Saturday, May 26, 2012

The 2012-13 Heels of Hockey: The Desert Dawgz

The Corporation, the nWo, Evolution, the Phoenix Coyotes...all great wrestling heel factions.  What's that, "The Coyotes", you ask?  Oh yes, and let me tell you, they really hate "you people" and flee close matches with their collective tails between their legs (pun intended).

Remember last season when everyone rooted for the Boston Bruins to beat the Vancouver Canucks in the Stanley Cup Finals (we did this, people, and we have to live with our decisions)?  Just to see that "flopper" Ryan Kesler, that "douche" Alex Burrows, those "creepy twins" the Sedins, and "weird gaze dude" Roberto Luongo get their comeuppance.  (Plus, head coach Alain Vingneault speaks something called "French."  That can't be good.)  Then, through this season, the 'Nucks were arguably the heels of hockey...until they lost in the Finals and in the first round this year.  No longer perceived as a threat, we now have a new enemy, someone else to form a feud against the John Cenas and Rey Mysterios of the world.  The Phoenix Coyotes.  Learn why after the jump.
As Quisp at McSorley's Stick explains, after the Coyotes players' almost comical reactions to the officiating (among other things) in the Western Conference Finals against the Kings, the "'Yotes mentality" brings with it an unfortunate side effect of breeding craziness among its followers:
I think what we’re seeing here is a window into the Coyotes’ actual team psychology. They have been feeding for so long on the fact that they have been on the verge of bankruptcy, legal troubles, one foot out the door to other cities, playing in empty arenas — using all of that as a rallying cry — that their sense of persecution has become an ingrained and defining part of their collective identity. “Everyone is out to get us” — in its various iterations — has been their team motto, and they’ve used it to their advantage, until now. And their psychotic reaction to actually losing is the flip side of believing their own internal narrative.
The Coyotes have no owner; they are orphans looking to exact revenge on society for bad things that happened in their lives.  They also do not have a very large fan base (in comparison to the rest of the NHL).  No one cares about them (their implication, not mine), they have no direction, and their actions reflect that mentality.  So, the sensible thing to do is to compare them to wrestling heels, the only people in the world that reflect the same emotional instability (other than super villains, but some may argue they are not real people). 

What does it take to be an effective heel in the WWE, TNA, professional wrestling et al.?
1. Be a douche to others.
2. Whine about shit.
3. Call out the audience using the phrase "you people," or implying it's you against everyone else.
4. Be good so you can back up your talk.
5. Be a little crazy, and say things that don't make sense or call out "the establishment."
6. Attack officials, administrators, or anyone in a position of authority.
7. Attack unsuspecting opponents (typically with an intent to render them ineffective before a big match).
8. Most heels are either minorities (all the black heels as a tag team, for example) or hate minorities (making fun at Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez).  This is a fact.
9. Never, ever, under any circumstances, engage in a feud with a commentator.

The first seven apply to our subject for today (and #9 is just common sense.  An announcer wrestling, other than maybe Regal, is just stupid.).  #8 applies to the Arizona immigration law, of which the Coyotes are grouped into by default.  The point being, the Coyotes common mentality with the slighted bad guys of wrestling.  The 'Yotes don't take crap from anyone else, they play hard even when the arena is half full, and do all of this knowing that at any moment Bettman could announce the franchise's relocation to the North Pole.  But, in these playoffs, this mentality has not won over many fans, which is unfortunate, because this franchise has failed to attract more than 13,000 fans per game since they did so in 2008-09 (plus, an influx of Kings fans during crucial playoff games in your home arena does not look good on TV, especially since Kings fans don't ever travel to games).

So, let's take a look at a few of the players and see how they compare to other great heels in wrestling history.  Maybe we will all learn to hate the Coyotes even more.  Plus, you will be happy to know this information when you start seeing nWo posters at Coyotes games next season.

Shane Doan – Ah, the fearless leader, the grizzled vet seeking his first encounter with Lord Stanley's Cup.  He's less like a wrestler and more like Gunnar Stahl from "D2: The Mighty Ducks."  Such an epic douche that when he gets beaten by a girl (read: someone better than him) at the end, all of the irony is tossed out the window.
"I must break you"
He also does stuff like this on a regular basis:
With all the talk and his douchiness and the fact that he may or may not show up to work the next day due to consequences of his actions, let's call him the modern day Chris Jericho of professional hockey.

Mike Smith – He speaks like the nonsensical Iron Sheik with his "Dustin Brown should be suspended FOREVER" speech following the WCF.
“When Brown gets away with something like that after the whistle, knee-on-knee, that’s a dangerous play...If Raffi Torres gets 25 games for his hit [on Chicago forward Marian Hossa], this guy should be done forever.”
Anything else?  Oh yeah.
He dives like Dolph Ziggler, and he is damn good at it.  And, like Ziggler, he is good at his job, but his skills have not had so much air time until recently.  All he needs to do now is show-off so much it causes him to give up a goal.
Michal Rozsival – Rozsival = Kevin Nash circa the Fingerpoke of Doom
Via HF Boards
Martin Hanzal – Generic Heel Jobber #4.  He's like the Joker in a deck of ass.

Derek Morris – This guy is difficult to pinpoint.  He's not necessarily good, and he definitely sucks.  He's a clumsy, bumbling stooge when on the ice.

What's that, you say?  Derek Morris says silly nonsense when he speaks.  Well, I don't know about any of that, but here's his thoughts on the Kings series:
Today was unfortunate, the bad officiating...There’s no accountability with them, that’s the only problem. They don’t have anybody to answer to. They say that they do, but they don’t.”
Also, his dumb luck meter has far exceeded it's potential.  Now that I think about it...he kind of looks like a certain wrestler too...
He's so much like Big Show it's scary.

Raffi Torres – He's the Brock Lesnar of hockey: he just wants to kill someone and walk away like it's no biggie.  These are just some of the reasons fans want to boo him when his music hits.  
Jordan Eberle hit
Nate Prosser hit
Marian Hossa hit

BizNasty – Stat line for April 19th game against the Blackhawks (last game until suiting up for the Kings series):
0:13 ice time, 1 shift, 5 minute penalty for fighting, game misconduct for equipment violation
Also, he's entertaining to follow on Twitter.  So, Ted Dibiase Jr.?

Keith Yandle – Yandle's reaction to the officiating in the WCF and the reaction of Bret Hart during the MontrĂ©al Screwjob are uncanny.  Damn you, Earl Hebner and Vince McMahon.

Of course, Bret Hart went on to have success after that incident, but, only time well tell on Yandle.

Jason LaBarbera – Sucks and laughable.  He also does a victory dance.  He's Hornswoggle.
Ray Whitney – He's old and he has won a Cup.  Let's just call him TNA's version of Ric Flair from the team Beer Money Inc.

Even the announcers portray some of these traits.  How about color commentator Tyson Nash doing his Michael Cole impression, stating the Torres hit on Hossa was "clean", and for this tweet about the Dustin Brown hit, since deleted:
P.S.: Brown received no supplemental discipline for the hit 
Vintage Michael Cole.

That brings us to the ring leader of this operation, and the one to blame for most of this: General Manager Don Maloney, more like the Shane McMahon of the Coyotes. He created the current culture of the Coyotes, but you can't blame him for everything.  The NHL, like Vince McMahon, sit idly watching in their ivory tower, contemplating every move, and then do nothing for long periods of time. The Coyotes feel abandoned, so they lash out in unnatural ways.  It's quite sad, really.  And now the NHL wants to get rid of the 'Yotes just when they start doing well.  Nothing is ever good enough for the NHL, though, and the Coyotes fell betrayed, so they lash out, no longer seeking acceptance from so-called "normal" or "decent" society.

Let us learn from the NHL's mistake: There are no bad Coyotes, just bad owners.

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