Since I live in Southern California and especially near Hollywood, doesn’t that mean there is some kind of requirement on sending a script or pitch to the studios? I would hate to ignore my Southern California resident duty, so I’ve decided to give the studios my very own pitch for a movie. A hockey movie to be exact. It will be exciting! It will be an underdog sport story! It will make you root for the good guys! I know, I know, they are all like that. So made up and contrived! But you know what else? It works and sells tickets. Hollywood here I come!
I’ll start out by telling the producers and directors this movie will be about a hockey team in Los Angeles. They will all snicker. So I have to grab their attention. I’ll tell them that they are all a bunch of very talented players from all over the world. That their team is in the dumps and can’t get any respect. No one takes them seriously. They live at the beach and make millions playing hockey? Impossible! This grabs their attention because its different – no one has thought of this before! I tell them that the team is being made fun of, the coaches are in a quandary of what to do, even the GM (who I’ll have drive a big expensive sedan and smoke cigars) will be at his wit’s end. So the story starts out with this crazy so cal hockey team that sucks. The GM sweeps in one day waving his cigar around and fires the coaches. The players are stunned! They are on the road! They think its over for them for another year! This is where my story starts.
The GM then calls an old friend of his to come in and take over. I’ll even make it more impossible and have him live out on a farm somewhere in the boonies when he gets the call to coach this team of misfits. Of course no one will believe a guy on a farm would do that, but I’ve thought ahead! I’m going to have this guy be from say, 7 brothers and they all played hockey. Maybe I’ll even have one of the brothers who could never go the hockey route so he stayed on the farm and helped the family. Oh that’s good! Such emotion! But here is the kicker. The coach-to-be never got that one in a million chance for the cup. He has been toiling away in the barn for years and his thoughts often wander to “what could have been…”. So he accepts the job and flies to meet the team who is by now practically dead last in the standings! I know the movie directors are on the edge of their seat right now because, really, who could believe this? It’s just crazy enough for a movie they think, so they ask me about the cast of characters.
I tell the movie producers that I have thought up a great group of characters for this team. I’ll have the big extra talented center who is very gentle. I’ll have the captain who is shy with a lisp who likes to hit people. A lot. I’ll have a big goofy guy with a missing tooth who is married to a beautiful model but he can’t play worth beans and I’ll have a goalie who can drop in the splits faster than a gymnast and often has to save the fated team from loss after loss. The goalie will of course have a backup goalie who wants his job for extra dimension to the story. For even more drama, I’ll include a guy who got traded to the team just as the season started so he is new to this group. He came from a very well-loved team but was kicked out by an evil team member called, well, Slytherin is used already, so I’ll call him the Evil Pronger. I’ll round out the roster with a few good-looking fast skating guys and a couple Russians who do not speak English. So far so good, my team is set and my movie starts out as a tragedy that must overcome impossible odds to end up a “feel-good” sports film.
I can see it now, the directors and producers and writers that I’m pitching my idea to will want to know how it ends. They’ll say it’s just too wild a story. That I can’t make it work. That I should pitch to the Sci Fi channel instead of the studios. But I tell them to wait! To hear me out! and I jump up and down and wave my arms in the air and make a big production of how I can redeem this team and with it make a blockbuster movie for them! They nod to each other and say they will listen for a few more minutes since I’m so sure it will make them richer.
With all eyes on me, I launch into the tale of how the coach turned each of those players around. How he makes the gentle giant use his size to smash people when needed and how he teaches the captain to lead by example and hone his legal hit skills. This in turn makes the Captain believe in himself and his team and he goes on a scoring streak. The directors shake their heads of this impossibility but I keep talking before they walk out. I tell them that even though everyone thinks they can score high on the goalie, it is all a secret cover up and no one can score either high or low and so the team starts winning games. The directors are leaning forward so I know I have their attention now.
I bring in the human element with the goofy guy and the model. I have her leave him because he is sucking at the game and he finds his inner strength and starts to play better. To lighten up the heavy theme of the movie so far, I’ll have this missing tooth cutie have a sense of humor. His jokes and how he handles this personal tragedy pulls the team together like the family they were always meant to be. The producers like this and wave for me to go on. I tell them that the gritty guy who got kicked out of his old team and feels he doesn’t’ quite belong gets a lift as the slick GM brings in his best friend in a trade and they are reunited! To add even more fun to the movie and add to the lighter side, I’ll have them both be good-looking party guys who get all the babes! Now the writers are on board with my movie too! They all look at me to see how I can top it. Can I make this team, this poor pathetic group of hockey players in the beginning of the movie, come out on top?
Of course I yell! And before anyone can stop me due to the incredulous tale I’m weaving, I go on to say that the team only squeaks in on the very last place to make the playoffs. They like that. Its more believable. But then I hit them up along side the head telling how this amazing team beats not only the third place team, but the second and the first place teams too and advances to the Stanley Cup Final!!! The room is captivated but hesitant by this news. So I bring in my secret weapon. I bring in a hurt player who the team loves, out into the final few games to add an element of honor among athletes. They play his poor bedraggled soul so he can get his name on the cup. It’s all very emotional! So in the middle of this battle of hockey for the most coveted trophy in sports, I make the team we have to play against for the cup the very antithesis of us. In fact, I even make a little play on words and call the team the opposite of ours from the city of Angels. I call them the Devils! Oh! they yell, that is so dramatic!
I have the team win all the games by the most incredible ways. The gentle giant lays out people, The Captain scores and hits everyone near him, the best friends break out and score lots of goals solidifying them as part of the team for eternity! Even the Russians and good-looking guys score too! It’s an absolute miracle! The feel good movie of the century! The team wins the Stanley Cup and the whole hockey community, no, the whole world listens up and takes notice!
I stand there all out of breath from telling my tales and wait for their reaction. They talk among themselves and one by one get up and leave the room and quietly close the door. I hear them talk to one another but only get bits and pieces. The words “crazy” and “unbelievable” make their way to my ears and I sit down defeated. I nod though. Because really, who would believe this tale of triumph over tragedy?
Then I remember I’m a Kings fan and I’m living the dream baby! I get to live this miracle every day of my life forever, amen!
Woo! Go Kings!