In honour of the last print issue of Sportsnet magazine, here’s what ultimately becomes of some of the major figures in sports today.
TOM BRADY Plays well into his 50s owing to his strict nutritional regimen, his vigorous workouts and the fact the NFL further protects quarterbacks by banning head shots, low hits, body slams, late hits, excessive nudging, sideways glances and intentional touching.
ROGER GOODELL Continues to do such a lousy job as NFL commissioner that Americans have no choice but to elect him president in 2024. He gives North Korea a slap on the wrist for nuking Japan; launches a full-scale infantry invasion of Brazil after their president shows up to the UN with mismatched socks.
SIDNEY CROSBY In the final playoffs of his Hall of Fame career, Crosby defies the pundits and naysayers by rising to the occasion and finally growing a reasonable moustache.
TIGER WOODS After another failed comeback, Woods retires from golf to return to his first love: Reminding everyone that he was good at golf.
JAY CUTLER [Frowns.]
BRETT BROWN In 2019, after six long years of futility, the 76ers coach finally runs out of pregame motivational material: “OK, team, I… uhh, I believe that door over there takes us to the basketball court. [Long pause.] No, hang on, that’s a storage closet.”
JIM CALDWELL Norway has embraced slow television—a movement that has included live coverage of a seven-hour train journey and 18 uninterrupted hours of salmon fishing. But those are nothing compared to the country’s next slow-TV sensation: one full season of an American football coach staring straight ahead without emotion.
GARY BETTMAN He eventually expands the NHL to 44 teams, including one in London, England, and two on the moon. In 2032, Bettman becomes only the second commissioner of a major sports league to be booed in space. (The first? Roger Goodell, after his failed attempt to launch the Cleveland Browns into the sun.)
BRIAN BURKE He immediately loses his retirement gift after leaving the gold watch unbuckled on his wrist.
MATT RYAN After watching the Manning brothers and Aaron Rodgers get all the endorsements, the Falcons quarterback finally convinces a beer company to build a campaign around him: “He puts his dress slacks on a hanger before bed. He takes out the trash on Wednesday nights, but not too early, because his neighbours don’t like that. Once, in a long line at the airport, he waited patiently. He’s the Least Interesting Man in the World.”
CONNOR McDAVID Proving that the hype was warranted, the Oilers phenom changes hockey forever by inventing a whole new genre of meaningless interview clichés. “Look, obviously we just gotta strap in, harvest some hay and put the marshmallow in the s’more.”
JON GRUDEN After a long run on Monday Night Football, Gruden retires to a life of doing colour commentary on the wait staff down at the local Applebee’s: “This guy’s originally from the Olive Garden over on Route 62. Great training ground! Look at this guy with the pecan pie in one hand and the tray of piping-hot cheeseburger egg rolls in the other! I haven’t seen this kind of moxie since the great Marcus Mariota audibled to Spider 2 Y Banana!”
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS The team’s long-suffering fans finally get what they’ve been waiting for—a parade! The pomp, the tickertape, the delirious celebration. Hundreds of thousands converge on downtown to pay tribute to the players and coaches. Everyone’s so happy about their team! No one even seems to care that they lost in the quarterfinals.