Ring. The battered red phone hidden in the corner was definitely getting more strident.
The dressing room was dead silent, except for a muttered, "Oh, shit."
Finally, the coach picked up the phone. "Hello?"
The voice on the other end was female. And not amused. "Jimmy."
"You know who this is, right?"
"That's right. I used this to bawl Darryl out last year."
"Ooooh. I remember."
"I got results, didn't I?"
"That you did." Then a whisper. "Dear mother of God help me."
"Well. You're lucky. I'm too damn tired to bawl you out right now." A pause. "BUT."
"You're out of excuses. Not against this team, not with what you have on the line. Are we clear?"
"Good. Now, shut up, and find a tie that doesn't hurt my eyes so much. And gather the boys 'round the line."
"Stop that. Now. You don't want me to force you to go golfing in April. You really don't. What have I been telling you to do all year?"
"Keep trying harder!"
A voice pipes up. "You keep on telling us to have no mercy on the other team, to show some killer instinct, and to stomp on them. Preferably on the jugular."
"DING! Somebody give that guy a prize! That said, Jarome, next time I don't want to hear you smile when you say that. You don't have a sense of humour till you can show me Oilers a la roadkill. Got that?"
"Trust me on this. Only thing worse this time of year than a tee time is a flight to Europe. A very long, contemplative flight where you get to think about all the screwups this season."
"So you don't want that to happen, you kill off the Avs with this next game, ok?"
"And what about the rest of you boys? Jarome was off to a good start last game, where the hell were the rest of you?"
"Happy Easter, by the way. Just don't forget we're celebrating the anniversary of somebody getting nailed up on a cross. Capiche?"
Dead silence in the room. Just the sound of guys gulping. Hard.
Friday, April 6, 2007