After casting the Phoenix Coyotes as players from sports-film classic Major League, we watched as the Yotes continued to follow the script and push hard for the off-season. Now we're finally here, and with the Whiteout set to begin tonight, one wonders how far life will go to imitate art. If Major League was a three-act play, then the first two acts are done, setting up the resolution and potential sequel.
-Team in financial ruin with owner wanting to move out of market.
Art: Evil ex-stripper owner tries to move Cleveland Indians to Florida.
Life: Evil troubled businessman Jerry Moyes tries to move Phoenix Coyotes to Hamilton.
-Roster filled with ragtag veterans and unproven young talent.
Art: Hard-luck , over-the-hill Roger Dorn, and wacky foreigner Pedro Ceranno lead the team while newcomers Willie "Mays" Hayes and Rick " Thing" Vaughn fill out the roster.
Life: Hard-luck Shane Doan, over-the-hill Robert Lang, and wacky foreigner Ilya Bryzgalov lead the team while newcomer Keith Yandle and mid-season acquisition Lee Stempniak fill out the roster.
-Coach recalled from exile.
Art: Lou Brown rescued from exile after working in a factory.
Life: Dave Tippett rescued from exile after working for the Dallas Stars.
-Team comes together despite all odds.
Art: After being doubted by even their own groundskeepers, the Indians start winning.
Life: After being doubted by pretty much everyone in hockey (I'm sure a Zamboni driver was in there), the Coyotes start winning.
Goofy fan traditions rev up home crowd.
-Art: Fans rally around Wild Thing as an anthem and wear nerd glasses in honor of Ricky Vaughn.
-Life: Fans rally around Winnipeg-to-Phoenix tradition of wearing white and possibly throw snakes on the ice in honor of, erm, well, nothing really. But #ThrowTheSnake was an internet phenomenon.
That leaves us with the all-important Act 3, where things come together despite the most dire of circumstances.
Team faces, wins over perennial team you love to hate.
-Art: Indians beat New York Yankees to clinch the pennant.
-Life: When I did my mock casting of Coyotes as Major League stars, I said that the equivalent to clinching the pennant would be winning the first round. And the Red Wings are often referred to as the Yankees of hockey. That pretty much sets everything up, doesn't it?
Team loses in next stage, setting up sequel.
Art: In Major League 2, it was revealed that the Indians lost to the Chicago White Sox in the ALCS.
Every time a myth is retold, some new twist is added to make it relevant. Are the Phoenix Coyotes carving out their own unique tale in modern sports history? Or will this fall by the wayside, like the uninspired Major League 2 and the straight-to-video Major League: Back To The Minors? We'll find out soon, and in the meantime, the Coyotes are getting support from fans of other teams.
After all, everyone likes a good underdog story.