There comes a point in most people’s lives when they realize they will most likely never make a living as a professional athlete. That’s okay, we can still become owners, right? Well, for those of us awash in a life of government drone-dom, owning the team of our dreams is also a fantasy among the unattainable. But what if we could fake it?
ESPN is airing an interesting documentary tonight as part of its 30 For 30 program, documenting the wonky exploits of a man named John Spano, who sort of owned the NHL’s New York Islanders for a brief and weird period in 1997. In Canada we don’t get ESPN, and this program isn’t airing here until Saturday, November 2nd at 11:00am, when I’ll be busy in my Lamaze class (we’re not expecting a baby – I just like practicing my breathing). So instead of setting my PVR I’ll simply hop the boards and do my own research today.
Spano’s story would be deemed too unrealistic, too implausible for that of a fictitious villain. That’s what makes it so compelling. He had balls the size of hockey helmets and sufficient knowledge of how to manipulate the system to put together a pretty slick caper. Unfortunately, he didn’t quite have the knowledge to execute the caper successfully.
Therein lies my favorite ingredient of any story – the utter absurdity.
Back in the mid-1990’s, when hockey games would periodically pause for the occasional acoustic jam by the players, the New York Islanders were a well-respected franchise. Only a few years removed from a near-miss at the Stanley Cup finals (and with the memories of four Cups in a row in the 80’s still strong), it didn’t really matter that they’d stunk up the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum for the past couple seasons. When owner John Pickett decided it was time to sell the club and spend the rest of his years under the Florida sun, he felt an $80 million price tag for his 90% share in the team was a fair price. Read more…
Ah, the bittersweet dawn of a Yankee Thanksgiving. Bitter because up here in the frozen tundra, it’s just another work-day. Sweet because tradition insists upon a trio of mid-week football games for me to enjoy. Bitter because I’ll be lucky to squeeze a few glances at the scores from my desk. Sweet because my American friends and family get a long weekend. And bitter because this is the last day we get to complain about Christmas music being prematurely piped into stores and banks.
And so, it’s time for the holiday tradition I started on this site – a quiz. In honor of this gathering of family and friends, today’s quiz is all about companions. Essential companions. Specifically, sidekicks.
The answer is… delicious!
The link at the end of each question will take you to the corresponding article, because I’m not that jerk who makes people wait a day for the answers (I’m looking at you, New York Times.)
1. Perhaps the greatest of all sidekicks kicks off this list. His voice is a roaring salad of walrus, lion, camel, bear, rabbit, tiger, and badger. His hair (and it’s everywhere) is made from yak hair and mohair. He is one of the few fictional characters to receive a lifetime achievement award at the MTV Movie Awards, mainly because fans think he got screwed out of a medal at the end of his first movie. Out of respect, I will steer clear of mentioning his unfortunately holiday TV special. Give up?
2. Initially drawn as a black guy by accident, this animated sidekick is clearly enamored by his… what’s the opposite of a sidekick? Mainkick? Anyway, we have no confirmation on his sexual orientation, but given his fetishistic daydreams toward his centenarian employer, we can certainly guess.
No, not him.