30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Friday, May 6, 2011

Players I Hate to Love #1: Mike Modano

This morning I read an article on Yahoo about Detroit's decision to bench Mike Modano tonight when they face off against the San Jose Sharks. It mentioned that this could possibly be the end of the career that has so far lasted 21 seasons.

Modano spent twenty seasons with the Minnesota North Stars/Dallas Stars and after they decided not to resign him last summer, he signed a one year contract with the Detroit Red Wings.

Now here's where my newest idea for a blog post comes into play. After reading the article, I started to realize how much I admired Modano, which conflicts with my extreme dislike for the Dallas Stars and the Detroit Red Wings. Simply put... neither of these teams are division rivals, but it doesn't change the fact that I can't stand them.

My dislike for Dallas is complicated. It started when the Sharks traded for Ed Belfour during the 1996/97 season giving up Chris Terreri, Michal Sykora, and one of my favorites at the time... Ulf Dahlen. But at the time, I'll be honest... I was excited about getting one of the premier goalies in the league.

Ed Belfour: A Player I Love to Hate

Unfortunately, after playing just 13 games for Team Teal, Belfour signed with the Dallas Stars for what was rumored to be the same amount of money the Sharks offered him. Ironically, Belfour is a the opposite of Modano... he's a player I love to hate.

That season he helped Dallas eliminate San Jose from the playoffs. And the following season, they would win the only Stanley Cup Championship in franchise history... all with the amazing goaltending of Eddie "The Eagle" Belfour. Now you know the background on why I hate the Stars.

As for the Red Wings... it's a lot simpler. They're the New York Yankees of hockey. Free agents who want to win a ring, head over to Detroit to get one... and that's frustrating. They have made the playoffs twenty years in a row. Over the past 16 seasons, they've gone to the Stanley Cup Finals six times and won four of them.

But even though I can't stand the two teams he's played for... I still have a lot of respect for Mr. Modano.

On the ice, he's an 8x all-star and a Stanley Cup Champion, who has over 500 goals, 800 assists, and 1300 points during his NHL career. He holds the record for most goals and points scored by an American-born player. In addition to skating for the Stars and Red Wings, he's also represented his country on numerous occasions including helping the United States win the gold medal at the 1996 World Cup and a silver medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics.

When he's not on the ice, he's the vice president of the Mike Modano Foundation, which "raises funds to improve the quality of life for at-risk and under-served children in the Dallas, Texas area. As a middle school teacher who works with students who sometimes fall into this category, I respect and admire Mr. Modano for his contributions to his community.

Plus he's appeared in the kids movie: The Mighty Ducks.

And last, but not least... he's married to the smoking hot... Willa Ford.

When you put all of this together... you get the first athlete in my new "Players I hate to love" series. It sucks that he's a Red Wing, but ultimately... I can't deny... Mike Modano is the man!

And now it's official... the Red Wings have just beaten the Sharks and avoided being eliminated from the playoffs... so maybe... just maybe... Modano will get another chance to strap on his skates, which would be awesome for Mike and all of his fans. A small part of me wants to see him on the ice at least one more time... but I'm not going to lie... I hope the Sharks can finally eliminate him and the rest of his Red Wing teammates on Sunday at the Shark Tank.

What about you...

Are there any athletes that you shouldn't like... but when it comes down to it... you do?

Happy Friday everyone. I hope everyone has a great weekend. Stay safe & sayonara!


  1. Tim Duncan, I LOATHE the Spurs, I hate them with every fiber in my being. Always have, and I try to hate Duncan, but how can I hate someone who's done it the right way and help lead a team to 4 championships?? He's a not a jerk or anything, doesn't have off court issues, he just happens to play on a team that I can't stand. What helps a little, is Tim's a little whiny when it comes to foul calling, but overall I respect his game and appreciate his contributions to the league.

  2. Chris P - Excellent call... Duncan is another example of a player I hate to love. I don't like the Spurs either, but I agree with you on all points... and even have a small collection of Duncan memorabilia cards.