Urgent Sports Bulletin: Putin Fires at Olympic Hockey Coach

Feb 21, 2014 | Updated Apr 22, 2014

Scene: The Office of Russian President Vladimir Putin

Putin: "Come in Coach Bilyaaletdinov, come in."

Bilyaaletdinov: "Mr. President."

Putin: "I appreciate your coming here today on such short notice, as I know you've had a difficult week. Do you know why I've asked you here?"

Bilyaaletdinov: "I assume it's to fire me for our team's elimination from the Olympic hockey competition."

Putin (chuckling): "Relax, Coach, relax. These things happen. Let's not get ahead of ourselves. We have other matters to address."

Bilyaaletdinov (exhales): "May I sit, Mr. President?"

Putin: "Not just yet, Coach."

Bilyaaletdinov: "Well, where would you like me to be?"

Putin: "Why don't you go over and stand in front of my fireplace."

Bilyaaletdinov (puzzled): "Of course, Mr. President."

Putin: "Excellent, Coach. Since that fire must make things warm for you, why don't you take off your jacket."

Bilyaaletdinov (worried and puzzled): "All right."

Putin: "Now, Coach, were you aware that at one time I was regarded as the finest hockey player in Russia?

Bilyaaletdinov: "No, sir."

Putin: "Yes, I could play forward for any team I liked. Before I retired last year I had scored five million goals with that very hockey stick you see behind me. You can look that up in three newspapers my assistant will identify to you on your way out. Where were we? Oh yes, I was going to show you the shot that made me famous."

Bilyaaletdinov: "I'd be very interested in seeing that, Mr. President."

Putin: "Very good." (he withdraws three pucks from his desk drawer.) "Now Coach, I'd like you to spread your legs."

Bilyaaletdinov: "I beg your pardon?"

Putin: "Spread your legs, just like your team's goalie did for the Finns on Wednesday. Stand in front of the fireplace and spread your legs, man."

Bilyaaletdinov: " All right sir, but.....Ow! That hurt Mr. President. I can't feel my left hand.."

Putin: "But it did go between your legs, didn't it? Anyway, I'm just getting my range. I'll keep my head lower this time...."

Bilyaaletdinov: "Ow, ow, ow. Sir, you dislodged my eye."

Putin: "I apologize, but again it did go in the fireplace. We will have your problem attended to after our meeting concludes. In the meantime, you may want to put it in the ashtray over there."

Bilyaaletdinov: "Mr. President, I really must protest...Ow, oh my God, my right hand. You sliced it off."

Putin: "That's the one you use to diagram plays for the team, is it not?"

Bilyaaletdinov: "Yes it is."

Putin: "Then I wouldn't worry about it."

Bilyaaletdinov: "Mr. President, I don't deserve this treatment."

Putin: "I agree, Coach, but I am nothing if not merciful. You can look that up. Well, since all three shots went into the fireplace, I seem to be out of pucks. Would you kindly reach in and retrieve them for me?"

Bilyaaletdinov: "But they're in the middle of the fire."

Putin: "And....?"

Bilyaaletdinov: "Well, I can't use either of my hands."

Putin: "Your attitude disappointments me, Coach, but I suppose I should have anticipated it. I'll get the pucks myself." (To intercom) "Olga, would you please come in here and retrieve three hockey pucks from the fireplace?"

(Olga enters, smiling, rolls up her sleeve, walks to the fireplace, reaches between Bilyaaletdinov's legs, withdraws the three pucks, and brings them over to Putin. She backs out of the room, patting her smoking hand.)

Putin: "And that's how a true leader conducts himself, Coach."

Bilyaaletdinov: "I shall never forget this lesson, Mr. President."

Putin: "I should hope not." (Prepares to take another shot) "I'm going to take one last shot, Coach. Be forewarned that this is the shot that several newspapers to which I can refer you called 'The most devastatingly fast hockey shot ever taken by a mortal.'" (He shoots.)

Bilyaaletdinov (high-pitched): "Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God. You've hit me between the legs. You've destroyed my genitals."

Putin: "But, once again, it went into the fireplace. I haven't lost it. In any event, I want to move on to the second part of our conversation."

Bilyaaletdinov: "I don't want to talk about anything. I want to be taken to the hospital."

Putin: "No, really, Coach, I have something to tell you that I think will lessen your discomfort."

Bilyaaletdinov (Whimpering): "Yes?"

Putin: "I'm not going to fire you."

Bilyaaletdinov: "No?"

Putin: "Absolutely not, but I'm going to move you to another leadership job for which I believe you are eminently qualified."

Bilyaaletdinov: "But what can I do without the use of either hand?"

Putin: "I have something perfect. I hereby appoint you as the first director of my international gay outreach program."