FanShot

One day last fall, Ron Wilson is walking through the underground labyrinth of tunnels that connect...

3

One day last fall, Ron Wilson is walking through the underground labyrinth of tunnels that connect all of the major points in the city’s downtown when his cellphone rings. On the line is Scott Gordon, his assistant coach with the U.S. Olympic hockey team, and they begin talking about issues surrounding the coming Vancouver Whistler Games. A shortish fellow in standard business attire walks by, sees a familiar face, and does a bit of a double-take. Then he walks up to Wilson, who is still talking, and hollers the following directly into his ear. "You’re the worst [expletive] coach I’ve ever seen. You’re a [expletive] idiot." Then the man in the suit walks away, leaving Wilson standing there, with Gordon laughing on the other end of the line. It doesn’t end there. Anyone who knows the way Wilson relishes the cut and thrust, understands that he likes to get the last word, can imagine what comes next. He sprints through the tunnel – his antagonist has a 50-metre lead, but he quickly catches up – and stops him dead in his tracks. "You said something back there. Now say it to my face." His critic is momentarily taken aback, but eventually summons his courage and repeats his critique, complete with f-bombs.

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