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On The Outside, Looking To Get In
E.M. Swift
December 07, 1981
Coach Herb Brooks, maestro of Lake Placid, is struggling to feel at home on the Rangers
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December 07, 1981

On The Outside, Looking To Get In

Coach Herb Brooks, maestro of Lake Placid, is struggling to feel at home on the Rangers

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Call it the continuing education of Herb Brooks. He is sitting in a Long Island restaurant, watching the Ohio State-Michigan football game on TV and talking hockey between mouthfuls of hamburger, when this lady comes up—very possibly a normal lady in real life—and says in a high-pitched, New York accent, "Excuse me, are you Herb Brooks?"

Brooks swallows and says, "Yes, I am."

"What's with the Rangers?"

"What's with the Rangers?" Brooks repeats, taken aback.

Inexplicably, the lady begins to laugh in a nasal, lunatic way, and then says, "You come in, O.K.—I'm crazy about the Rangers, you know—and I'm saying to myself that you did so great with the Olympic team...and now you're coach of the Rangers...and...what's WRONG!" She is hysterical now, sounding like one of those laughing boxes just before the tape runs out.

"Uh...this is part of our conversation," Brooks says.

"Conversation! Ahhh-haaa! Ha! Ha!" The lady has completely lost it.

"Besides, the Olympics came in February..."

She's wiping her eyes, trying to compose herself.

"I'm sorry."

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