The life of a film producer is a busy one, but not so busy that following one’s favorite sports teams is out of the question. I’ve been keeping track of the Nashville Predators this season while overseeing the production of my next smash blockbuster hit, a post-modern expressionist adaptation of the Parker Brothers board game Operation starring Keanu Reeves and Elisabeth Shue.
I have to say that I find the Preds’ lack of offense very troubling indeed. Things haven’t been this bad since Sergei Krivokrasov slipped on that catfish and twisted his ankle back in ’99. If there’s anything I learned from my experience producing the $150-million-grossing KABOOM: The Movie, it’s that pyrotechnics will get you everywhere with an audience. So here are my five pitches for how to improve the Predators’ offensive woes, inspired by classic Hollywood baseball films.Hollywood Fixes For The Nashville Predators
David Poile plays it too safe! In this pitch we take a cue from 1994’s top baseball film and fire Poile, then hire a kid to manage the team. First of all, it’ll be hilarious! Second, everyone will think it’s cute when the kid picks up bad habits from Hal Gill on the road. And third, this guarantees Nashville a one-game playoff with a cameo appearance by Ken Griffey, Jr., which will be fantastic for merchandising.
What’s that? Doesn’t help the offense, you say? OK, how about…
The alternative to putting a kid in charge of the team is putting a kid on the ice, preferably one who’s had some sort of arm injury that magically heals in such a way as to give him a slap shot harder than Shea Weber’s. David Legwand always seems to be invigorated playing with younger guys, so his numbers would jump, too. If you don’t win the Stanley Cup in this scenario, I’m not Horace T. Proskind, Hollywood film producer.
Too close to the whole Craig Smith situation, you say? Well, we can always look to…
This 1996 masterpiece has the perfect setup. Instead of baseball, we teach a monkey to skate, hold a stick, and shoot the puck. Then we put him on whatever line is having trouble scoring and bingo! Instant offense. I saw this work in the Iceland Extraliga Third Division finals back in the late ‘90s and I have to say it’s one of the better pitches I’ve got for you. Plus you can have the chimp pose with kids for pictures – it helps the bottom line and will be huge with social media.
OK, no kids, no chimps – how about ghosts?
Build a hockey rink in a cornfield to lure the ghosts of past NHL greats. When those ghosts show up, sign them to one-year contracts. Cy Denneny and Babe Dye will add veteran grit and scoring prowess, while Maurice “Rocket” Richard and Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion will add goal-scoring flair and extra Frenchiness. Plus every attempted body check will go right through them, because they no longer possess corporeal form.
You’re right, Jeremy Jacobs would probably direct Gary Bettman to disqualify the team. Well, that leaves the ultimate plan…
I’ve learned more lessons from this classic 1989 baseball documentary than I did in six years of community college film school. If you want to scare a team into winning some games, just follow the Major League formula. Get rid of all your high-priced Shea Weber and Pekka Rinne types and then stock the roster with every single player who’s been cut from another team. Then plan to move the team to Kansas City and don’t tell the players about it. If they don’t win the Central Division once they discover your plot, Hopscotch: The Movie wasn’t Taiwan’s highest-grossing film of 1996.
Come to think of it, the Nashville Predators are already running a modified version of the Major League stratagem. I still think ditching the huge contracts is the way to go if you want to get the most bang for your buck, so to speak. But maybe if Poile continues to make all the right movies moves he won’t need my help after all!
Horace T. Proskind