The city of Columbus, Ohio, had always struggled to support any professional sports franchise. It’s a town where Ohio State University reigns supreme, and everything else is less important. That was until 1991, when the Columbus Chill, a minor-league hockey franchise, arrived. Using Veeckian marketing tactics and on-ice shenanigans, the Chill became the talk of the city and gained a religious local fan base. Based on the success of the Chill, from 1991–99, the city of Columbus was awarded with the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2000, the city’s own NHL franchise.
Chill Factor follows the wild ride through the eyes of team president and general manager David Paitson, from the early formation of the minor-league franchise through the decision to rattle the status quo by going to the edge and beyond with a marketing and promotional plan that was both edgy and controversial.
The success of the Chill after their first season gave the organization the impetus to challenge local civic and business leaders to build a world-class arena and emerge from the shadow of OSU. There were setbacks and triumphs on and off the ice, and eventually the realization that the Columbus of today would not be possible without the aid of the Chill.
Chill Factor takes readers into the front office and onto the rink, giving every angle of how a small town was able to get behind a working-class team that fought both on and off the ice. This thrilling account will appeal to those who remember the Chill’s reign, as well as those who enjoy seeing the underdog climb the ladder to sports supremacy.
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|Publisher:||Sports Publishing LLC|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
Craig Merz, a lifelong Columbus resident, has witnessed the evolving sports scene there from the stands and the press box, including a quarter century of reporting for the Columbus Dispatch. He has covered the Stanley Cup Final, NHL All-Star Game, NHL Draft, and the NCAA Frozen Four. Merz has been an NHL.com independent correspondent covering the Columbus Blue Jackets since 2013, and is a freelance reporter for the Associated Press, Buckeye Sports Bulletin, and Field Level Media, among others.
Bob Hunter was a sportswriter for the Columbus Dispatch for more than forty years (1975[en dash]2016), the last twenty-four as a columnist. During that time, he covered all sports[em dash]including hockey and the Columbus Chill. Hunter is the author of ten books, including Saint Woody: The History and Fanaticism of Ohio State Football and Players, Teams and Stadium Ghosts, and has won numerous writing awards. He resides in Westerville, Ohio.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Greetings from Columbus, Ohio xxi
Chapter 1 Dark Shadows of Scarlet and Gray 1
Chapter 2 A First-Rate Second Choice 13
Chapter 3 Naysayers Be Damned 24
Chapter 4 It's Not Your Common Cold 33
Chapter 5 A Taylor-Made Problem 43
Chapter 6 Opening Night Meltdown 53
Chapter 7 Magic and Mayhem 65
Chapter 8 The Land of Misfit Toys 75
Chapter 9 Mardi Gras Meets High Sticking 85
Chapter 10 America Discovers Columbus 93
Chapter 11 A Born-Again Used-Car Salesman 103
Chapter 12 A Game-Changing Moment 113
Chapter 13 Pipeline to the Show 123
Chapter 14 The Big Sell 137
Chapter 15 Building for the Future 155
Chapter 16 The Walkout 165
Chapter 17 The Battle Lines Drawn 177
Chapter 18 Moe Knows Hockey 187
Chapter 19 A Seat at the Big Boys' Table 201
Chapter 20 The Evil Empire 207
Chapter 21 The Drive to the Finish 219
Chapter 22 Pucks, Politics, and the Arc of the Power Play 231
Chapter 23 The Enemies Within 243
Chapter 24 Striking Back 251
Chapter 25 Udder Madness 265
Chapter 26 Last Call 275
Chapter 27 The Chill Factor 285