WAY OT - Fickells get pizza boy fired

Submitted by Willhouse on October 11th, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Apparently, some high school kid that works at a pizzeria in Ohio took an order from Mrs. Luke Fickell. Late in the call, he mentioned that OSU needs to work on their tackling (an astute observation) to the DC's wife.

The next day, he got the pink slip.


I say he relocates to Ann Arbor and works at Cottage Inn. We could use that kind of talent.

"I'm taking my talents to South State Street."

On a serious note, when is it okay for the general public to engage in critical communication with coaches or players? is it okay for professional sports and not college?



October 11th, 2012 at 12:47 PM ^

The thing about the situation that makes Fickell look bad is that the kid's boss heard the comment, and didn't fire him on the spot (had it been something offensive, he would have). The boss then called the Fickell's and asked if the boy deserved to be fired, and they said yes.

The Fickell's could have easily been understanding and said he was just a kid and didn't need to be fired. He obviously a Buckeye fan if he knew enough to comment. This just makes them look like assholes. "What, a kid said something bad about me? Fire him!"

Perkis-Size Me

October 11th, 2012 at 12:48 PM ^

i think the fickells overreacted a little bit, but from the perspective of a customer-employee relationship, the kid should have kept his mouth shut. this is customer service 101 kind of stuff.


October 11th, 2012 at 1:30 PM ^

I don't think anyone thinks the kid should have opened his mouth. The problem I have is that the boss didn't feel he needed to be fired until the Fickell's said he should be. Coaches are supposed to be molders of men and what not, but they get pizza boys fired for saying something he probably shouldn't have?

As a parent, I would never do this. I would probably tell the kid myself that he made a poor decision, then tell his boss it was no big deal. He's a kid, he doesn't need to lose his job. Some of the best lessons I learned were situations where I could have lost my job but didn't. It's clear the Fickell's didn't want the kid to learn from this, they just wanted to use their position to get him canned. Makes Fickell look very childish, to me.


October 11th, 2012 at 1:40 PM ^

How do you know how he was fired?  For all you know, the wife relayed the story to Luke.  Luke called and complained just to let the manager know that the kid needed to work on customer service.  Then the manager canned him because he a) overreacted or b) the kid was a repeat offender.

I think there's a very good chance that this story is being blown out of proportion.


October 11th, 2012 at 12:58 PM ^

Granted, from a customer service standpoint, that isn't the best thing to say to someone, especially if you know that it is a higher profile customer like Mrs. Luke Fickell (of the Shawnee Hills Fickells), but if the team is yielding an average of 5.4 yards per play on defense and 386 yards per game and has fewer TFL than anyone else in the conference at the moment, then it's actually a good observation and this seems like the sort of thing that Fickell should take to heart rather than raise a stink about.

Like It's 19BBY

October 11th, 2012 at 1:38 PM ^

It comes down to customer service. Granted, it's a pizza delivery service, but there needs to be some level of professionalism bcuz it's a business. Maybe someone will train this kid at his next job to have respect for customers. Maybe a position where he doesn't have to deal with customers at all like...Arby's.


October 11th, 2012 at 1:14 PM ^

I have had my issues with Papa John's pizza delivery this year. I'm happy if the pizza is still warm and has the correct toppings and the place is only 3 doors away. Just be glad some kid paid enough attention to get your order right.

On the plus side, the delivery boys (when they actually make here from 3 doors away) give compliments about my GF's giant winged-helmet Fathead.

/mostly wanted to say my GF bought a M helmet Fathead.


October 11th, 2012 at 2:00 PM ^

In the USA Today account, there is the following quote:

Ohio State has refuted the employee's account of the incident. A statement from the university, via Dave Briggs of the Toledo Blade, said that the Fickells didn't complain to the owner, and that they "feel terrible that this person lost his job."

"The manager found out about the incident. The manager called the Fickells. Just like they did not place a call to complain, they also did not ask that anyone be fired. All they did was order pizza."

I'm not sure exactly what happened. Even though I'm not an Ohio fan in any way, shape, or form, I find it doubtful that Luke Fickell or his wife have such a thin skin. This is a fun story, especially for Michigan fans, but I'd be dubious. Unverified voracity indeed.

Link: http://www.usatoday.com/story/gameon/2012/10/11/pizza-employee-fired-lu…

Section 1

October 11th, 2012 at 2:59 PM ^

This thread, its title, and the vast majority of posts herein, are completely baseless, if the (thus far uncotroverted) additional reporting is correct.  Per Kyle Rowland who summed it up as succinctly as a single Tweet would require:

Here's the PizzaGate story, per OSU:

§ A slight (or a flippant remark or an inappropriate comment) was made by an employee of a retail establishment to Mrs. Fickell.

§ The Fickells DID NOT call the manager to complain.

§ The manager found out about the incident (presumably from someone at the restaurant).

§ The manager called the Fickells … to ask what was said by his employee. They told him.

§ And just like they did not place a call to complain, they also did not ask that anyone be fired. In fact, they feel terrible that this person lost his job.

All they did was order pizza.   

So, no.  The Fickells didn't "get [anybody] fired."  The Fickells didn't "overreact," as some here claimed.  The Fickells didn't even complain, as far as I am aware.  They ordered pizza, heard from a cranky pizza-boy, and later answered a question from a manager.  The Fickells don't have much of anything to answer for, and if one were to weed out all of the wrong, baseless, over-reacting posts in this thread, there wouldn't be much left.

death by trident

October 11th, 2012 at 3:38 PM ^


It sounds like there are two sides to this story.  Believe whatever you want, because they seem to conflict each other. 

For those who can't see the link, there is a video from the local news where the delivery guy tells his version of the story.  He basically says that he

  • Made the joke while taking the order
  • Mrs. Fickel laughed at the time
  • Nothing was said or done that night
  • He was told to call the manager/owner the next day
  • He was told he was fired
  • He was told that it was because Mrs. Fickel complained


October 11th, 2012 at 7:59 PM ^

The only real nugget of information is an appreciation of the college football bubble that encases Columbus. It might explain why Kirk Herbstreit whose perceived lack of loyalty to tOSU program led him to leave town; he's far more high profile than the Luke Fickell. In most places this would have been all put down to one uberfan mouthing off and it would have died out. The OSU team is unbeaten and has looked OK, certainly good enough to challenge for the title (although ineligible).


October 11th, 2012 at 2:04 PM ^

I think Dave Brandon needs to make a call to one of his pals at Domino's and give this kid a chance to come over to the good guys' side.


October 11th, 2012 at 3:22 PM ^

And I've even compiled a handy guide to Ann Arbor pizzas for anyone else from New York:

1. Just don't eat any of them. Unless the other option is human waste, or you're from north of Albany and already used to the inferior pie.
2. Have your family overnight a pie from home or bring it with them when they visit. Even frozen or slightly stale, it will still beat anything from Michigan.



October 11th, 2012 at 8:18 PM ^

Try Buddy's 


I think it's the best fusion of Chicago / New York Style.


Personally a big fan of the pizza in Detroit. Cottage Inn deep dish, Jet's square is pretty good, and Buddy's is my favorite pizza of them all.



Feat of Clay

October 11th, 2012 at 3:22 PM ^

The kid was dumb to say anything, that's for sure.  But the manager lacks foresight.  

Surely anyone in Columbus knows that anything connected with OSU football has a chance to get blown up into a public story out of control of the pizza place or the OSU AD.  

Whether he heard about it from the Fickells or from another worker, he should have disciplined the kid in a different way.  Make him call and apologize and leave it at that.


October 11th, 2012 at 3:47 PM ^

Your last question is interesting. I'd say almost never. What makes one think they're entitled to walk up to a stranger and tell them they suck at their job? Free speech and all, but if I own stock in Google I don't feel the need to tell someone I bump into at the bar who just came from their offices that they suck at what they do if it took a hit on Wall Street this week. And I'd probably be more invested in that financially than being a season ticket holder. Or like most fans, guys who just watch on tv. Not to mention unless you have access to the CEO/coach, I'm not sure most of the other guys have real control over the direction of the program.  And I certainly wouldn't be telling some guy's wife that her husband produces  a crappy product.

Not saying you can't have any say as a fan....I mean, we are on a sports blog posting board. But even here directly trashing a person is discouraged, and we try and keep it to the product.

Indiana Blue

October 11th, 2012 at 4:01 PM ^

maybe the Fickell's are a fickled family that flounders fiercely when faced with fabricating fibs told by fair fellows that ferociously fight their fellow Fickell's with fallacious falsehoods ?  Fancy that !

Go Blue!



October 11th, 2012 at 4:16 PM ^

I thought it was really unprofessional of the pizza boy to criticize Luke Fickell's work in front of his wife. He's a human being just like the rest of us. Sure, That's My Boy and Jack & Jill were below par, but I thought Happy Gilmore and You Don't Mess With the Zohan were terrific.


October 11th, 2012 at 5:17 PM ^

I think Fickell is teaching poor tackling technique on purpose.  Not only did Urban Meyer take his (temporary) job, but said that if it was possible to get Mattison, he would.  This won't end well when Michigan rolls Ohio in Columbus.....