The Hunger Games Meet Pro Sports Part 3: When Fictional Athletes Kill Each Other

Sam QuinnContributor IIIJune 24, 2012

The Hunger Games Meet Pro Sports Part 3: When Fictional Athletes Kill Each Other

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    In part one you saw LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Tom Brady and Ray Lewis duke it out for the crown.

    In part two it was Michael Jordan's turn to take home the title, beating out fellow legends like Dan Marino, Muhammed Ali and Magic Johnson

    In part three you saw...

    Well to be honest, you almost saw nobody.

    Despite what I told readers, I decided early into the first draft of part three to scrap the idea entirely. I wish there was a cool reason, like Bleacher Report wouldn't accommodate my nine-figure budget or I met Jennifer Lawrence and she made me swear never to write about her film again, but that's not what happened. 

    The truth is these things are just really hard to write. I thought I'd taken the idea as far as I could and with The Hunger Games now out of the public eye I figured there was no way I'd get a good reader return on part three anyway. 

    Fortunately for me (or unfortunately, depending on how much you value my free time), I have a small but rabid fanbase who demanded a proper ending. Then LeBron started reading The Hunger Games on camera, which gave me just enough confidence in this piece that I decided to move forward and actually write it. Inspiration eventually struck and, a few all-nighters later, I'd written a satisfactory conclusion to my critically acclaimed (don't ask which critics) series.

    I'm gonna keep the introductions short and sweet this time (other than my massive opening of course) so we can get right into the killing. This time we're using fictional athletes. Every tribute in the field starred as an athlete (and I use that term loosely in some cases) on a movie or TV show. 

    By the way, in case you haven't read the beginning of the series or just want a refresher:

    Part One.

    Part Two. 

The Rules

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    In case you haven't read the first two parts or haven't seen the movie, here are the rules:

    - 24 athletes go in. One comes out.

    - Instead of using districts (which would have been impossible with these fictional athletes), we're just going to group the athletes by their sport.

    - Each sport gets a mentor, a fictional coach who is going to help their guys prepare for the games and organize sponsors (reach people who want to help specific athletes).

    - These aren't necessarily the 24 best fictional athletes. It's the group of 24 that I believe will create the best and most interesting games. Remember in the actual story the tributes are selected randomly, so the best athletes may be left out entirely.

    - All athletes are considered to be at the athletic level they are in their films/shows. If they are in multiple films/shows then it's up for my interpretation. 

    - Before the games each tribute will receive a training score from 1-12, with 12 being the highest. This will help you determine who the favorites are going into the games. We're leaving out gambling odds this time because they're just too random.

    - Same arena as parts 1 and 2, it's 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.

    - Just so we're clear, 24 go in, one comes out. 

    - Oh, and one asterisk. Every athlete in these games was in a movie I've seen. While my sports movie knowledge is extensive, it's not complete. So I'd like to personally apologize to the casts of Any Given Sunday, Caddyshack and Bull Durham (among others) ahead of time for being left out of the field. I'll get around to watching those movies eventually, but nowadays I spend too much time writing about athletes killing each other gladiator style. 

The Non-Athletes

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    No games are complete without the non-athletes. There are rules and regulations that need to be carried out, and someone has to lead the TV broadcast. Here are our three non-athletes:

    Commissioner: David Stern

    In honor of the NBA Finals, commissioner Stern and I would like to make a joint announcement that these games are rigged and we have already determined the winner. I mean... best of luck to all of the contestants and may the best man win!

    Announcer: Bob Uecker

    I figured if we're using fictional athletes we might as well use a fictional announcer. Yes I know Bob Uecker actually exists, but we're using the fictionalized version from the Major League series. If you can think of a better announcer I'd like to hear who. He was fantastic.

    Analyst: Pepper Cotton

    I feel bad for depriving the gamblers of odds, so I'm setting an over/under of 6.5 for utterances of "Pepper needs new shorts!" during these games. I'd love to see his unique style of broadcasting for a competition where people are killing each other. 

Baseball

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    Tribute 1: Ricky Vaughn

    Starred in: Major League

    Pros: He's a former convict with an absolute cannon for an arm; he's still young and hasn't even hit his athletic prime yet; he's going to have two Cleveland teammates to form an alliance with and the Wild Thing is my favorite movie athlete of all time. You do the math. 

    Cons: Without his glasses he's about as accurate with a baseball as I am (and side note, as anyone with glasses can attest to, you need to clean them every few hours. Good luck doing that without supplies while spending two weeks fighting for your life; he's gonna end up blind).

    Training Score: 10

    Tribute 2: Willie Mays Hayes

    Starred in: Major League

    Pros: He's one of, if not the fastest tribute in the field. He also starred in an action movie and did his own stunts. Just like Vaughn, Hayes is one of my favorite all-time movie athletes, so don't expect me to write him off any time soon.

    Cons: Speed is his only real skill. He's also loud and fairly lazy for someone with his gifts. 

    Training Score: 7

    Tribute 3: Pedro Cerrano

    Starred in: Major League

    Pros: He's a voodoo and he's absolutely insane. He once tried to sacrifice a live chicken before a playoff game. Probably the strongest baseball player in the field.

    Cons: He's absolutely insane. He's gone from blood thirsty voodoo to peaceful Buddhist and back. He's a risky bet.

    Training Score: 9

    Tribute 4: Roy Hobbs

    Starred in: The Natural

    Pros: I'm not sure if it was him or his bat, but we can at least be somewhat certain that he has magic powers.

    Cons: He played in the late-'30s and wasn't exactly a spring chicken at the time. There is no way he could keep up with some of his modern counterparts.

    Training Score: 4

    Tribute 5: Kelly Leak

    Starred in: Bad News Bears

    Pros: He rides a Harley and smokes cigarettes and he's not even an adult. He also must not have much moral fortitude considering he was willing to play little league baseball with a bunch of 12-year-olds. 

    Cons: There's one kid in this field that I think has a real shot at winning but it's not Leak. He's too young. Maybe next year, oh wait...

    Training score: 5

    Mentor: Lou Brown

    By now you probably know of my love for the Major League franchise (well, the first two). But seriously, how could I deny this mustache?

Basketball

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    Tribute 6: Jimmy Chitwood

    Starred in: Hoosiers

    Pros: Like Hobbs, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Chitwood had magic powers. He also has great fundamentals.

    Cons: I'm pretty sure the whole point of Hoosiers was that they don't have any actual athleticism. 

    Training Score: 3

    Tribute 7: Jesus Shuttlesworth

    Starred in: He Got Game

    Pros: He grew up on the mean streets of Coney Island with a convict father, he's an athletic prodigy and he was actually played by an athlete. Who do you think is winning a fight to the death, Ray Allen or Charlie Sheen? Oh, and he's the only one in the field to have earned the respect of Michael Jordan.

    Cons: He's still pretty young and could add some bulk, but otherwise I like Shuttlesworth as one of the favorites.

    Training Score: 11

    Tribute 8: Scott Howard

    Starred in: Teen Wolf

    Pros: He can turn into a werewolf.

    Cons: Who cares? He can turn into a werewolf.

    Training Score: 11

    Tribute 9: Jackie Moon

    Starred in: Semi Pro

    Pros: I think this is the first tribute who I've ever had trouble thinking of a pro for. I guess he's sort of creative?

    Cons: He's not exactly athletic, nor is he intelligent. He'll be one of the first to go.

    Training score: 2

    Tribute 10: Calvin Cambridge

    Starred in: Like Mike

    Pros: When he's wearing Michael Jordan's shoes he's a star. 

    Cons: When he isn't he's about as useful as a poopy flavored lollipop. Luckily for him, I'm letting him go into the arena with the shoes. Let's give the kid a fighting chance.

    Training Score: 4

    Mentor: Norman Dale

    How am I supposed to deny the greatest movie coach of all time? If he can take a bunch of small-town, nonathletic kids to a state championship he can definitely turn one of these guys into a winner.

Football

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    Tribute 11: Bobby Boucher

    Starred in: The Water Boy

    Pros: He's an incredible athlete as long as someone in his vicinity is bad-mouthing water.

    Cons: His IQ is somewhere in the low-to-mid teens.

    Training Score: 9

    Tribute 12: Rudy

    Starred in: Rudy

    Pros: He's got a heart of gold and will outwork the entire field.

    Cons: He's one of the worst pure athletes in the field. You don't get credit for just getting on the field in this game.

    Training Score: 3

    Tribute 13: Rod Tidwell

    Starred in: Jerry Maguire

    Pros: Great athlete who has shown the ability to come up big in the clutch and he's also fairly greedy, which is a good trait to have in this game.

    Cons: His contract figures (4 years, $11 million) makes me think he isn't as great as the movie makes it seem.

    Training Score: 7

    Tribute 14: Paul Crewe

    Starred in: The Longest Yard

    Pros: He's a former convict who's admitted to fixing games for gambling purposes, which doesn't exactly make it seem like he has great morals. 

    Cons: He's a quarterback, one of the least athletically-demanding positions in football.

    Training Score: 6

    Tribute 15: Thad Castle

    Starred in: Blue Mountain State

    Tangent: Blue Mountain State is one of the funniest shows you've never seen. Go watch it. Now.

    Pros: He's an incredible athlete, a projected top-five pick in the NFL draft.

    Cons: he's a drug addict, alcoholic, potential sex addict and has an IQ floating around five. He once uttered the sentence: "hasta la later John Elway, you no-talent piece of garbage!"

    Training Score: 6

    Tribute 16: Shane Falco

    Starred in: The Replacements

    Pros: He's a leader and a decent enough athlete.

    Cons: He's a quarterback and a much worse one than Crewe.

    Training Score: 4

    Mentor: Bud Kilmer

    Kilmer's complete lack of caring for the well being of his players makes him the perfect coach for these games. 

Other Sports

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    Tribute 17: Rocky Balboa

    Starred in: Rocky

    Pros: He's a scrappy underdog who knows how to outwork his opponents, but he's also a boxer in a field of normal athletes.

    Cons: He's not elite in any one area. He'll have trouble with both the strongest and fastest competitors in the field.

    Training Score: 9

    Tribute 18: Ivan Drago

    Starred in: Rocky IV

    Pros: He's an unstoppable war machine of a boxer who also happens to be a captain in the Red Army. This might just be a hunch, but something tells me most captains in the Red Army have been through these games a time or two

    Cons: He speaks very little English so alliances are nearly impossible and also his wife seems to be the brains of the operation. 

    Training Score: 11

    Tribute 19: Ricky Bobby

    Starred in: Talledega Nights

    Pros: He likes to go fast. So I guess that's something.

    Cons: Pretty much everything else.

    Training Score: 2

    Tribute 20: Daniel-San

    Starred in: The Karate Kid

    Pros: He's the Karate Kid, trained by the legendary Mr. Miyagi himself.

    Cons: He's the Karate Kid, not the Karate Man. Good luck fighting Drago. 

    Training Score: 6

    Tribute 21: Happy Gilmore

    Starred in: Happy Gilmore

    Pros: He has a background in hockey and loves to fight, and he's also borderline insane. He has the luxury of being able to team up with his fellow Sandler. 

    Cons: He's a golfer, which loses points no matter what.

    Training Score: 6

    Tribute 22: White Goodman

    Starred in: Dodgeball

    Pros: He has awesome hair.

    Cons: I don't know why that would help in this sort of competition.

    Training Score: 2

    Tribute 23: Peter LaFleur

    Starred in: Dodegball

    Pros: He's crafty and likable. While not a great athlete I could see him teaming up with some better ones.

    Cons: One of the worst athletes in the field.

    Training Score: 3

    Mentor: Patches O’Houlihan

    I really debated this one. Mr. Miyagi got some consideration, and this B/R article even made me think about Yoda. But in the end I couldn't deny the greatest words of wisdom any movie coach has ever said: "If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball."

The Twist!

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    Some of my more astute readers might have noticed something. I only listed 23 tributes. But wait Sam, why did you only list 23?

    Well, for tribute No. 24 I decided to shake things up. I've decided to stack the deck. For tribute No. 24, we're bringing in a ringer.

Tribute No. 24

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    Tribute 24: Michael Jordan

    Starred in: Space Jam

    Pros: He's a former winner, the only one ever to make a second appearance in the games, he's the best pure athlete in the field and he's a ruthless competitor ready to do absolutely anything to win.

    Cons: none

    Training Score: 12

    Many of the other competitors claimed that this wasn't fair. Not only was Jordan a real athlete, but he had already won these games once before. Putting him back in the arena would give them all a big disadvantage. You know what I have to say to that?

    Welcome to the Space Jam. 

Death No. 1: Happy Gilmore

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    His killer: Bobby Boucher

    The following exchange took place in the moments leading up to the opening gong:

    Boucher: "remember, we're not going for the weapons, we're meeting up at the water."

    Gilmore: "no way, water sucks."

    He never stood a chance. 

Death No. 2: Rudy

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    His killer: Ivan Drago

    This is just a case of bad luck. Rudy was lined up on a platform between Drago and Michael Jordan. He had to pick a direction and chose the lesser of two evils. Drago proceeded to knock him out of the game quickly. 

Death No. 3: Kelly Leak

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    His Killer: Michael Jordan

    Rudy was on one of Jordan's sides, Leak was on his other. When Jordan saw Rudy veer away he knew he had his first target. Jordan ran him down like a lion chasing a gazelle and took him out quickly and (relatively) painlessly. 

Death No. 4: Peter LaFleur

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    His Killer: White Goodman

    As a show of good faith between the two former competitors, Goodman and LaFleur agreed to leave each other alone until the end (if they both made it). Considering it's White Goodman, you can't really be surprised that he reneged on his agreement. One swoosh of his deadly brown locks and LaFleur was a goner.

Death No. 5: Calvin Cambridge

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    His killer: Michael Jordan

    Jordan had a particular vendetta against Cambridge. He didn't like the idea of someone making this competition just because he happened to have his shoes. 

    The instant Jordan reached the cornucopia he grabbed a sword and took off after the young Cambridge. When he eventually grabbed him he chopped of his legs and left him to bleed to death. He decided to hold onto his old sweaty shoes to give to a fan LeBron James style. 

Death No. 6: Daniel-San

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    His killer: Jesus Shuttlesworth

    When Daniel-San reached the cornucopia he had a moment on confusion. While he was trained in the art of hand-to-hand combat by Mr. Miyagi, he didn't know how to use swords or throwing knives. Shuttlesworth showed no such insecurity in grabbing the first axe he could find and immediately decapitating the young karate champion. 

Death No. 7: Jackie Moon

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    His killer: Rick Vaughn

    The Indians really had a great strategy. Willie Mays Hayes ran ahead to the front of the pack and collected weapons for his teammates before anyone else could reach the cornucopia.

    Once the others reached him, Hayes handed Vaughn a few spears and Pedro Cerrano a sword. Vaughn threw the spears at unsuspecting victims while Cerrano protected him with the sword. Jackie Moon just happened to be slow enough not to get away. 

Death No. 8: Shane Falco

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    His killer: The teen wolf

    I'm not even gonna bother with this one. It's a man against a wolf. Who did you think was gonna win?

Death No. 9: The Teen Wolf

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    His killer: White Goodman

    By now you should know that I always like to throw in an early surprise. After finishing up with Falco, the teen wolf started chasing down Goodman.

    Fortunately for Goodman, he never goes anywhere without his trusty piece of King Midas' silver. Using the werewolf's only weakness, Goodman managed to take down one of the early favorites. 

Death No. 10: Ricky Bobby

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    His killer: Rick Vaughn

    Remember how Jackie Moon died? Well I felt there would be a certain symmetry to killing Ricky Bobby the same way. It's also realistic, they'd have pretty similar strategies. Therefore, they're dying the same way. 

Death No. 11: Rod Tidwell

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    His killer: Rocky Balboa

    I really wanted to throw in a "show me the money" joke here, but there was just no organic way to do it. Let's just pretend I did. Oh, and Rocky killed him. Let's say he beat him to death or something. 

Death No. 12: Thad Castle

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    His killer: natural causes

    He's quite possibly the stupidest character in TV history. He's addicted to several drugs and I doubt he's ever gone more than 12 hours without alcohol. I don't know how this is gonna happen, but there's no way he's making it past day one. It could be poisonous berries, it could be withdrawal, he could get eaten by some angry squirrels for all we know. Let's just split the difference and say he died of natural causes. 

Death No. 13: Bobby Boucher

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    His killer: Michael Jordan

    Jordan is as crafty as he is powerful. Knowing that a direct confrontation with the waterboy would be dangerous, he approaches him slowly by the water.

    Jordan makes some small talk about how much he loves water. He tells Boucher about how it gets him through games. Once he's gained Boucher's trust, he breaks out a knife and quickly stabs the waterboy before he even knows what's going on. 

Death No. 14: White Goodman

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    His killer: Pedro Cerrano

    When the two met during the training stage of the games they immediately disliked each other. This is probably due to the insults Goodman threw at Cerrano over his religion, race, accent and pretty much anything else you can think of. 

    Therefore, before the games, Cerrano made a voodoo doll of Goodman. He thought about killing him with it right away, but thought that might arouse suspicion. So he waited until midway through the competition to rip off its head and kill Goodman. 

Death No. 15: Roy Hobbs

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    His killer: Jesus Shuttlesworth

    I'm surprised Hobbs actually made it this far given his physical disadvantages. They were exposed in a quick but bloody battle with Shuttlesworth. 

Death No. 16: Rocky Balboa

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    His killer: Ivan Drago

    This is really more of a personal vendetta for me. It never made any sense to me that Rocky could beat Drago in Russia, especially after Drago beat Apollo Creed to death. 

    Well you know what? I'm the writer now. So we're rewriting history. The two former opponents agree to fight an honorable match to determine who would keep going in the games. And you know what? The better fighter won. A shocking concept to Rocky fans everywhere I know, but luckily for all of you this writer knows what he's doing. 

Death No. 17: Jimmy Chitwood

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    His killer: Rick Vaughn

    The Indian alliance is starting to hit their groove. They send Hayes out as a scout to find their prey, then use Cerrano to draw him out. Once their victim is out in the open, Vaughn hits them with a spear. 

    Naturally this strategy works with Chitwood, who has a great jump shot but vastly overrated speed. Maybe that's why he never made it in the NBA. 

Death No. 18: Paul Crewe

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    His killer: Michael Jordan

    I sort of view Crewe in the Brett Favre role from part one. He's the crafty, curmudgeonly old timer who sits around fires roasting beans and giving out sagely advice. 

    Unfortunately he ran into Michael Jordan. You connect the dots. 

Death No. 19: Rick Vaughn

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    His killer: Michael Jordan

    As the field dwindled down to six, Jordan knew he'd have to do something to get rid of the Indian alliance quickly before it became a 3-on-1 finale. Feeling that an alliance with Drago would be too risky, Jordan approached Jesus Shuttlesworth asking to take on the trio together.

    They decided a surprise attack at night would be the most effective move, so they found the Indian camp and waited for the sun to go down. The Indians decided Vaughn would take the first watch and the others went to sleep.

    Jordan decided to take out Vaughn first so he couldn't warn the others. Shuttlesworth created a diversion just to get his attention, but before he could spring into action Jordan slit his throat from behind. 

    In his last moments of life, Vaughn had to watch helplessly as Jordan took his glasses, wanting yet another fan souvenir. I'm not sure if I should call that awesome or narcissistic, but I'm guessing the other competitors weren't crazy about it. 

Death No. 20: Pedro Cerrano

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    His killer: Jesus Shuttlesworth

    Unfortunately for the new basketball alliance, it's pretty hard to slit someone's throat quietly. Both Cerrano and Hayes heard the noise and woke up. 

    Hayes, knowing what would happen if he stayed, jetted away rather than stay and risk a confrontation with Jordan. Cerrano, knowing that his 3-2 advantage had been cut to a 2-1 deficit, shouted Caribbean obscenities (which by the way would be a great name for a band) into the distance before facing down the duo. 

    To his credit Cerrano actually put up a good fight. It just wasn't good enough. He briefly knocked Jordan off his feet before Shuttlesworth managed to get the best of him. 

Death No. 21: Willie Mays Hayes

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    His killer: Ivan Drago

    Unbeknownst to the rest of the competitors, Drago was close by spying on the competition. When he saw Hayes leave he decided to cut him off. A few moments later, Hayes bumped right into Drago and fell flat on the ground. Paralyzed in fear, Hayes couldn't even get up.

    Drago berated Hayes for his cowardice in abandoning his teammate and friend before looking directly into his eyes and telling him, "I must break you." Hayes was dead in a matter of seconds. 

Death No. 22: Ivan Drago

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    His killer: Michael Jordan

    Seeing the success of their assault on the Indians, Jordan and Shuttlesworth agree to fight Drago together. They also agree that facing Drago after their fight with Cerrano would be foolish, so they set up camp for the night. 

    Drago however, has no such reservations. He heads straight for the camp and immediately socks Shuttlesworth in the face. Jordan springs into action and engages Drago in a one-on-one fight. Drago gains the upper hand due to his superior physical strength, but Jordan manages to draw the fight to one of his carefully placed knives.

    Just as it seems that Drago might take down His Airness, Jordan pulls out the knife and stabs Drago in the neck, setting up the finale between Jordan and Shuttlesworth.

    Pepper needs new shorts!

Death No. 23: Michael Jordan

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    His killer: Jesus Shuttlesworth

    Remember that punch Shuttlesworth took from Drago? Well, the impact may not have been as great as it seemed. Knowing that a fight with Drago would wear him out for an inevitable showdown with Jordan, he decided to take a dive to sit out the Drago fight and preserve energy for the finale. 

    Jordan was too busy with Drago to even notice. Fortunately for him, he still had that knife, and the moment he was finished with Drago he went after Shuttlesworth, who he now noticed was gone. 

    Jesus carefully studied Jordan during their time together and kept track of where he left all of his weapons, including his sword.

    When the two collided Jordan initially had the edge because his knife gave him an agility advantage, but Jesus managed to knock it away with the sword. 

    Jordan kept fighting until the end, but once the knife was gone he knew he had lost. The favorite was upset by the high schooler from Brooklyn. Ladies and gentlemen may I present your champion: Jesus Shuttlesworth. 

The End of an Era

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    It's finally over. Three massive novels (and that's really what I call them at this point), hundreds of hours of research and a small group of dedicated fans later, the Hunger Games meets pro sports is officially complete.

    I'd like to take a moment to thank that my small cult following. Had you not taken the time to barrage my wall and inbox with questions this finale would have never happened. See, fans can make a difference.

    As one era ends, another begins, so you should all follow me on my brand new twitter @TheRealSamQuinn. Yes I'm giving myself a shameless twitter plug, I feel like I've earned it at this point considering the years of my life I've dedicated to these things. If you want 140 character versions of these stories that's the only place you're gonna get them.

    But now I'm rambling so let me get to the point. It was a great ride and now it's over. I guess you'll have to look somewhere else to get your fix of athletes killing each other (or, you know, my twitter). It was a great ride and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.