Monday, May 23, 2011

If Hockey Were A Telenovela...

So I've been watching more telenovelas than usual lately. (Don't ask why.) I don't know how Latin America does it, but they've somehow blended soap operas and sitcoms, and struck gold. You don't even need to fully understand Spanish to enjoy them! There are slaps to the face, ultra-dramatic closeups, appearances by people that I'm assuming are famous singers, and middle-aged women in completely age-inappropriate outfits. I'm enjoying telenovelas so much that some days, I have to stop myself from starting every question I write with an upside-down question mark. ¿Verdad? ¡Si!

I've even started thinking about what it would be like if hockey was a telenovela.

As with any narrative - and you should all know by now that I see sports as a narrative, rather than a bunch of stats or however it is most of you see it - there are archetypes. You'd be hard-pressed to write a telenovela (or even a gringo soap opera) without a few key characters.

THE VICTIM. There's always that character whose parents were poisoned the day before his wedding to a girl who only wanted his money, or that character who was raped by her boyfriend's brother and then shamed in court because no one believes her story except her boyfriend, whose wife is pregnant. The Victim's life is just one awful misfortune after another. There are a few guys like that in, including our own Max Pacioretty. This season was one thing after another for poor Pac, whether it was something he said, something he did, or something that injured him. You want soap opera drama? Just think of what people said for a week after Max lay on the ice, unconscious, after a stanchion pushed him into Zdeno Chara. However, unlike your average telenovela victim, Pac was never a one-man pity party. But we as fans gladly picked up that torch and made ourselves heard.

THE TEENAGER. Everyone on telenovelas has a huge personality and a crazy appearance to go with it. (Seriously, these people dress like prostitutes on early 90's sitcoms.) And, obviously, there are enough disagreements to go around. But it seems like the emotional teenagers have it worse than the grownups. There's usually a teenager on every telenovela who talks a little louder than everyone else, has a really wacky sense of style, and gets no respect from their elders. Does that sound like PK Subban to you? Young, energetic, snappy dresser, constantly being shut down by adults who think they know better but don't necessarily act like it?

THE BITCH. You'll see this character in lots of gringo soap operas as well, because you can't have drama without a pre-menopausal, ultra-wealthy superbitch. She runs things. She's a master manipulator. She ruins lives for no reason at all. Heck, in a couple of telenovelas this character flat-out killed people for money or personal satisfaction. Everyone hates her and yet no one can take her down. If she were a man a very small man, she'd be Bettman.

THE MONSTER. A telenovela isn't complete without a guy who's nothing but bad. He's committed about as many crimes as you can name, but he rarely sees the consequences of his actions. If you hate him (and you most likely do), you have absolutely no idea how anyone can like him. And that, at least to me, sounds an awful lot like Zdeno Chara. You'd be hard-pressed to find a Habs fan whose respect for Chara outweighs their disgust.

It's a shame the hockey drama is winding down. I've learned all these fabulous Spanish insults, and I'm not sure if I have enough time to use them all before the Stanley Cup finds a new home.


  1. OMG please please please write this telenovela script rife with fabulous Spanish insults! Don't just tease me and leave me hanging like this! And can you photoshop Thomas in 90's prostitute wear? Cause I think that would somehow be appropriate...

  2. Weird coincidence, Tyg, I was actually thinking before I even read this that I should write a snippet of a hockey telenovela. I don't think I could write anything better than teams not knowing what city they'll be in next year, or Vancouver finally getting its revenge on Chicago, or the whole Chara-Pacioretty-stanchion business, but you never know.

  3. What a great concept - all those are fabulous comparisons -


If you're a spambot, I'm just going to stop you right now. Your message will be deleted, so don't even bother, okay? Okay.