by | Apr 26, 1996 | Detroit Free Press | 0 comments

Knock, knock.

“Come in.”

“Coach Bowman?”

“What is it, Osgood?”

“Um, I was just wondering if you knew who was starting tonight? I mean, not that it matters but–“

“Chris, you know I’ll decide in my own special way. I promise you’ll be the first to know.”

Knock knock.


“Coach? It’s me, Mike Vernon. I was wondering–“

“Mike, I haven’t decided. You know I’ll decide in my own special way. I promise, you’ll be the first to know.”

Knock, knock.


“Scotty, it’s me, Bill, with the PR staff. Do you know who’s starting in goal tonight? I need to tell the other guy what kind of injury he has.”

“Bill, I promise when I decide, you’ll be the first to know. By the way, when was the last time we used ‘groin pull’?”

“Let’s see . . . groin pull . . . that was February.”

“February? Hmm. Thanks.”

Knock knock.

“Scotty, can we come in?”

“Ugh. The print media. Go away.”

“We demand to know. Who’s going to start? Ozzie or Vernon? Why can’t you tell us?”

“Look. I decide in my own special way. Trust me. You’ll know before game time.”

“But that’s not a scoop!”

“Good-bye . . . go away . . . sayonara.” Teachers speak out

Knock, knock.

“Hi, coach. We’re from ESPN. We figured since we televise hockey, you’ll tell us who’s starting tonight.”

“You figured wrong. See ya.”

Knock, knock.

“Hi, Scotty.”

“Who are you guys? And why do you have that funny blue glow around your heads?”

“We’re from the Fox network. Tell us, who’s starting in goal. This way we can highlight him in a special effects color.”

“Look! I haven’t decided who’s in goal, OK? I decide in a very careful, complicated fashion. I promise. You’ll be the first to know. Now beat it!”

Knock knock.

“Mr. Bowman. I’m Chris Osgood’s third-grade teacher. And I think he should start in goal. He was always such a fine young man–“

“Don’t listen to him, coach! I’m Mike Vernon’s piano teacher. And I think he should start in goal. He was always so attentive–“


Knock, knock.


“Is me, coach.”


“Russian players have bet with Canadian players. Who is going start in goal?”

“My own players are taking wagers?”

“We take nothing. Just make bets.”

“Tell the Russians — and the Canadians — that I haven’t decided yet. These things take time! Tell ’em to do something more productive, like tape their sticks!”

“OK. You the bus.”

“The bus?”

“Yes. You the bus.”

“The boss!”

“This is what I said.”

“Somebody help me.” Fans speak out

Knock, knock.

“Coach, it’s just me, have you–“


Knock, knock.

“Coach, I’m getting antsy, have you–“


Knock knock.

“Coach, we’re from section 125, we always cheer for Ozzie, we think he should definitely start–“

“Forget them, Coach. We’re section 212, and we root for Vernie! We don’t even boo when he lets one in!”



Knock knock.

“Hi, Scotty. It’s me, Bob Essensa”

“That’s it! Get out! All of you! I’m the coach! I’ve won six Stanley Cups! And I’m going to make my decision in the same, well-researched way I always have. Now leave!”

“But we . . . “


“Yes, sir?”

“SIC ‘EM!”

” percent$#(at)!(at)$#&$# percentYEEEE!!!”

“Thanks, Stu. You can go now.”

“Don’t ya want me to hit ’em some mor–“

“No, Stu. Go. Barry, get in here!”

“You want me, coach?”

“Is everyone gone?”


“No one eavesdropping?”

“Coast is clear.”

“All right. Let’s get this goalie thing taken care of.”


“You got a quarter?”


“OK. Heads, it’s Osgood, tails it’s Vernon . . . ”


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

New book, The Little Liar, arrives November 14. Get the details »

Mitch Albom writes about running an orphanage in impoverished Port-au-Prince, Haiti, his kids, their hardships, laughs and challenges, and the life lessons he’s learned there every day.

Subscribe for bonus content and giveaways!