Taking Issue: The First "Mighty Ducks" Movie

Travis MillerAnalyst IJanuary 9, 2009

Rather than consuming my usual breakfast of three or four hours of SportsCenter, I decided not to expose myself to this morning's predictable coverage. The only thing I was interested in was what Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham had to say. I was hoping for a meltdown.

I channel-surfed for a bit until I hit the jackpot: The first "Mighty Ducks" movie was on TBS.

Before I say anything, I feel obligated to say the "Mighty Ducks" movies all rank among my favorite sports movies of all time. "The Sandlot" holds the top spot, and will likely never be dethroned.

I grew up about an hour and a half northwest of New York City, and an hour south of Albany. Hockey isn't exactly the main squeeze around here. However, after "The Mighty Ducks" came out, my friends and I all had a pair of roller blades and a hockey stick.

I have nothing but love for the film and its influence on the sport of hockey, but as I watched again today, I found it flawed in several areas:

1) Media coverage:

This pee-wee hockey league in Minnesota not only gets radio coverage each game,
but when a team wins, they get the front page of the newspaper, too?

I'm glad Minnesota's economy was flourishing so much in the early '90s, because sports staffs at mid-level circulation print media outlets now are lucky to have six or seven employees. One or two of them are actually full-time writers. The rest split time between writing and copy-editing.

No way pee-wee hockey is getting covered. Coaches will call it in, and there will be a 50-word recap hidding somewhere on the third page of the sports section.

2) Fans:

I know parents and families are going to support their kids, but the crowds at each game looked to have a few thousand people in it. I might believe 75-100 fans at pee-wee hockey game.

There will be empty seats, and I sincerely doubt the venue will actually bother sending people into work to sell food and beverages. The celebratory popcorn throwing wouldn't happen.

3) Gordon Bombay visits his players in school:

I'm not going to accuse Emilio Estevez's character of anything, but if the coach of a team not affiliated with the institution tried to visit his pre-teen players in school nowadays, there would likely be an investigation launched on him as he is temporarily relieved of his coaching duties.

The coach with little man syndrome and a drunk driving problem also wouldn't woo the hot mother of one of his players.

4) Hawks players are TOUGH:

After Ducks newbie and former Hawks star Adam Banks is laid out/hospitalized as he scored a goal to bring the Ducks within two, one Hawks player asks the one who hit Banks "What did you do?"

He responds in his pre-pubescent voice: "My job."


5) Hans fully supports Gordon Bombay:

At the end of the movie, Coach Bombay thanks Hans for all his help and support over the years:

GB - "Thank you, Hans."

Hans - "I'm proud of you, boy."

Hans realizes Bombay was not only convicted of driving drunk, but then was fired from his law firm, right? To coach pee-wee hockey and try out for a minor league hockey team?


Closing thoughts: "The Mighty Ducks" will always hold a special place in my heart. "D2: The Mighty Ducks Are Back" is my favorite of the three, but that might just be because of the sense of nationalism it instills, like "Rocky IV". Similar to the Rocky movies, the first is the best, but not the favorite.


    Iconic Sports Illustrated Writer Deford Dies at Age 78

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    Iconic Sports Illustrated Writer Deford Dies at Age 78

    Tyler Conway
    via Bleacher Report