Thursday, May 21, 2009
Thursday Morning Cupcheck - By The Time I Get to Phoenix
This week, our hockey scribe takes journalistic credibility to its outermost boundaries in the Coyotes bankruptcy case.
Howdy, hockey hombres: here's hoping your predictions of a Blackhawks sweep didn't also involve your first-born and a Honus Wagner rookie card. You can't say I didn't warn you: but rest assured these Blackhawks are just talented enough to steal a home game from the Wings when they least expect it, most likely Game 4 to stave off the ignominious sweep.
And in the East, Pens fans should be worried: Game 1 was insanely close for a Canes' series, which usually sees Carolina drop a sweaty turd on the ice in the first game of the series. One blown interference call, and all those probably-correct Wings-Pens Finals predictions are out the window like so many Bohemian nobles. As it is, though, a win is a win and you can expect the Canes to take it to seven before robbing another arguably more talented team from Stanley Cup Glory.
But in Canada, no one is talking about either of these series. This is because the hockey-mad 51st state is wrapped up in the Drama in the Desert, the Southwest Snarkfest, a scene that makes suburban Arizona look like the drug-deal-gone-bad from No Country For Old Men. I'm speaking, of course, of the "surprise" bankruptcy of the Phoenix Coyotes and the unwanted/wanted relocation back up north to the sunny shores of Hamilton, Canada.
A few days ago, a bankruptcy judge slapped both sides upside the head, ordering them to get their ducks in a row --for once-- before wasting his goddamned time, ya bunch of hosers. But what is really going on here? Fortunately for you readers, both of you (malkinmadre121: I swear I sent the cash in a marked envelope over a week ago, and didn't tell the cops, like we agreed) I was able to use some of my special skillz to grease some league wheels (I'm on a first-name basis with court officials all across the Southwestern United States after they found all those dead nurses in my trunk)(P.S., the Nurse Voltron defense works every time!) to get a full transcript of the bankruptcy proceedings. Enjoy!
U.S. BANKRUPTCY COURT
Baliff: "All rise. Honorable Judge Redfield Baum presiding."
Judge Baum: "So what's all this nonsense, then? Mr. Bettman? Mr. Moyes?"
Gary Bettman: "Your Majesty, I've prepared a statement."
Judge B.: "Your mother must be so proud."
Judge: "Oh, go ahead, read it off."
Bettman: "Most Holy Officers of the Court, I Beseech Thee, Listen to Our Plight. Forsooth, There Is An Ancient Native American Legend, The Legend of the El Phoenix. Thi--"
Judge B.: "Why the hell are you talking like that? Tune it down, tiny dancer."
Bettman: (straightens his bowtie, ignores the judge) "The Legend of El Phoenix says that there once was a fabled creature of tremendous beauty and intelligence and sexual prowess. That creature, El Coyote, was once doomed to extinction, unable to sell tickets to the outlying tribes. Many doubted El Coyote, many said he should leave the desert for the rich golden fields of the North, where everyone and everything sucks and people are much taller than me. But do you know what happened? Do you know what happened to El Coyote? In the legend?"
(a bored silence weighs over the court. After three awkward minutes, people realize Bettman has stopped talking)
Judge B.: "Mr. Bettman, are you finis--"
Bettman: (bolts up, points to the sky and starts shrieking) "EL COYOTE ROSE FROM THE ASHES AND GREW WINGS AND WAS BEAUTIFUL AND (out of breath) won and everything went back to normal."
Jim Balsillie: (snickering) "Coyotes don't have wings, doucher."
Bettman: "THIS ONE DID!! SHUT UP!!"
Judge B.: "Bettman, may I remind you you are in a court of law, not your grandparents' bathtub. Another outburst like that and I shall sentence you to be hanged from the tallest tree, with your entrails fed to the hungriest dog, and your swinging corpse laughed at by the saddest orphan. Arizona law requires it."
Bettman: "I apologize, your Majesty."
Judge B.: "Stop calling me that. Mr. Balsillie, your statement?"
Jimmy: "Well, man, it's like this, man, I'm just tryin' to bring a little love to Ontario, man, ya know? I mean, like, wow, The Man may not (makes quote marks with fingers) "like it", but man, just hear me out, like, about this and stuff. Riiight?"
Judge B.: "Mr. Balsillie?"
Judge B.: "....what are you talking about?"
Jimmy: "I'm talking about THE MAN, man!! Mr. Gary and his, like, cohorts or sumthun, they don't want me or my money, man! I'm trying to spread a little love here, man, and THE MAN here (gestures in Bettman's general direction) says 'no dice'!!"
Judge B.: "The league told you 'no, you can't buy the team and move it to Ontario?'"
Jimmy: "YEAH, man!! I mean, they didn't say it, but you don't even need to ask, man! They don't want the love over there, man! They just want to be all corporationy and stuff!"
Judge B.: "So you never actually asked anyone, particularly in the NHL, if you could just buy the team. And then move it wherever you wanted."
Jimmy: "Well, yeah, uhh, not exactly, ah, but I, well, just think, wait, was I supposed to?"
Judge B.: "It's clear to me that both parties have their heads buried so far up their asses they're tasting scalp sweat. I'm giving you gentlemen three weeks to hash this out amongst yourselves --as scary as that may sound-- before coming back here to waste the time and money of the taxpayers of the Great State of Arizona. If the two of you can't reach some sort of resolution by then, I'm going to lock you in the gladatorial pits of Tuscon and force you to wear pink tutus in a battle to the death. Any questions?"
(the courtroom doors blast wide open. a small, hobbit-like visage appears in shining gold armor, riding a tiny warhorse adorned in Navajo religious symbols. Bettman smiles, the baliff pulls his .44 Magnum and opens fire. the hobbit-lord raises his hand, says an arcane incantation, and the bullets fall harmlessly to the ground)
John Breslow/HobbitLord: "I HAVE RETURNED."
Well, that's where I had to step out for a quickie bathroom break, and when I came back the courtroom doors were welded shut with some sort of green, extraterrestrial goo. Probably didn't miss anything important. Tune in next week when I pitch my newest idea for a hockey-related reality show, Slap That Forward!.