News Reports Declare Former NHL Coach Dead, Coach Declares Self Not Dead
Glenn Davis 02:11 pm, September 17th, 2010
Earlier today, sad news broke that former NHL coach Pat Burns, who has lung cancer, died at age 58. Soon after, though, much less sad news broke: that Burns is, in fact, not dead. Burns' son was the first to set the record straight, followed by - even better - Burns himself.
The whole mess was chronicled on Twitter by stereotypically-named hockey analyst Bob McKenzie. First, McKenzie heard from "a family member" that "Pat is surprised to learn he's dead."
Side note: That line reminds me of the Today Show one time, when it was rumored Blue's Clues host Steve Burns was dead (what is it about Burnses and false death rumors?) and they addressed the rumors by bringing him on the program. Matt Lauer's teaser? "Is he dead? We'll ask him." I always liked that line.
Typical. If Pat were able, he'd call me, say, "Tell those f****** I'm not dead yet" cuz he'd do that after stories of how sick he was.
Well, apparently Pat was able, because soon after tweeting about that hypothetical phone call, McKenzie got a real phone call that seemed to go almost exactly like the one he imagined:
Pat Burns just called me Seriously. Here's what he said. "Here we go again. They're trying to kill me before I'm dead...
I come to Quebec to spend some time with my family and they say I'm dead. I'm not dead, far f------ from it. They've had me dead since June.
The resemblance to what McKenzie imagined is uncanny. Burns even cursed like he'd pictured. Burns finished his call with the simple, understandable request, "Tell I'm alive. Set them straight." McKenzie happily obliged:
Done, my friend. Done. What a beauty. A great man, a great friend. Just leave him the hell alone.
People almost have to leave Burns alone now, don't they? At the least, you're going to see outlets being very, very careful on the topic of Burns' health...as they should be. And in addition to the lesson in reportage, we were all taught something else important by this story: Pat Burns is awesome.