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You Don't Say

Savoir-Faire Mouthing Off

By Michael K. Savit

Hi. Remember me. I'm the guy who used to write about football and other related happenings on this very same page. Of course, that was three weeks ago, before I became a lame duck. Quack, quack, quack. Today, well, today I have a tale I thought you might be interested in hearing:

It's common knowledge that Harvard hockey coach Bill Cleary is not only a nice guy and a good hockey coach, but he also won't talk to The Crimson. I really can't blame him for that, because I won't talk to a lot of the people on The Crimson, either.

Now a year ago this week, I wrote a column detailinganinterview Cleary had conducted with his favorite breakfast table daily following the Harvard B.U. contest. Portions of that interview read as follows:

Crimson: So what's the story, coach? Do the Terriers have some sort of jinx on you?

Cleary:

Crimson: No kidding. What did you tell your team between the second and third periods to fire them up?

Cleary:

Crimson: Wow. What happened on B.U.'s winning goal?

Cleary:

Crimson: So that's what it was...

Etc., so forth and so on, but that was a year ago, and we all know how quickly things change. Three weeks ago, for instance, I wasn't a lame duck. After this column appears, I may be a dead duck.

All of this explains, to return to the point, my great surprise when I returned to my room yesterday afternoon and found the following message: "Savit, Bill Cleary called."

My expression contorted, my eyebrows curled, my moustache winced. I didn't know anyone by that name. It could have been one of my section leaders, but if that were the case, he wouldn't have known my name. It couldn't have been Bill Cleary the hockey coach, because (a) my ankles turn when I skate and (b) he'd never call anyone with a resume like mine.

Well, one out of two isn't bad, for it was indeed coach Cleary who had called. The tables had turned, and now, a year later, he wanted to interview me. Our discussion flowed as follows:

Cleary: So what's the story, Mike? Do the Terriers have some sort of jinx on us?

Savit:

Cleary: No kidding. What should I tell my players to fire them up for tomorrow night's game?

Savit:

Cleary: Wow. What got them so excited last February in the Beanpot final?

Savit:

Cleary: So that's what it was. Did you think we were going to beat the Terriers in that game?

Savit:

Cleary: Yeah, right. Now that the team has played four games this season, what areas on the team do you see as needing the most improvement?

Savit:

Cleary: Is that so? How would you compare this winter's Crimson contingent to last year's team?

Savit:

Cleary: That's true. What about the Terriers?

Savit:

Cleary: Oh, really. They are rated number one in the east again, you know.

Savit:

Cleary: Well said. And what about the rest of the ECAC? What other teams do you expect to cause trouble?

Savit:

Cleary: That many. How much difficulty do you expect from Brown, who we play this Saturday?

Savit:

Cleary: That much. One other thing, Mike. Are you ever going to talk to me again?

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