(Since the following story is so absurd, we’re just going to narrate it as though we’re Tom Rinaldi. Cue sad piano.)
A phone call.
Mix the ingredients together, put it in an oven and what do you get? A recipe for disaster.
A lifelong Ohio State fan working at a local pizza parlor says he was fired following a simple jest, a moment of tomfoolery. The recipient? The wife of Ohio State defensive coordinator Luke Fickell. The man, who would not identify himself to cameras, says he was taking an order over the phone when he realized who was on the other end. His eyes widened, his mouth became dry. Suddenly, the words came out like an uncontrollable reflex.
“I was like, you know, we really should improve on our tackling because it’s… it’s… it’s really bad right now.
But there was no laughing the next day when the pizza delivery man was told by the manager of the restaurant he would have to fight to keep his job. The delivery man said that “she”, presumably Mrs. Fickell, called to the manager to complain about her experience. He was fired on the spot.
No job. No direction. No more midweek special where a slice, a drink and a small side salad cost just $5. The joke, once hot and fresh, now laid out cold and a little soggy.
Luke Fickell would not respond to requests for an interview. Ohio State refutes that the Fickells were responsible for the delivery man’s firing.
“The Fickells did not call the manager to complain,” a statement read. “The manager found out about the incident… [and] called the Fickells. Just like they did not place a call to complain, they also did not ask that anyone be fired.
“All they did was order pizza.”
That… and change a young man’s life. Forever.
Days later, Ohio State defeated Michigan State on the gridiron of East Lansing. Miraculously, the Buckeyes won 17-16 despite several missed tackles from their defense. By disregarding the fan’s plea earlier in the week, Fickell and his defense had achieved ultimate victory in the richest form of irony.
Tears of joy streaming from his face, Fickell too was laughing.