It is said about Columbus and the NHL that players initial reluctance to play here is almost immediately overcome when they see how great this community is. It's simply a matter of getting that exposure. I'm willing to blow an evening and a little change to offer you that same exposure. I hope you take me up on this offer.
Yours in the enjoyment of hockey,
The Dark Blue Jacket
UPDATE: Oh dear, Mike Ross and Mick Kern made reference to and read part of the letter on "Hockey Today" this morning. Kern said something to the extent of "Columbus isn't that far away. We could road trip." Might we have a guest or two this season...and is Columbus ready to roll out the red carpet for invited league-wide media guests?
UPDATE 2: We have a response.