The Hunger Games Meets Pro Sports Part Two: Revenge of the Legends

Sam Quinn@@Samquinn23Contributor IIIApril 19, 2012

The Hunger Games Meets Pro Sports Part Two: Revenge of the Legends

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    Due the success of my original the-hunger-games-meets-professional-sports article, the executives here at Bleacher Report have green-lit a sequel. Luckily for you, I am far more efficient than Hollywood movie studios, and have managed to create part two in the short span of a few weeks. 

    For the most part, sequels are disappointing. The plot seems stale, the jokes are repetitive and knock-offs and parodies have beaten the best parts of the original to death. 

    We won't have that here, Bleacher Report's Hunger Games fans deserve better. I will be introducing several twists into part two of the Games, but we'll leave most of them for later. For now, though, I will at least give you the first plot twist. 

    In the original, we took 24 of America's best current athletes and stuck them in an arena with one rule: only one victor walks out alive. It was fun, we saw alliances form, epic battles to the death, and in the end, Ray Lewis was crowned the victor. So how, you might be asking yourself, are we going to top that?

    This time, we're going to use legends. 

The Rules

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    In case you haven't seen the film, read any of the books, or read my original article, here's a refresher on the rules:

    - The United States has been split up into 12 districts. Each district is made up of a few states. 

    - Each district sends two tributes to the games. To be eligible to represent a district, an athlete has to have been born and/or raised in the district, not played there. 

    - As mentioned before, this is the legends edition. All tributes are either officially retired, or at least not currently active on a roster. 

    - Each district has a mentor to coach their tributes before the games. In addition, the mentor is a lifeline to the outside world for the tributes; he dictates when gifts from sponsors (rich people who have either bet on or are rooting for certain participants) reach the tributes. 

    - The tributes aren't necessarily the best athletes from their districts, but rather the ones that I believe create the best and most interesting games. Remember, the tributes are randomly selected in the real story, so the best athletes wouldn't necessarily compete. 

    - All athletes are considered to be in their prime. I have a time machine, so I can make this happen. 

    - Before the games, each tribute will receive a training score on a scale from 1-12 (with 12 being the highest) to show how likely they are to win. I'll also add odds for you gamblers out there. 

    - We will be using the same arena as last time. The arena in the sequel to The Hunger Games (Catching Fire) is far too complicated and subjective for me to use here. The arena is basically a forest. There are trees, caves, lakes and rivers that make up the terrain. There is a station in the middle known as the cornucopia, where weapons, supplies and medicine can be found. 

    - The tributes are placed into the arena with the only goal being to kill each other. One man leaves. Period. 

The First Twist!

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    Remember how last time 24 tributes competed? Well, I'm giving you 36 this time.

    Where are the other 12 coming from? I've added six new districts representing the rest of the world. 

    This is no longer a contest for Americans. No, this contest will now determine the greatest athlete in the entire world (you know, in terms of killing people.)

The Non-Athletes

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    No Hunger Games is complete with just the athletes. We have other roles to fill. Here are some of the non-athletes that will play a part in these games:

    Commissioner/President/Game Czar: David Stern.

    The one holdover from last time. I can't get rid of Stern. We need a manipulative, vindictive, all powerful ruler to be in charge here. We need someone willing to throw aside the integrity of the games just to spite people he doesn't like. That's Stern. Pete Rozelle is set to serve as his deputy. 

    In-arena announcer: Bob Sheppard.

    Before his death in 2011, Bob Sheppard had announced lineups and games at Yankee Stadium seemingly since the beginning of time. If you never heard his booming voice over the speakers at a Yankees game, then your ears have never truly lived.

    Play-by-play announcer: Howard Cosell.

    The greatest announcer of all time. Why reinvent the wheel? I thought about bringing Gus back, but this was too much to pass on. 

    Analyst: John Madden.

    Madden: Hunger Games '13 is set for a release this August. Sean Payton and Jonathan Vilma are set to grace the cover. 

District One: New England

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    The States: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire.

    Tribute 1: Steve Young

    Pros: Strong arm, fairly big frame, proven winner, pretty fast for someone of his size, and he's a lefty, which might help (not sure how, but still).

    Cons: He's a Mormon, and as we saw with Jimmer last time, they don't make it too far, he'll also be sorely lacking in receivers in these games. 

    Training score: 7

    Odds: 30-1

    Tribute 2: Rocky Marciano

    Pro's: He's a boxer, so we know he's willing and able to fight, which is only enhanced by his Massachusetts upbringing.

    Cons: He was a boxer in the 50's, meaning his competition falls somewhere between bully from a private school and hobo in 2012 terms. He's also very small for a boxer, and physical conditioning then isn't what it is now. 

    Training score: 6

    Odds: 40-1

    Mentor: Bobby Valentine.

    Maybe I'm just a bad researcher. Oh well, I guess he's fiery, at least. His guys won't go down without a fight. 

District Two: Northwest

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    The states: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming.

    Tribute 1: John Stockton

    Pros: He's smart, small, shifty and crafty. Getting him down won't be easy. He's also great at making people look better, so he may be a welcome addition to an alliance. 

    Cons: He's tiny and sorely lacking in athleticism. Once someone catches him, killing him won't be too challenging. 

    Training score: 6

    Odds: 37-1

    Tribute 2: John Elway

    Pros: He was a physical marvel back in his day, with a cannon for an arm and excellent athleticism for a quarterback. He also has a Stanford education, so we know he's smart. 

    Cons: Playing badly for 75% of the game before excelling in the last 25% can work in football, but not in a fight to the death. He also won't be able to ally himself with Terrell Davis, as he is not a tribute. 

    Training score: 7

    Odds: 27-1

    Mentor: Phil Jackson. 

    One of the better mentors in the game. The Zen Master won't have his guys killing, but he'll keep them alive. 

District Three: Pacific

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    The states: California, Nevada

    Tribute 1: Pete Sampras

    Pros: Uh... I guess he's athletic. Sort of.

    Cons: He plays tennis, which falls somewhere between chess and synchronized swimming in terms of how much it prepares you to kill people. 

    Training score: 3

    Odds: 120-1

    Tribute 2: Jackie Robinson

    Pros: Incredible athlete for his time, was a football, baseball and track star in college. He's also fearless; he took a ton of abuse when he became the first black player in MLB history. 

    Cons: I wonder how 40's athleticism translates to today. He's also fairly small at 5'11''. 

    Training score: 8

    Odds: 20-1. 

    Mentor: Bill Walsh.

    Walsh is an innovator. He'll cook up some creative strategies for his guys here. 

Distrct Four: The Four Corners

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    The States: Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico

    Tribute 1: Darren Woodson

    Pros: Great athlete, can hit, can run, has great awareness of his surroundings. 

    Cons: He played for the Cowboys of the '90s, so cocaine withdrawal will be a problem. He's also not a Hall of Famer, making him kind of a joke amongst his NFL peers in the games. 

    Training Score: 6

    Odds: 40-1

    Tribute 2: Merlin Olsen

    Pros: Can hit and tackle, his name is Merlin.

    Cons: He played in the 60's, so athletically he's nothing compared to some of his competitors. His beard would also itch. 

    Training Score: 5

    Odds: 55-1

    Mentor: Brian Schottenheimer.

    Because I literally could not find anyone else. If you have any ideas, feel free to let me know. 

District Five: The Deep South

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    The States: Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana.

    Tribute 1: Charles Barkley

    Pros: He's big and strong without being excessively large to the point of it being a detriment, he's such good friends with Michael Jordan that you can be sure he'll be in the NBA alliance. 

    Cons: Not exactly in great shape, has the IQ of a below-average acorn, and really doesn't bring anything new to the table. 

    Training Score: 6

    Odds: 42-1

    Tribute 2: Hank Aaron

    Pros: Knows how to deal with adversity, he, like any other baseball player, could do damage with clubs, batons, or any other bat-like objects. 

    Cons: Like a lot of the much older athletes, you have to question his athleticism. Being a baseball player also brings up those questions, as generally the best raw athletes gravitate towards basketball and football. 

    Training Score: 5

    Odds: 50-1

    Mentor: Gregg Williams.

    I'm sorry, I just couldn't resist. Could there be a better mentor for this?

District 6: The Not so Deep South

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    The States: North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee

    Tribute 1: Michael Jordan.

    Pros: Incredible athlete, maybe the best in the Games, pathologically competitive to the point that the moment he hears about the Games he'd probably spend all of his free time training with the available weapons, can play with pain as well as anyone. 

    Cons: Doesn't play well with others (ask Steve Kerr and Will Perdue), and for you conspiracy theorists out there, may be at risk for a gambling suspension from Stern (it's happened before, look at his year of minor league baseball). 

    Training Score: 11

    Odds: 5-1

    Tribute 2: Muhammad Ali.

    Pros: Incredible fighter and athlete. One-on-one, I doubt anyone here could give him much trouble. 

    Cons: Has turned down fights to the death before (he wouldn't even go to war, sissy), doesn't have much experience working with others. 

    Training Score: 10

    Odds: 9-1

    Mentor: Red Auerbach.

    He's getting some victory cigars ready, because if you were gonna bet on one of these districts to produce a winner, this looks like the one. 

District 7: Northeast

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    The States: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C. 

    Tribute 1: Dan Marino

    Pros: Probably the best pure thrower in the Games. If he can get his hands on a spear he'd be lethal from long range. There are also plenty of football players to ally himself with.

    Cons: He's basically a statue. He's slower than molasses, he'll be very easy to catch. 

    Training Score: 7

    Odds: 40-1

    Tribute 2: Babe Ruth

    Pros: Universally respected as the greatest baseball player of all time. 

    Cons: Everything else. He was out of shape, smoked and drank heavily, and quite frankly wasn't that great athletically. Oh, and he was fairly obnoxious. The odds are pretty good that he'd piss someone off. 

    Training Score: 3

    Odds: 100-1

    Mentor: Vince Lombardi.

    Can't go wrong there. Possibly the greatest coach of all time in any sport. He'll have his guys motivated and ready to go. 

District 8: Big 10 Country East

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    The States: Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois

    Tribute 1: Magic Johnson

    Pros: One of the most versatile athletes all of time. Very likable personality. Excellent combination of strength and speed. Will most likely join the NBA alliance with Michael Jordan and his district partner.

    Cons: His height is starting to get into the danger zone of making him an easy target. He's also not quite as explosive as some of the others, but he's by no means lacking totally in that department.

    Training Score: 9

    Odds: 18-1

    Tribute 2: Larry Bird

    Pros: He'll join the NBA alliance with his buddy Magic. Dedication to perfection is second only to Jordan's. Incredibly precise thrower, would be deadly with a spear. Underrated athlete.

    Cons: Underrated, but not elite athlete. He's also in the height danger zone. When the alliance breaks down he'd be at a disadvantage with Jordan and Magic.

    Training Score: 8

    Odds: 27-1

    Mentor: Bo Schembechler

    Not quite someone they've ever worked with, and the Michigan ties might put him at odds with Magic, but he knows what he's doing. 

District 9: Big 10 Country West

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    The States: Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri

    Tribute 1: Kevin McHale.

    Pros: Very strong, and knows how to move around well without being too fast. A teammate of Larry Bird, so he is a potential NBA alliance recruit.

    Cons: Definitely in the height danger zone, not exactly an all-world athlete, and he and Bird hate each other, which would put a damper on a potential alliance.

    Training Score: 6

    Odds: 40-1

    Tribute 2: Yogi Berra

    Pros: Very small target at 5'7'', personality may draw others to ally with him.

    Cons: One of the weaker tributes in the games, also one of the worst pure athletes. No way he could fight off an Elway or a Stockton, much less a Jordan or an Ali. 

    Training Score: 3

    Odds: 110-1

    Mentor: Bud Grant

    We used him last time, why reinvent the wheel. He'll turn his guys into purple people eaters. 

District 10: Southwest

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    The States: Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas

    Tribute 1: Nolan Ryan

    Pros: Deadly arm, solid build, never shies away from a fight

    Cons: Good, not great athlete, there's getting to be a lot of competition for weapons like spears. Doesn't seem like the type to join an alliance.

    Training Score: 6

    Odds: 40-1

    Tribute 2: Michael Johnson

    Pros: The fastest tribute in the field, one of the fastest men of all time. Excellent athlete, one of the better physical specimens in the field.

    Cons: Brute strength may be an issue, doesn't have skills that translate to a specific weapon, hard to picture him in an alliance. 

    Training Score: 8

    Odds: 20-1

    Mentor: Bear Bryant.

    Bryant turns his athletes into winners, and he has two pretty solid recruits to work with. 

District 11: Midwest

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    The States: Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota

    Tribute 1: Barry Sanders

    Pros: Second only to Johnson in pure speed, catching him will be tough, incredible athlete, knows how to work well on his own, but has plenty of potential NFL allies.

    Cons: Does he know what it feels like to win? Or even come close? His ability to finish in the clutch is questionable, his size is also worrisome, he'd have a hard to holding up one-on-one with some of his bigger competition.

    Training Score: 9

    Odds: 18-1

    Tribute 2: Gale Sayers

    Pros: Very similar to Sanders. Speed is his greatest asset. 

    Cons: Is he just a watered-down version of Sanders? What unique qualities does he bring to the table?

    Training score: 7

    Odds: 33-1

    Mentor: Sparky Anderson.

    I like the idea of putting crusty old baseball guys in this, he'll keep his guys fully stocked on chewing tobacco.

District 12: Non-Continental United States

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    The territories: Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Samoa

    Tribute 1: Roberto Clemente

    Pros: Solid athlete, plays a marquee sport with potential allies, multilingual, which could help him connect with other foreigners.

    Cons: Only a solid athlete, and falls into the dangerous area of athletes who played too long ago to take advantage of newer conditioning techniques. Also dangerously small.

    Training Score: 6

    Odds: 42-1

    Tribute 2: Mark Schlereth

    Pros: Strong as an offensive lineman, tough as nails.

    Cons: Strength is his only advantage, and he was never truly elite, so his ability is a bit in question. He's also not exactly Mr. Nice on television.

    Training Score: 6

    Odds: 45-1

    Mentor: Rick Pitino

    I had to stretch a bit, but he coaches Puerto Rico's national team, so I say it counts. 

District 13: South America

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    *Note: Please cut me a little bit of slack on the international guys. I don't know them very well.

    Tribute 1: Pelé

    Pros: Very fast, incredible athlete (especially for his size), international sponsors would flock to him, as he played their favorite sport

    Cons: He's tiny at only 5'8'', which begs questions about his strength.

    Training Score: 6

    Odds: 45-1

    Tribute 2: Diego Maradona

    Pros: pretty similar to Pelé, he's fast and very athletic, and would be favored by international sponsors.

    Cons: Also like Pelé, he's tiny, which creates serious questions about his strengths. 

    Training Score: 6

    Odds: 45-1

    Mentor: Mano Menezes

    Honestly I know nothing about soccer coaches, so I picked the coach from Brazil's national team. Deal with it. 

District 14: North America (non-United States)

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    Tribute 1: Wayne Gretzky

    Pros: He's a hockey player, so we know he won't shy away from a fight, excellent athlete.

    Cons: We have no idea how athletic he really is without skates on, as a hockey player, we know he'll fight, but given his relative lack of size, how long could he really last?

    Training Score: 5

    Odds: 50-1

    Tribute 2: Bobby Orr

    Pros: Like Gretzky, he's a hockey player, so we know he's fighting.

    Cons: A lot of the same issues with Gretzky, only he's smaller and a worse pure athlete. 

    Training Score: 4

    Odds: 75-1

    Mentor: Jacques Lemaire

    At least we know his guys will go down fighting. 

District 15: Europe

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    Tribute 1: Zinedine Zidane

    Pros: He's a soccer player, so he'll get sponsors, He also has solid size for a soccer player and he's quick on his feet. Oh, and he headbutts people. That has to count for something.

    Cons: He's easy to piss off, He's also small relative to the others. 

    Training Score: 6

    Odds: 42-1

    Tribute 2: Jaromir Jagr

    Pros: He's a hockey player, like Gretzky and Orr, but he actually has the size to hold up physically against some of the others. 

    Cons: The problem with all hockey players: you have to wonder if he's almost too aggressive for his own good. There's also the issue that this won't take place on ice (yet Hunger Games on Ice is coming to an Arena near you by Christmas 2012!).

    Training Score: 7

    Odds: 35-1

    Mentor: Knute Rockne

    I didn't know he was European until I started researching for this, but, yeah, he's from Norway. Go figure. 

District 16: Asia

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    Tribute 1: Yao Ming

    Pros: He's really, really, really big. 

    Cons: He's really, really, really big, people enjoy embarrassing him for sport, he's slower... Well, anything, and in the time it took you to read this sentence, he's sprained both of his knees and broken his foot. 

    Training Score: 2

    Odds: 150-1

    Tribute 2: Takeru Kobayashi

    Pros: None

    Cons: Aside from the fact that he's tiny, has no formal athletic training and is apparently a horrible human being, is it really a good idea to stick someone in an arena with almost no food when they're used to eating non-stop? I give him 12 hours before he dies of starvation.

    Training Score: 1

    Odds: 500-1

    Mentor: Erik Spoelstra

    He's Filipino, so it counts. Sources say he plans to replace Yao with Erick Dampier 90 seconds into the games. 

District 17: Australia

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    Tribute 1: Greg Norman

    Pros: His nickname is the Shark. That's kind of menacing.

    Cons: He's a golfer. 

    Training Score: 2

    Odds: 200-1

    Tribute 2: Ian Thorpe

    Pros: He's a swimmer, which means he can use the water as a weapon. He actually has decent size, and can charm other tributes with his awesome accent. 

    Cons: Water is a rare commodity in these games, so finding it will be tough for him. He also lacks the brute strength of others.

    Training Score: 5

    Odds: 50-1

    Mentor: Danny Page

    I have no clue who this is. Wikipedia does though, so look for yourself

    *Note: I know Ian Thorpe isn't retired, but I wanted a swimmer and I needed an Aussie, so sue me. 

District 18: Africa

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    Tribute 1: Hakeem Olajuwon

    Pros: Very strong, very nimble for someone of his size, a potential member of the NBA alliance, he grew up in Africa so you know he's gone toe-to-toe with his fair share of wild animals and missionaries. 

    Cons: His height makes him a target, which in turn makes his allies a target which might turn off the NBA alliance. 

    Training Score: 8

    Odds: 25-1

    Tribute 2: Manute Bol

    Pros: He once killed a lion with a spear! Are you freaking kidding me? 

    Cons: The Lion thing can only go so far, despite being one of the more qualified tributes he's also one of the more vulnerable. He's 7'7'' and dangerously skinny for someone of that height, so you have to wonder about his strength. 

    Training Score: 7

    Odds: 35-1

    Mentor: Doc Craven

    Another of my Wikipedia findings, enjoy.

Let the Games Begin

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    Silence fills the arena. The tributes have been trained. They have been scored. They've said their goodbyes. 

    Their platforms rise to reveal their new surroundings. The players take note of their opponents. The alliances have been formed, the weapons and supplies stand ready to be claimed. Suddenly, the legendary voice of Bob Sheppard fills the arena.

    "Ladies and gentlemen, let the second annual Bleacher Report Hunger Games begin!"

Death No. 1: Wayne Gretzky

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    His killer: Bobby Orr

    Hockey players are men. They settle their differences with their fists. So when the games begin, neither Gretzky or Orr dash to the cornucopia for supplies. No, they stare each other down and decide to settle their differences once and for all. Any advantage Gretzky might have in size or speed is irrelevant at this point. Orr played for physical Bruins teams and is a far better fighter. Gretzky gives him a battle, but he is defeated by his fellow countryman. Canada weeps for its fallen god. 

Death No. 2: Zinedine Zidane

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    His killer: Muhammed Ali

    In a gesture of good faith, Ali notices that he is standing on the platform next to Zidane and wishes him good luck. Whether he doesn't understand the language, his hearing is impaired or he was simply looking for a fight is unknown, but what we do know is that he charged Ali headfirst. He never stood a chance. 

Death No. 3: Yao Ming

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    His killer: Michael Jordan. 

    Jordan doesn't waste any time. He races to the cornucopia and grabs a sword almost instantly. Yao, still unarmed, is completely unable to defend himself. Jordan stabs him in the chest, watches him fall, then rips out his beating heart and throws it towards his competitors to show them who the real threat is. Several tributes run off in fear. 

Death No. 4: Darren Woodson

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    His killer: Manute Bol

    All of the fuss over Jordan pulling a Mortal Kombat gave the stone-footed Bol the extra seconds he needed. He is able to get a hold of a spear. Once he does... well... if that lion couldn't handle Bol, then Woodson never really had a chance. 

Death No. 5: Pete Sampras

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    His killer: the NBA alliance

    The NBA alliance is off to an excellent start here. While Jordan is busy with Yao, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson tag team the unsuspecting tennis star. Sampras is disposed of quickly by the quickly-armed 80's duo. 

Death No. 6: Greg Norman

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    His killer: Barry Sanders

    It almost feels unfair to list who did him in. His real killer is me for putting him in these games, because he never stood a chance. The fleet-footed Sanders is able to arm himself with a pair of thin but lethal swords. Not wanting to risk incurring the wrath of Jordan and his buddies, Sanders dashes to the forest for protection. Norman was just in the way. 

Death No. 7: Kevin McHale

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    His killer: Larry Bird

    Bird is crafty, so rather than openly detesting his former teammate/enemy, he leads him on. McHale is under the impression that he is a member of the NBA alliance. While staring down an unarmed John Elway, Bird takes the chance to stab McHale in the back. Elway manages to escape in the ensuing madness. 

Death No. 8: Rocky Marciano

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    His killer: Hakeem Olajuwon

    No legendary boxer is going to turn down a fight, but it's trouble to take on someone with such a massive size advantage. Marciano gains the upper hand at first, and manages to knock Hakeem down. Marciano goes in for the kill, but, unfortunately for him, Hakeem is not alone. His ally Magic Johnson tosses him a knife. Hakeem is able to slice Marciano through the chest before he is able to land the finishing blow. 

Death No. 9: Mark Schlereth

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    His killer: Nolan Ryan

    Schlereth is definitely strong enough to hold his own with Ryan in close proximity, but things change from long-distance. The former offensive lineman is just such a big target, so when Ryan grabs a spear he sees Schlereth as no more than a bull's-eye. He rockets the spear straight into Schlereth's abdomen. 

Death No. 10: Merlin Olsen

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    His killer: Jaromir Jagr

    This turns out to be the best hand-to-hand fight of the opening day. Olsen has a size advantage, but Jagr is more agile and an experienced fighter. Olsen manages to pin Jagr down, but the powerful Czech isn't ready to give up yet. He quickly grabs a rock and bashes Olsen in the head. 

Death No. 11: Nolan Ryan

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    His killer: Jackie Robinson. 

    Robinson never intends to throw himself into the fray this early. His plan is to stay alive and let the field whittle down to a sparse few. But when he grabs some supplies from the cornucopia he can't help but notice a vulnerable and occupied Nolan Ryan while he is busy spearing down Mark Schlereth. Robinson can't resist, and quickly plunges a knife in Ryan before darting off into the woods. 

Death No. 12: Dan Marino

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    His killer: Charles Barkley

    Marino sees the worn-down Jagr and decides to go in for the kill. Unfortunately for him, NBA alliance member Charles Barkley sees it too, and he's armed and ready for such an attack. Marino just happens to be in the way. The time it takes for Barkley to silence Marino gives Jagr the time he needs to escape. 

Death No. 13: Babe Ruth

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    His killer: Michael Jordan

    For god knows what reason, the baseball alliance is feeling lucky. In numbers, they are definitely strong enough to escape into the forest and live to fight another day. Yet they are stupid enough to stay in the fight and challenge the NBA alliance for dominance. Ruth lasts all of nine seconds in a fight with Jordan. 

Death No. 14: Yogi Berra

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    His killer: Magic Johnson

    Berra is simply no match for Johnson. Given his tiny stature and the fact that his allies are getting mowed down by a better alliance, Berra really doesn't stand a chance. 

Death No. 15: Hank Aaron

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    His killer: Larry Bird

    Aaron is the one baseball player who manages to give his NBA counterpart a fight. Still, Bird is armed better, has backup and has a size advantage. Aaron can't handle him, and the MLB alliance has swiftly been eliminated. 

Death No. 16: Charles Barkley

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    His killer: John Stockton

    Surprised? Barkley has size and is best friends with MJ, but circumstances take away many of Barkley's advantages. The NBA alliance is busy with baseball players and Barkley expended some energy in his confrontation with Dan Marino. 

    Stockton manages to keep Barkley busy long enough to wear him down. Barkley's lack of conditioning gets the best of him as Stockton manages to gain the upper hand. In a brutal battle, Stockton manages to take down Barkley with the one small knife he was able to get his hands on.

    Bracing himself for a battle with the NBA alliance, he is surprised when Michael Jordan tells him he won't kill him. MJ is impressed that he was able to take out Barkley, and offers Stockton his spot in the alliance. 

Death No. 17: Takeru Kobayashi

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    His killer: his own stupidity and hunger.

    Nightfall of day one comes with 16 tributes dead and the only questionable "athlete" here miraculously alive. But still, it's been almost eight hours since Kobayashi has eaten, and that just won't do. He grabs the first berries he can find in the woods. Since he is too hungry to care, he doesn't notice that the berries he grabbed are poisonous. He is dead in minutes. 

Death No. 18: Jaromir Jagr

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    His killer: Michael Jordan

    After his miraculous escape from the initial bloodbath, Jagr attempts to put some distance between himself and his competitors. Unfortunately, the injuries he sustained make it hard for him to get too far. The NBA alliance manages to find him by the end of the first night. He puts up a good fight, but Michael Jordan ends it by slitting his throat. 

Death No. 19: Manute Bol

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    His killer: Ian Thorpe

    Bol has survival skills, so he knows that he has to find water to keep himself alive. Unfortunately, he isn't the first to find it. Swimmer Ian Thorpe finds it first, and decides to use it as a weapon. Once Bol gets close, Thorpe uses the element of surprise to drag him in and drown him. 

Death No. 20: Ian Thorpe

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    His killer: Muhammed Ali

    Thorpe is a one-trick pony. Drowning Bol worked, but Ali will have none of it. The instant he feels someone grab his leg, he grabs the arm back, pulls Thorpe out of the water and beat him to a pulp before eventually killing him. 

Death No. 21: Roberto Clemente

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    His killer: Steve Young

    Knowing that neither of them can handle the NBA alliance alone, Steve Young and John Elway decide to form a quarterback alliance. Rather than fight their opponents head-on, they hide in trees and attempt to pick people off with bows and arrows. Clemente is their first victim.

Death No. 22: Bobby Orr

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    His killers: Pelé and Maradona

    We have yet another alliance: Team Soccer. These two actually decide to play it smart, rather than attempt to win with the brute strength they clearly don't have. Pelé draws Orr out for a fight while Maradona hides and waits. Once they've found their prey, Pelé and Maradona take Orr down in a 2-on-1 fight. Unfortunately, that fight isn't without its casualties. 

Death No. 23: Pelé

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    The flaw in Team Soccer's plans was that there was going to be a brief period where the tiny Pelé would have to take on a more experienced fighter in Orr. Although Orr loses the fight eventually, he manages to inflict enough damage on Pelé so that he will die from his injuries shortly afterwards. 

Death No. 24: Steve Young

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    His killer: Hakeem Olajuwon

    Though Young and John Elway are having success with their long-range approach, sooner or later they have to go out in the open for food and water. When that happens, they are ambushed by the NBA alliance. Knowing that the end is near anyway, Young manages to fight them off long enough for Elway to hesitantly get away. He is devastated at the loss of his ally. 


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    Citing "Hunger Games reasons", David Stern decides to call in a rule change. Maybe it is to give new life to tributes who had lost their fallen allies, or maybe it is just for the sake of entertainment, but all we know is that when a dozen tributes remain, Bob Sheppard's voice fills the arena with the following announcement:

    "Attention tributes. There has been a rule change. For the first time ever, two tributes will be allowed to be named victors if they come from the same district. This will be the only announcement."

    For those of you keeping score at home, of the dozen remaining tributes there are four tribute duos eligible to win:

    From District 2: John Elway and John Stockton

    From District 6: Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali

    From District 8: Magic Johnson and Larry Bird

    From District 11: Barry Sanders and Gale Sayers

Death No. 25: Magic Johnson

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    His killer: Michael Jordan

    Hearing the announcement, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird decide now will be their best chance to take on Michael Jordan. They have a two-on-one advantage, and they know they have to get rid of him now before he can find Muhammad Ali. Unfortunately for them, neither stand much of a chance against Jordan, even together. Magic is the first to try attacking his former ally, and he dies first: via decapitation by Jordan's sword. 

Death No. 26: Larry Bird

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    His killer: Michael Jordan

    As previously stated, Bird and Magic try to take down Jordan while they have the chance, but that chance is nonexistent. Unlike Magic, who dies quickly, Jordan makes Bird suffer. A deep cut in the side incapacitates Bird, and Jordan leaves him to bleed to death. In all of the fuss, John Stockton escapes, looking to find his district partner John Elway. 

Death No. 27: Gale Sayers

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    His killer: Muhammad Ali

    Unfortunately for the field, District 6's favored duo unites and begins to lay waste to the field. Sayers is their first victim. While he and Barry Sanders could have won the Games together, they are unable to find each other in time and Sayers is no match for Ali and Jordan. 

Death No. 28: Michael Johnson

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    His killer: John Elway

    Johnson manages to stay in the game by staying alive. Nobody is able to catch him. However, District 2's duo of Elway and Stockton decides it is time to draw him out. Stockton goes out into the open hoping Johnson will take the bait. When he does, he is dispatched by an arrow through the heart. Elway is hiding, ready to take Johnson out from afar when the moment comes. Unfortunately, Johnson manages to get a few good shots in on Stockton before he was killed. A deep cut in the left leg leaves Stockton unable to move and awaiting a certain death. 


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    Eight tributes remain. So, as a way to draw them together for a fight, David Stern decides to call for a feast. But what kind of feast? Well, listen in for Sheppard's announcement:

    "Attention, tributes. Tomorrow morning, we will be throwing a feast at the cornucopia. However, this feast is more than it appears. There will not be just food waiting for you. Each of you needs something... desperately. For many of you, this will be your last chance." 

    Some tributes have figured far more prominently in the games then others thought. Some haven't made an appearance since the initial bloodbath. So what, you're probably asking, does each tribute need? Well, here you go:

    John Elway/John Stockton: medicine for Stockton's leg. Elway isn't winning this thing alone, and Stockton is quickly running out of time before he succumbs to blood loss or infection. 

    Michael Jordan/Muhammad Ali: body armor. In close quarters combat, Elway and Stockton are no match for them, but they are the last remaining duo for the favorites to contend with, so they are their greatest threat. They need something to protect them from Elway's long range assault. 

    Jackie Robinson: a weapon. Robinson was intent on surviving day one, so he played no part in the bloodbath, but, in doing so, he also lost a very valuable opportunity to get supplies. He has managed to stay alive, but he has no way of defending himself in the event of an attack. However, he also needs a weapon that can be effective from long range, as fighting some of his remaining competition from up close is dangerous. So we're giving him a trident. 

    Barry Sanders: food. Sanders is surviving, but supplies are wearing thin for him. Food is scarce and going into the water leaves him vulnerable to an attack. In his pack is enough food to survive for the remainder of the games, allowing him to fight at full strength. 

    Hakeem Olajuwon: camouflage equipment. Olajuwon managed to stay alive at first through allies, but once the NBA alliance broke down, he's simply been lucky to avoid being spotted. He is by far the biggest remaining tribute, so he needs a way to hide himself. 

    Diego Maradona: a weapon. Not the same type as Robinson's, though, as he wouldn't be able to hold up in close quarters combat with any of the remaining tributes. He needs some long-range weaponry, so a bow and arrows await him at the cornucopia. 

Death No. 29: Hakeem Olajuwon

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    His killer: Michael Jordan

    The tributes circle the cornucopia from afar, nobody daring to make the first move. All of a sudden, hiding inside the cornucopia, Jackie Robinson darts out, grabs his weapon and dashes back into the woods before anyone realizes what has just happened. Olajuwon attempts to take advantage of the momentary lapse in attention by darting towards his pack.

    Jordan sees him and follows. He tackles him from behind and the two wrestle for command. Jordan eventually winds up in control and begins to taunt Hakeem. In his last moments of life, Jordan rips two rings off of Olajuwon's fingers (which he was allowed to wear as his one token from the outside world) and says "Thanks for holding these for me." 

Death No. 30: Diego Maradona

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    His killer: Barry Sanders

    While Jordan is occupied with Hakeem, both Elway and Maradona run towards their packs. Maradona uses his superior speed to reach his bow and arrow before Elway can prepare himself. His first arrow doesn't kill Elway, but embeds itself in his shoulder, incapacitating him.

    Maradona goes in for the easy kill when Barry Sanders, just now reaching his pack, sees an easy target and grabs the soccer player. Maradona isn't a physical match for Sanders, which makes him an easy kill. Elway uses the opportunity to grab the medicine and run. Sanders considers chasing him, but he has to take the chance to run away when he sees that Jordan is finishing up with Hakeem. Seeing the blood gush out of Elway makes him think nature will take care of him soon anyway (not knowing about the medicine sitting in his backpack). 

Death No. 31: Barry Sanders

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    His killer: Jackie Robinson

    Now that Robinson is properly armed, he decides to go on the offensive. Knowing that a head-on strike against either remaining duo would be foolish, he decides to go after Sanders. Robinson hunts Sanders down and finishes him off with a trident in the back (which, coincidentally, is the coolest way ever to die).  

Death No. 32: Jackie Robinson

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    His killer: John Stockton

    Fearing their inevitable showdown with the Jordan/Ali combo, Stockton and John Elway decide to go after Robinson as a way to stall and figure out a strategy. Still, fighting Robinson is no picnic, especially with his new trident. 

    Elway shoots two arrows in his direction but misses. This gets his attention and the two engage in a close quarters fight. Elway manages to knock Robinson's trident away, but in a hand-to-hand battle Robinson has a big advantage. He wraps his hands around Elway's neck and just as he is about to pass out from suffocation, Robinson drops to the ground.

    Stockton, who is a couple of hundred yards away searching, hears the fight and runs to his partner's aid. Seeing the loose trident, Stockton picks it up and drives it through Robinson's back, leaving the two duos from districts 2 and 6 as the final four tributes remaining. 

The Final Four: Drawing Them Together

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    Now that we're down to just four tributes, it's time to draw them together for their final battle. Commissioner Stern calls in the dogs. Giant, mutated dogs chase the tributes towards the cornucopia. 

    Elway and Stockton have a leg up, as they had planned to go there anyway. They want to gain high ground so they can attack Ali and Jordan from afar without risk. Once they reach the cornucopia, they see the other pair running towards it and begin shooting arrows at them. The feast prepared them for this, and the arrows have no effect thanks to their body armor. Eventually, all four stand on top of the cornucopia ready for the final battle. 

Deaths No. 33 and No. 34: John Stockton and John Elway

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    Their killers: Muhammad Ali and Michael Jordan

    All four remaining tributes stand on top of the cornucopia, ready for a fight. Elway strikes first with an arrow shot near Ali's head. It misses by inches, and the fight is on. Stockton throws his trident at Jordan, but, with his armor, it doesn't penetrate his skin. Jordan tackles the suddenly unarmed Stockton and, after a brief confrontation, Jordan tosses him off the top of the cornucopia to his death by mutant dogs.

    Elway, thinking quickly, grabs Stockton's loose trident. He attempts to strike Ali several times, but he quickly dodges each time. Elway's attacks push Ali dangerously close to the edge of the cornucopia, so, in a last act of desperation before falling off the edge, he dodges a trident strike by going under it, putting all of his strength into one punch. Elway is knocked off his feet and his trident falls to the ground. While he is still struggling with the pain, Ali grabs him and knocks him down to the dogs and a painful death.

    The dogs scatter and the tributes come back down to the ground. Ali and Jordan stand proudly, ready to be crowned victors. 


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    Minutes pass, Jordan and Ali stand confused, wondering what's going on. Suddenly, it becomes clear. Bob Sheppard's voice fills the arena:

    "Attention, tributes, Commissioner Stern has overruled the previous rule change. Only one tribute may be crowned victor". 

    Suddenly his reasoning for the original change became clear. Stern wanted to create alliances and then, once only the two remained, force them into the most dramatic fight to the death in the history of the Games. The man is an evil genius. 

The Finale

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    Jordan and Ali stare at each other for a moment, not quite sure of what's just happened. Once it sinks in, the two immediately do what they've done throughout the entire game: fight mercilessly (what, you were expecting a double suicide?)

    Ali quickly gains the upper hand. He uses his advantages in physical strength and pure fighting ability to knock Jordan to the ground and hold him down. 

    Jordan doesn't stay down for long, though, he tosses a quick punch into Ali's jaw, disorienting him enough to get away. He knows that he can't hold up in a physical battle with Ali. He needs to think quickly or he'll be killed. And then, he sees it. 

    Lying about 20 feet away is the trident Ali knocked away from Elway. Just as Ali goes in for round two, Jordan dashes towards the trident. Ali quickly notices what is happening, and chases after him. Both grab it and fight over it. The two struggle evenly over it until Jordan knees Ali in the stomach. He quickly loses his grip, giving Jordan the time he needs to forcefully jam the trident into Ali's side. 

The Victor

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    "Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you the winner of the second annual Bleacher Report Hunger Games: Michael Jordan!"

    Jordan stands triumphantly over the body of his final victim, knowing that he has now accomplished every imaginable feat in his athletic career. He has not only beaten his opponents, but killed them in the most brutal ways possible. He is a true champion. 

Completing the Trilogy

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    Everyone who commented on the original enjoyed it so much that I felt compelled to follow it up with a sequel. If this one receives the same praise, I would consider making a Part Three and closing the trilogy. The only problem is, I don't have any ideas for it. If anyone has ideas for a third and final pro sports meets the Hunger Games competition, let me know in the comments, and if I see something both original and awesome, I'll use it as the basis for Part Three. 

    An update: part three has officially been posted and the series is over. Go check it out: part three