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>Fearing the Reaper

17 December 2006

>Bruce Ciskie: After a series of staggering defeats, the UMD Bulldogs assembled on the rink in the DECC in late 2006 for a session with famed coach Bill Watson. And, luckily for us, the cameras were rolling.

Bill Watson: Alright, guys, I think we’re ready to get this penalty kill down. By the way, my name is Bill Watson. Yes, the Bill Watson. And I gotta tell you fellas… you have got what appears to be a dynamite play!

Michael Gergen: Coming from you, Bill, that means a lot.

Drew Akins: Yeah. I mean, you’re Bill Watson!

Mike Curry: It’s incredible!

Matt McKnight: I can’t believe Bill Watson digs our penalty kill!

Bill Watson: Easy, guys… I put my breezers on just like the rest of you – one leg at a time. Except, once my breezers are on, I score 1.94 points per game. All right, here we go. Penalty kill, take one. [The group fans out in front of the net. Mike Curry is down low at the net, Matt McKnight and Michael Gergen cover a side each, and Matt Niskanen bangs on a cowbell.]

Michael Gergen: [distracted by Nisky banging the cowbell] Okay! Wait! Wait! [Everyone skates over] Bill, could you come out here for a minute, please?

Bill Watson: That was gonna be great. Guys, what’s the deal?

Michael Gergen: Are you sure that was looking okay?

Bill Watson: I’ll be honest… fellas, it was looking great. But… I could’ve used a little more cowbell. So, let’s take it again. And, Nisky?

Matt Niskanen: Yeah?

Bill Watson: Really explore the ice this time. I mean, really explore the ice. I like what I’m seeing. [The group starts the play again, as Nisky bangs more wildly onto the cowbell while dancing crazily.]

Michael Gergen: Okay, wait! Stop! I’m sorry. Bill, could you come back out here, please?

Bill Watson: Fellas, now, we just wasted two good drills! That last one was even better than the first!

Michael Gergen: Well, it’s just that I find Nisky’s cowbell playing distracting! If I’m the only one, I’ll shut up.

Drew Akins: It was pretty rough.

Matt Niskanen: You know, I could pull back a little. If you’d like.

Bill Watson: Not too much, though! Fellas, I’m telling you – you’re gonna want that cowbell on the penalty kill!

Matt Niskanen: You know what? It’s fine. Let’s just do this thing. [The guys set up once more, with Nisky banging the cowbell right next to Michael Gergen’s ear until Michael Gergen pushes him, causing Drew Akins to fall over.]

Michael Gergen: [stopping the song again, fighting Nisky] Come on, people!

Bill Watson: That… that doesn’t work for me. I gotta have more cowbell!

Mike Curry: [grabs Nisky’s jersey] Don’t blow this for us, Nisky!

Matt McKnight: Yeah, quit being so selfish, Nisky!

Matt Niskanen: Can I just say one thing?

Bill Watson: Say it, baby. Say it.

Matt Niskanen: I’m standing here, staring at Bill Watson!

Bill Watson: The cock of the walk, baby!

Matt Niskanen: And if Bill Watson wants more cowbell, we should probably give him more cowbell!

Bill Watson: Say it, baby!

Matt Niskanen: And, Matt, you are right – I am being selfish. But the last time I checked, we don’t have a whole lot of plays that feature the cowbell.

Bill Watson: I gotta have more cowbell, baby!

Matt Niskanen: And I’ll be doing myself a disservice, and every member of this team, if I don’t perform the hell out of this!

Bill Watson: Guess what? I got a fever! And the only prescription is: more cowbell!

Matt Niskanen: Thanks, Bill. But I think, maybe if I just leave… and, maybe I’ll come back later, and we can work on the cowbell. [Skates toward the locker room]

Bill Watson: Aw, baby…

Michael Gergen: Nisky, wait! Why don’t you lay down that cowbell right now? With us. Together. [The other guys nod.]

Matt Niskanen: Do you mean that, Michael?

Drew Akins: He speaks for all of us.

Matt Niskanen: Thank you.

Bill Watson: Babies, before we’re done here, y’all be wearing gold-plated jock straps.

Mike Curry: What does that mean?

Bill Watson: Never question Bill Watson! Roll it!

Michael Gergen: Okay, let’s go. [The play starts up again, with Nisky banging away on the cowbell.]

Bruce Ciskie: UMD’s slump: Oct 28, 2006 – Dec 29, 2006.

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