Thursday, August 29, 2013
Thursday Morning Cupcheck - The Roast of Mike Modano
Let's keep this one clean, kids.
Good evening, hockey fans, thanks for coming out tonight. Last week we touched base on the Dallas Stars' new cannon fodder in the Central Division --this week, we've decided to invite legendary American center Mike Modano to this wonderful venue, for the first-ever Mike Modano Roast. Which, like Willa Ford's IMDb page, should be short and sweet.
Let me start by saying what an incredible honor it is to be in the same room as the highest-scoring American of all time. While to a Canadian that might seem like being in the same room as the guy who exfoliated Alan Thicke's luxurious mane from late 1983 to the summer of 1984, for a red-blooded American, there can be no higher honor. As anyone who's ever watched a Blue Jackets or Predators game can attest, there is nothing Americans love more than scoring.
Now, granted, you never once came anywhere close to a scoring title in 20 years of hockey. Nor did you ever crack the 100-point mark during that time. Nor were you ever nominated for any major scoring awards other than that rookie of the year trophy you lost to some 31-year old.
Not that we're forgetting about your very impressive nomination for the Lady Byng that one year. You were robbed! At least you and Loui Eriksson can now express your anger and indignation by mixing strawberry-banana Haagan Dazs into your TaB at your next sleepover. That'd be the perfect time to bust out those new One Direction pajamas with matching panties, by the way.
At least we can take comfort that the one and only time you ever broke the 40-goal barrier, you were wearing a Dallas uniform, much like when you broke Ricky Martin's heart when you publicly announced your engagement to Willa. Would things have been different if Ricky had suited up for the Lingerie Bowl or stripped down for FHM? You can be so cruel sometimes, Mike.
And to think of all those years we wasted putting you in the same category as Joe Sakic and Steve Yzerman. You know, on account of you three being #1 centers that spent your entire careers with the same team. Nevermind that those other guys have multiple Cups, Hart Trophies and scoring titles, while you have the one Cup and a trophy shelf stacked with old back issues of Redbook and Southern Living. Or that they combined for eleven 100-point seasons, also while shouldering defensive responsibilities and actually winning a Selke, while also playing the bulk of their careers during the thick of the Dead Puck Era. Or that the year you hit your career high in points with 93, Yzerman hit 137. Or that later in your career, when you were half-assing it on the fourth line and spending more time complaining than skating, Sakic outscored you by 60 points as a 37 year-old.
That's why we appreciate the solid you did us by playing one, highly-productive, legacy-destroying season in Detroit. Not just anyone can put up 4 goals in 40 games. Just ask Erik Cole.
We always appreciated your passive-aggressive honesty, especially there at the end when you were the league's only checking center incapable of throwing a single check. Wait, no--I stand corrected--there was that one time you lightly brushed up against someone in the defensive zone. Frankly, that "hit" deserves to make your highlight reel package far more than all those glorious empty netters they show you scoring on the AAC's Jumbotron to the rockin' chords of Vanessa Carlton's 'Thousand Miles.'
Scanning the crowd here, I see a lot of familiar faces. There's Brenden Morrow, Mister Grit himself. The Captain, El Jefe. The man who eats gas station tacos and sh*ts flaming chainsaws. Great to see you here on time, you must've started skating here over a week ago. I hear the Pens traded away a first-round pick for you, just to show their long-suffering fans that there was something in the universe more sluggish than the Pittsburgh economy. At least you made the playoffs, and even scored the game-winning goal in that game where Crosby had a hat trick. Between that and your zero points in four games against Boston --putting you on the same level as Crosby and Malkin and Neal combined-- I'm surprised Ray Shero didn't offer you eight years at the league maximum. Considering how many times NBC showed you skating away from the net following an Islanders or Bruins goal, your jersey sales must be through the roof.
Ah, and here's Brett Hull, a.k.a. Creased Lightning, a.k.a. Justice of the Crease, a.k.a. Sean Avery's Boy Toy. We were a little worried about you, you know, after the Stars signed Lindy Ruff. For your own safety's sake, you might want to hang out in the endzone of Ralph Wilson Stadium, just to make sure no Buffalonians ever come within fifty yards of you.
Finally, it's great to see Tom Hicks here. Hicks is the living embodiment of the American Dream, where anyone with a $100 suit and a bleached Stetson can use pretend make-believe money to buy as many sports teams as he likes, destroy said sports teams with terrible signings and lengthy bankruptcy proceedings, and then live off the hundreds of millions of dollars you channeled into tax-free accounts at that bank you saw advertised in the back of Soldier of Fortune magazine. At least we can admire your stunning commitment to cost savings. Our country (club) could use a few more cookie-cutter Republicans like yourself.
Before we leave to-day, let's all bow our heads in prayer that Modano is never, ever given an analyst position at Versus, or NBC Second Thoughts or whatever it's called now. Mike's expert opinions on hockey basically amount to staring off into space with his mouth hanging wide open, which would make his interviews with Jamie Benn resemble two catfish experimenting with ESP during a gas passing contest. If Fox Sports Southwest is desperate enough for ratings, they can take him out of the booth and put him in a cage, throw up some rave music and colored lighting, and have him slowly gyrate in the corner during WBNA broadcasts.
In short, Mike, you achieved the dream of millions of Midwestern kids when you bravely escaped from Michigan and headed south to where the jobs were and where "winter" is more of a polite suggestion rather than an lesson in Mother Nature's abject cruelty. You proved that anyone with great teammates and a motivated goalie can win a Cup or fail to score on Marty Brodeur. You blazed the trail for future generations of American hockey players, setting the example for the thirty or forty American-born forwards and defensemen who will inevitably smash every single one of your scoring records. And for that, we thank you, and goodnight.