Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/20/05 at 08:25 AM ET
In a foreign country, nothing startles a tourist like bumping into a friend from back home. It messes with the sense of time and place. "Hey, what are you doing here?" the voice whispered behind my right ear, as I stood at the fourth tee box watching Jack Nicklaus at the British Open. This being Scotland, where serious walks and golf are national pastimes, it might figure a lad named Scotty would be out strolling 18 holes on a summer afternoon. But not this particular Scotty, who had my shoulder in a vise grip. What in the world was he doing here? "How did you get out on the course?" hockey legend Scotty Bowman asked by way of saying hello. "Are you friends with Jack?" "No," I replied, about to confirm what Bowman must have suspected through years of our testy exchanges under playoff duress. "I don't know Jack." The greatest NHL coach who ever lived laughed. Not at me. With me. I think. He wore a baseball cap from the All-Star Game in Detroit. "Shows you how crazy I am," said Bowman, who is 71 but gladly acting half his age. "I came here straight from a baseball game."
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