Mar 24, 2010, 5:30 PM EDT
When I heard about the Washington Capitals’ most recent headaches revolving around steroid investigations at the team’s training facility, I didn’t immediately assume that some of their players were up to no good. Instead, I couldn’t help but whimsically compare Alex Ovechkin to Dolph Lundgren’s Ivan Drago from “Rocky IV.”* This was the first image that popped into my head.
Now, there’s no reason to believe Ovechkin (or any Caps player) is guilty of foul play. Let me say that again: I am not accusing anyone of using steroids. That’s actually not what I’m interested in discussing.
Really, this is the main idea: Alex Ovechkin should embrace his inner Drago and accept this opportunity to morph into an ultra-menacing hockey villain. It’s the role many are trying to place him in anyway, so why fight to maintain a squeaky-clean image (like Tiger Woods) when he could instead shrug his shoulders and say “this is who I am, deal with it” (and be forgiven perpetually like lovable lugs like Charles Barkley and Robert Downey Jr.)?
Just follow Drago’s lead.
Since I’m such a helpful guy (and also because I have too much time on my hands), I’ll go one step further and cast NHL personalities as Rocky IV characters. Heck, I’ll even do an American and Canadian version. Thank me later.
Check out the cast after the jump
Drago – Ovechkin: Gigantic, physically intimidating Russian who attracts gorgeous blondes. Sometimes hurts opponents with his hard hits; critics think he’s dirty but fans just think he’s doing his job.
Blonde wife/spokesperson – One of Ovechkin’s many Russian beauties: Think of how much easier things would be for Ovechkin if he had someone completing those pesky interviews for him like Drago did.
Apollo Creed: Brian Campbell (USA) or Sergei Gonchar (CAN): Best friend/teammate of hero falls victim to devastating injury (or death). Bonus points if Ovechkin says this about Campbell: “If he breaks his clavicle, he breaks his clavicle.”
Rocky: Sidney Crosby (CAN) or Patrick Kane (USA): The hero must avenge his fallen comrade in a high stakes bout. It would be even better if one of them went through crazy winter tree lugging training and/or managed to grow a robust beard.
Shady Russian manager: Bruce Boudreau: “Drago shouldn’t be penalized for being too strong!”
Robot butler: OK, I’m pretty sure the robot butler was in Rocky “III” but I demand one anyway. You got that? Give me a robot butler or I walk!
Anyway, that’s how I see that imaginary scenario playing out. Is there a better movie comparison than “Rocky IV”? Tell me about it in the comments.
* – The film was a seminal part of my childhood, but I must acknowledge that ESPN’s Bill Simmons is the movie’s most prominent Internet evangelist.
(Hopefully you understand that this is a joke.)
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