Friday, May 21, 2004

Hitchcock should have taken Tortorella's advice

Ah, Hitch you keep yappin' and now tongues are flappin’. Ken Hitchcock has learned that shooting from the lip has its drawbacks. Hitchcock has offered up a public apology to any and all Italians offended by his flippant remarks of a few nights back.

Hitchcock while continuing on with his verbal jousting about Tampa coach John Tortorella got himself in a bit more hot water in his own home town. Hitchcock gave an interview to a Philly radio station, claiming that the Tampa coach “already had three strikes against him, one of them being he’s Italian”. While it now is understood he spoke with tongue firmly in cheek, it didn’t shall we say, translate that way. Italians have been flooding the Flyers offices with e mails, phone calls and letters of complaint about Hitchcock’s slur.

He has since then explained that he was expressing himself in a jocular way, in no way intending to slight the hard working Italian American culture. Short of winning a Stanley Cup Hitch has put his foot in his mouth big time in this instance. Philly’s notoriously verbose crowds are made up of many fine sons and daughters of south Philly, a long time Italian enclave in the city. We get the feeling that Hitch is not going to be finding a welcome reception there for a while.

The folks in south Philly may not like the Bolts, but that coach of theirs speaks the language they understand and probably agree with. Hitchcock should just shut his yap! Expect him to take some of that advice for the next little while, and God help him if the Flyers blow game seven. He’ll be learning quite a few new Italian words if he returns from Tampa on Sunday without a Stanley cup berth.

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