DKM Hockey Podcast

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Hustle Boys and the Mystery of the Nationwide Ghost

Welcome to the first installment of DKM Hockey's original mystery series, The Hustle Boys. The idea was hatched during Episode 34 of the podcast as the guys discussed their CBJ super hero choices. A teenage mystery-solving duo in the style of The Hardy Boys and the gang from Scooby-Doo was born, starring Matty Calvert and Cammer Atkinson as The Hustle Boys.

We hope you enjoy this installment of The Hustle Boys. Be sure to listen to Episode 35 of the DKM Hockey podcast to hear how Cammer and Matty solve The Mystery of the Nationwide Ghost.

"Did you feel that, Matty?!" asked Cammer as he laced up his skates in the Nationwide Arena locker room before the game. "There it was again, that cold wind just blew by me! It was really spooky!"

"Stop being such a scaredy-cat, Cammer, it's nothing," replied Matty. "Just your mind playing tricks on you how you swear the locker room is haunted by some evil, stinky swamp monster right before every game."

Overhearing Matty's comment, Cammer's locker neighbor David Savard looked up uncomfortably from his teeming plate of Skyline Chili, his eyes shifting nervously between his teammates and his ritual pregame meal.

Matty and Cammer, along with the rest of the Columbus Blue Jackets, were just getting ready for their home finale against Phoenix. A win would not only bring a strong conclusion to a successful season of hockey at Nationwide Arena, but it would keep the team clinging to the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Still, with all the excitement of playoff hockey buzzing around the arena and the Columbus fans, Cammer knew something was amiss...

He had first noticed the eerie presence during the Carolina game on March 19, watching from the press box with envy as Matty and Doobie and the boys skated without him. Those had been some hard days for Cammer; his buddy Gabby had just been traded, and Coach Richards was determined to prove a point about the need for a strong forechecking style. Cammer found himself a healthy scratch, and had only recently worked his way back into the lineup.

As Cammer doodled on the back of his first period game summary, that unmistakable cold wind first hit him. It was strange and otherworldly, and felt like an airy hand running its fingers across his shoulders. He jumped up from his chair and looked around, but there was nobody there.

"It must've just been the wind from a falling parachute burrito," he whispered to himself.

But of course that wasn't true.

Settling back into his chair, Cammer picked up his box of Crayola markers to choose the next color for his drawing. That's when he saw it...


It had been written in a deep, deep red color across the bottom of his picture.


Was that...blood?! What could it possibly mean? Cammer knew it was a clue.

"Nice drawing, dorkwad," Matty said upon being presented with Cammer's picture.

"Shut up, Matty! Look at the inscription below, 'SICSIC.' It looks like it was scribbled in blood!"

"The blood of your mother," Matty snapped.

Matty didn't like to feed into Cammer's paranoia, but he too knew this was odd. He was going to have to ponder this phenomenon and try to piece this story together.

Could it be true, was there an actual Ghost of Nationwide? Were the legends handed down from the veterans of CBJ Land a reality? A couple years ago that loony old bird Vinny was blathering on about some shadowy figure who lived in the rafters, but nobody believed him. Was Vinny onto something....had he seen a ghost?

The Blue Jackets battled hard in the game against Phoenix, finishing regulation in a tie. There may never have been a more important point in the history of Nationwide Arena. The Jackets needed this to keep their post-season hopes alive.

Shortly into the overtime period, the puck bounced onto the stick of James Wisniewski. As he looked to dump the puck down the ice, it suddenly felt like his stick was not in his control. The blade turned sharply towards the middle of the rink, then lunged forward, sending a laser beam pass to a streaking Ryan Johansen. Johansen steadied the puck on his forehand, then launched a shot that will forever live in Blue Jackets lore. High over the glove-side shoulder of the goalie, the puck sailed into the net. The crowd erupted.

As the team stormed the ice and swarmed the game-winning Johansen and the arena shook, Matty grabbed Cammer and pulled his ear close enough to be able to make out the words, "I know who the ghost is, Cammer! SICSIC..."

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