Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Update on the XM Hockey This Morning guys' forthcoming visit to Columbus

As you're aware, I posted an Open Letter to XM NHL Home Ice's Mick Kern after he made me sad over his comments regarding the fitness of the Columbus market to support the Blue Jackets.

Mick then posted a reply and indicated that he accepted my offer of a Columbus Blue Jackets game ticket and both pre- and post-game festivities.

The dialogue has since left the blogosphere, so I figure that an update for those of you keeping track would be in order.

First, our party of guests has gone from one to two.  Mr. Kern will be accompanied by his co-host, Mike Ross.  While Kern has never been to Columbus, Ross has visited (stayed at the Hyatt Regency, I gather) and - not surprisingly - has nothing ill to say of Columbus or the Blue Jackets.  (I tell you, get the people to Columbus, let them see what it's all about...and the negative stuff about our community and team tails off right quick.)

Second, the guys asked me to hunt down weekends where CBJ games coincided with Ohio State football games.  There are two such weekends, but I learned this morning (yes, I have to listen to their show to find out where their heads are at) that neither weekend works out.  So they're (wisely) eschewing the football and will be restricting their sports viewing activity to hockey.

And that's that.  We're all up to speed.  Kern & Ross need to figure out their schedules and get back to me with a preferred date.  Then we secure tickets, and we're off and running for what should be a terrific day!

So now let's have some the interest of leaving no stone unturned, permit me to ask all of you two questions:

  1. If you had to suggest one game in the entire CBJ home schedule for Kern & Ross to see, which one would that be?
  2. If you were to take your buddies from out of town to a CBJ game, what would you consider the "Do Not Miss" points of a game night experience - pre-/during/post-game?
Post your thoughts in the comments.  Can't wait to see what you suggest!


  1. This is a tough one...

    October 25th the Red Wings come to down and that's always a good time. November 3rd the Leafs are here. November 27th the Blues come back to town, we could have another "This is our house" moment...

    If I were to take a friend to a game, it would probably be the Red Wings game. If you could pick an OSU game to take a friend to, you'd probably pick the Michigan game so I think the same logic applies here.

    The wings don't come back to town until February 28th so you probably want this to happen sooner than that.

    Another option is to take them to the January 14th game against the Sharks and then drive up to Cleveland on the 15th for the OSU vs Michigan outdoor game.

  2. Must disagree, not the Wings. Too many invaders, too much angst. Sure the arena is packed, but it is not the best environment.

    If you are looking at the first half of the season: Nov 12 vs the Jets - a Saturday against a team everybody is going to want to see, Nov 27th vs the Blues - Good rivalry, but a Sunday at the end of a holiday weekend might not be good, on the other hand Nov 25 vs the Sabres - Nice sized traveling contingent from Buffalo, always an interesting game, and CBJ should want a little payback for the way last season ended, or any of the three Sat home games in Dec. - Eastern conference opponents, all good teams and good measuring sticks for where the team is at.

    My pick would be that game against the Sabres.

    As for question 2, is there any answer that does not include the R Bar? I would throw in Boston's for a pre or post game meal. During the game? Too soon to tell, we might see some changes this year.

  3. I kinda don't like the idea of having them come to the Sabres game for the same reason I don't want them to come to a Wings game; too many loud, obnoxious visiting fans.

    They are late in the season but what about the Feb. 24th game against the Avs (we _should_ win this!) or the Mar. 11th game against the Blues?

  4. When I had the pleasure of allotting time to cruise the Arena District before the game against Pittsburgh, and I ate at Bostons and it was great food and service. Can't comment on the post-game though, but I'm sure R-Bar is a must see!

  5. R-Bar is an obvious one. I'd also show them the old Ohio Pen entrance, just for a "Hey, this is nice" factor.

    For dining options, I'd actually suggest North Market for something really different and still in pretty easy walking distance, unless you're just thinking beer + food at R-Bar, which is a reasonable choice.

    If they're looking for the weekends, would a Sunday work? I'd think the early-ish start against the Ducks on 10/30 should lead to a good crowd.

    I think the November 12th game against the Jets is going to be a huge one - not so much for a rivalry, but because I think a lot of people will want to see them play here.

    The 12/10 game vs. the Bruins is also likely to be a good one - we've played Boston really well in the last few years.

  6. Oh - for something fun? Take them to breakfast to get donuts at DK Diner. Not only DAMN GOOD donuts, but they're big Jackets fans.

  7. I would suggest the New Year's Eve game. It's always an event in Columbus, but I don't think most teams have a New Year's game tradition like the CBJ have. We also usually play well on that date in team history.

    That date is either perfect because the Home Ice guys are looking for something to do for the holiday or terrible because they already have plans for the holiday. Might as well give them the option, no?

  8. I would avoid Red Wings games... as well as Sabres, Pittsburgh, Chicago... for reasons already stated. Their fans come to our building and their fans suck.

    I would go to a Blues game, personally. Always a competitive game (except for that "our house" game...)

    As far as things to not miss... I'd hit the R-Bar, either Boston's or Ted's (bison burgers!), in the arena let them check out the arena... Nationwide in itself is a really nice arena. You should also take them to get a picture with the cannon, and hang out for the first blast of the evening right next to it... the cannon celebration isn't just the best goal celebration in the league (as noted by Puck Daddy) for looking pretty... :-D

  9. Why not the season home opener 10/7/11 against Nashville? Usually a sell out, good atmosphere and high optimism. Should be times 2 this year. Crowd will go nuts when we stomp them.
    Also, they usually have nice festivities before the home opener, out on the plaza in front of the Arena.

    R Bar is a must. You lose street cred (or is that "Ice cred"?)if you don't take them to the R Bar.

    Maybe take them to the post-game radio show, outside the Blue Ice Patio (I think). That is near the overlook, so they can see right into the attached practice rink. I believe that is the only attached practice facility in the league, so that is very nice and unique.

    The Grandview Cafe serves "Hockey Fries" which is their attempt at "Poutine" Not exactly the same as up in Canada, but what other hockey market even tries that?

    Walk them through the Blue Line.

    See if you can arrange a tour of the Arena & locker rooms. That is always impressive at any of the FanFest or Draft Parties that I've attended.


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