Today, Star Tribune reporters Michael Russo and Michael Rand caught Zach Parise at the airport on his way home to Orono. Rand shot a less-than-one-minute video, which ends somewhat abruptly. Here now, the epilogue to this video, the one that didn't make it on screen:
RAND: Thanks, Zach. We appreciate it. Oh, and can I give you some advice?
PARISE: What's that?
RAND: (in a low voice) Run. Run now.
RAND: (urgently) You heard me. Run. Get out now. Turn around and go upstairs and buy yourself a plane ticket to anywhere but here.
PARISE: Dude, I live here. I'm going to go home and think this through.
RAND: No, no, you're not listening. You need to get out of this state, and you need to get out right now, before it takes its last best chance to swallow you whole.
PARISE: Why? What are you talking about?
RAND: Can't you see what's happening here? You've been back five seconds and you've already got the media hounding you. Imagine what will happen if the Wild lose. Imagine what will happen if you don't score goals, if you get hurt, if you aren't perfect in every respect. I'm speaking for the media here. Look what we're doing to Joe Mauer. We will eat you alive. We will publish your salary numbers at every opportunity. Three guys in town are already writing their "Zach Parise is killing the Wild" columns, they all have radio shows, and they will absolutely savage you. No, I'm serious. Run. Get out now. This is your last chance.
PARISE: I.... (he flees the airport)
RAND: Poor guy.
RUSSO (who has been on the phone the entire time, talking to 96 different league insiders and somehow digging up fourteen different pieces of otherwise-unreported news, all of which have been confirmed by ten other people) What did you say?
RAND: Nothing. (he exhales heavily) Nothing important.