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Pizza guy fired over comments to Luke Fickell’s wife (as narrated by Tom Rinaldi)

Luke Fickell, Andrew Sweat AP

(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.

A joke.

A pizza.

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.

She laughed.”

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.

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24 Responses to “Pizza guy fired over comments to Luke Fickell’s wife (as narrated by Tom Rinaldi)”
  1. ningenito78 says: Oct 11, 2012 12:26 PM

    That was funny. Well done.

  2. BrownsTown says: Oct 11, 2012 12:36 PM

    “That… and change a young man’s life. Forever.”

    Now he can never be VP of Order Distribution.

  3. tommy57 says: Oct 11, 2012 12:59 PM

    It is clearly part of a wider conspiracy to raide the unemployment rate in Ohio ahead of the election.

  4. myopinionisrighterthanyours says: Oct 11, 2012 1:16 PM

    Awesome job, Ben. Maybe ESPN will get him to do a piece for Gameday on this. P.S., I heard Luke likes anchovies.

  5. lbijake says: Oct 11, 2012 1:20 PM

    Sounds like Mrs. Fickell needs to learn how to cook.

  6. jimbo75025 says: Oct 11, 2012 1:38 PM

    If the Fickell’s were innocent in complaining, why not include in the statement something to the effect of “no harm, no foul”, and ask the manager to give the guy his job back with a warning. Would be a classy move and while I agree it is a crappy job, you do not know the circumstances the guy might find himself in-especially in this economy.

  7. blueinok says: Oct 11, 2012 2:14 PM

    Tough call, as a business owner, customer relations is of the utmost importance. Don’t know what I would have done, if the Fickell’s didn’t complain – maybe just a what the he!! were you thinking counseling session.

  8. natisportsnut says: Oct 11, 2012 2:16 PM

    25 yr old ex-pizza delivery guy – who’s the loser?

  9. smackingfools says: Oct 11, 2012 3:15 PM

    Wow. Americans are so sensitive it’s embarrassing.

  10. ebrownwareagle says: Oct 11, 2012 4:19 PM

    When Keeping It Real Goes wrong!

  11. inconsonance says: Oct 11, 2012 4:26 PM

    Amy Fickell really should get the stick removed from her ass, but it’d be hard to find time in her busy schedule of bleaching her hair, acting as a broodmare, and being a total bitch in response to an off-the-cuff comment. Actually, she’s getting a little long in the tooth, so she probably won’t be shitting out any more heathen spawn. Maybe she’ll find time after all.

  12. normtide says: Oct 11, 2012 4:51 PM

    She cost someone their job, over that? I don’t care what your job is or how menial others might think it is, it’s your job. This woman seems entitled, and probably wants to think she has power over a lowly pizza guy. Not to mention, the kid is right. Hell, I bet he is doing his job better than her husband is doing his. OSU football fans should insist Luke gets fired. Or, at least hold him to the same standard his wife holds others to.

  13. buckeye044 says: Oct 11, 2012 5:00 PM

    Dude was right.

  14. drez146 says: Oct 11, 2012 6:38 PM

    What a C#%T !!!

  15. kayfngee says: Oct 11, 2012 7:10 PM

    Even though the guy is correct that Ohio State’s tackling is terrible, he made an inappropriate joke while on the job. He is in the customer service industry. His job is to deliver the pizza and keep the customer happy. Apparently he offended the customer by making an unnecessary comment. He needs to be smarter.

  16. snccoach says: Oct 11, 2012 7:22 PM

    I find this hilarious considering coaches’ wives feel entitled to put their two cents in on almost anything regarding their husbands’ respective programs.

  17. brewcrewfan54 says: Oct 11, 2012 8:37 PM

    Fired? That’s ridiculous. Tell the employee to be a little smarter next time but don’t get rid of him. That’s petty.

  18. detroitcityryda says: Oct 11, 2012 10:37 PM

    I’m sure he’l find a job at another pizza place .or will he ? find out December 8th when the pizza man gets his revenge on ms.ficklle .

  19. dmcgrann says: Oct 11, 2012 11:00 PM

    Bad behavior on both sides.

    For starters, you don’t bring up stuff unrelated to your business if you’re acting as a customer-service rep for that business.

    If you’re in the public eye, you need to give some slack to account for well-intentioned, but misguided folks with big mouths. That’s not to say you need to tolerate incursions from paparazzi, drunk people who call you in the middle of the night, or folks who continually ask you for autographs while you’re taking the family out to eat at a restaurant, but this sounds like something that should have been laughed off.

    If this all came down as presented, the Fickells should have laughed it off or simply said, “Concerns noted”. But, the delivery guy should have kept his mouth shut in the first place. Mrs. Fickell was presumably ordering a pizza, not asking for a fan poll on the OSU defense.

  20. anc713 says: Oct 11, 2012 11:08 PM

    So we have a pizza guy fired over a silly comment, yet we have players breaking laws and getting multiple chances?

  21. dannythebisforbeast says: Oct 12, 2012 12:10 AM

    Takes the orders and delivers them. Sounds like management material.

  22. steeler1nation says: Oct 12, 2012 7:53 AM

    Obamanomics is ruining Ohio.

  23. dumbpollack says: Oct 12, 2012 9:32 AM

    Fickell will be the one to get fired if this defense doesn’t start to perform. I don’t see Urban putting up with it long.

  24. dkhhuey says: Oct 12, 2012 5:48 PM

    The lack of reading comprehension skills are sometimes astounding! The article clearly states that the Fickell family did not call and complain – yet there are those that still flame out Luke and Amy.

    As for the ex pizza guy – dude, you need to work on your decision making skills!

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