Back in December, I wrote a Fanpost about the time that I met former Rangers coach (and current Canucks coach) John Tortorella in the pizza place I am currently employed at. In the interest of thoroughness, I feel obliged to share with you all the following follow-up story.
I arrived for the night shift at the pizza place at 4pm on Saturday, January 25th. Promptly after I clocked in, a man walked through the only working door. He was a shorter man with dark hair and a leather jacket.
I asked how I could help him, and he replied, "Hi. I have a pickup order for Ricky." I scrolled through the list of pickup orders (all 2 of them) and finally stumbled across the one that was entitled "Ricky." I pulled up the order: two cheesesteaks and a large pepperoni pizza. I informed him of the total and he handed me his credit card. I swiped it, and, as the receipt printed out, I was able to read the guy's full name: Ricky Tortorella
Trying to contain my amusement, I sent a co-worker off to retrieve Mr. Tortorella's food. Once she was gone, I asked the man the obvious question: "Any relation to the hockey coach"? Ricky laughed and replied, "We're not sure but my family likes to think so." He asked if I were a hockey fan, and I told him I was a huge Ranger fan. As my co-worker brought up the food, Ricky responded, "Very nice! I actually was born and raised in New York and grew up a Ranger fan. But I've lived near Philly for too long, so now I'm a Flyer fan." When I heard that last sentence I made a brief but audible groan. Mr. Tortorella just chuckled as he exited through the restaurant's lone functioning customer door.
There are two major differences between this story and my last one. My first story, in which I met THE John Tortorella, shockingly turned out to be just a dream. This new story, however, is 100% true. No, seriously. I kid you not. You may now pick your jaw up off the floor.
The other difference is the lesson to take away from the story. In the first, you all were forced to realize how unnecessarily mean you were to John Tortorella on various Blueshirt Banter comment boards. All of you who read that Fanpost were instantly filled with regret, and proceeded to stare down at the floor, repeatedly scrape your foot across the ground, and quietly mutter "Sorry" under your breath like a shamed young child trying to avoid eye contact. The lesson in this story however? That's not exactly clear. "You never know what life throws at you" could work. As could "Anyone who changes sports allegiances from fan of one team to fan of the rival should be denied future service." You know what? I think I'll go with the second lesson. And don't be mistaken, this includes those who root for two rival teams at the same time. I'm looking at you, high school friend (who shall remain nameless) who is a fan of both the Flyers AND the Penguins.