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Vancouver Canucks' coach John Tortorella laughs during an interview following a news conference after he was hired by the NHL hockey team in Vancouver, B.C., on Tuesday June 25, 2013. (DARRYL DYCK/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Vancouver Canucks' coach John Tortorella laughs during an interview following a news conference after he was hired by the NHL hockey team in Vancouver, B.C., on Tuesday June 25, 2013. (DARRYL DYCK/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

City Limits

Put this in the bottom of your bird cage, and I walk Add to ...

Five games into the regular season, Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella seems to be settling in, although his threats to “walk” during postgame news conferences are as likely to make the highlight reel as what happens on the ice.

Let’s get one thing straight here: Your cellphone rings, I walk.

If you get a message, and it beeps or buzzes, even if it’s on vibrate in your pocket and you grab it all embarrassed like and try and silence it, I walk.

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And don’t do the big act like you’re throwing yourself on a live grenade, like you’re some kind of hero. Do that, I walk.

If any of you gets any kind of notification while I’m up here answering questions, like an alert from your newsroom or desk, or one of those alerts from the paper or the radio or a Facebook message or an Instagram or whatever, I walk.

If you start doing the Twitter or if one of my guys finds out that you’re doing the Twitter while I’m up here and you’re writing something on the Twitter about me or the team, or your lunch or Miley Cyrus, I walk. I see a hashtag, I walk.

For the time that I’m up here talking, if you break eye contact, or look away, or look at one of your buddies over there and give him one of these, like, “get a load of this nut-job,” I walk.

Time stands still when I’m up here, okay? Got it? Check your watches or try to look at the time on your phones and I walk.

Clear your throat, I walk.

This thing starts exactly 15 minutes after the game. So let me do the math for you. If the game ends at 9, I expect you to be here no later than 9:15. That means ready to go. If I walk in here and you’re still setting up, or someone has their finger on the red button but hasn’t pushed it all the way down yet, I walk.

If you have one foot out in the hall because you’re trying to talk to one of the guys because of whatever, and your whole, entire body is not in the room facing me straight on with no smirk on your face and you’re not absolutely silent and perfectly still when I step up here, I walk.

Touch your face, scratch your arm, fix your hair, mop your brow or tuck in your shirt, I walk. Anybody feel like they need to sneeze, or maybe you got the sniffles today? Too bad, I walk.

Have some kind of nervous tic, or just be kind of weird, I walk.

Call me anything that isn’t my super-cool nickname, like John or Coach or whatever, I walk.

Ask me an ignorant question, like one about coaching or how the team is doing or anything that makes me or my guys feel bad, like we’ve let down the fans or aren’t worth the money people are paying to watch us play, I walk.

Ask me about Luongo or say the word “goalie,” and I walk.

During the pregame warmup if they play any song that has the word “walk” in it, like Walk This Way by Aerosmith or Walk of Life by Dire Straits or I Walk the Line by Johnny Cash, and I walk. I’m cool with that Lou Reed song, though, that’s a cool song.

Speaking of which, repeat what any of my guys says about how they might celebrate a four-goal night, I walk.

See, was that a smirk right there? I’m telling you: Smirk and I walk.

When I’m done in here with you guys, and I finally get a meal, if the peas are touching the mashed potatoes, I walk.

Or, if like, the gravy goes over to the chicken side of the plate because the chicken was too spread out and now the bread is all soggy and gross, I walk.

If it’s too spicy, I walk.

If my shirt is too scratchy, I walk.

If I don’t get more than 20 minutes on Minecraft before bed, and you shut it off when I’m right in the middle of creative mode and I was just about done building a totally cool tower but now it’s never going to be finished because you’re stupid and you made me brush my teeth instead, I walk.

Make me finish my homework, or take a bath, or wash my hair, and I walk.

Close the door all the way so I can’t see the light in the hall and my room is totally dark, and I walk.

Stephen Quinn is the host of On the Coast on CBC Radio One, 690 AM and 88.1 FM in Vancouver. @cbcstephenquinn

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