In case you haven’t heard, “news” broke last night that Ohio State defensive coordinator Luke Fickell got a Columbus pizza delivery guy fired after the man made a joke about Ohio State’s defense while taking an order from the Fickell’s last month.
There are some terrible things in this world—like people who keep giving Charlie Weis work—or the fact that this story is, well, a story.
To recap, Luke Fickell’s wife called Iacono’s Restaurant to place an order. The man taking the order, who remained nameless despite appearing on television afterwards, made a joke about how Ohio State’s defense needed to improve its tackling. Mrs. Fickell reportedly laughed about the joke before hanging up.
According to the nameless delivery man who took the order, Mrs. Fickell called in the next day to complain, inevitably leading to the man’s termination.
Apparently, the man thought taking this story to a television network was a good idea. Even worse, the television network thought it was a good idea to make this a story.
This is dumb. Everything about this is dumb. The fact that I’m writing this is dumb, but here goes.
Here’s five reasons to dismiss “Pizza-Gate.”
No. 1: It Had Nothing to Do with Anyone Involved in Ohio State Football
Never once during the news report was Luke Fickell involved in any transaction with the former pizza delivery man. This was a reported dispute between Mrs. Fickell and the man who took the order. Trying to make this an Ohio State football story is like trying to say it’s Urban Meyer’s fault that Florida struggled last year.
Wait, someone did that? I hate the Internet sometimes.
No. 2: The Pizza Delivery Man Was out of Line
All things aside, the unnamed former employee who took Mrs. Fickell’s order was out of line. Imagine if, say, the wife of a random accountant called a pizza shop to place an order. Say right at the end of the conversation, the person taking the order said, “Man, your husband really needs to track his receivables better. What a mess, right?”
That would be weird. Quit saying weird things, pizza delivery man.
No. 3: This Isn’t the Offseason. There’s Actual Football to Talk About
Even if we were in the offseason, this would be dumb. But the fact that there’s live, beautiful football being played out there makes this even more irrelevant. It’s like getting free tickets to a Clapton concert, but you go the local karaoke bar to listen to drunk people butcher your favorite songs instead.
No. 4: The Man’s Story Might Not Be True Anyway
The university actually issued a statement on the matter that contradicted the news report.
A slight (or a flippant remark or an inappropriate comment) was made by an employee of a retail establishment to Mrs. Fickell.
- The Fickells did not call the manager to complain.
- The manager found out about the incident (presumably from someone at the restaurant).
- The manager called the Fickells to ask what was said by his employee. They told him.
- And just like they did not place a call to complain, they also did not ask that anyone be fired. In fact, they feel terrible that this person lost his job.
- All they did was order pizza.
That means an Ohio State University employee had to sit down and write this. I hate everything right now.
No. 5: Jim Tressel Wasn’t Even Hiding Any Information
If the former Ohio State coach had known about this in April 2010, then we’d have a real controversy. Until a report surfaces that details his involvement, we should all treat this “story” for what it really is: a non-story.
Follow David on Twitter @davidreg412