Sure Mike Modano Has a Spot on Dallas' Mount Sportsmore. Well, Doesn't He?
Mike Modano is on Facebook. And out of hockey.
The legendary Dallas Star used social media to announce his retirement from the NHL yesterday, ending a 21-year career as one of the sport's all-time greatest skaters and its most prolific American-born scorer.
Feels like we've delivered these eulogies before -- remember the video tribute, the tears and the on-ice farewell in April, 2010? -- but Modano has meant so much to hockey in Dallas, what the heck?
On the ice, he was the coolest player you ever saw skate. Blinding speed -- with an unmatched gliding fifth gear -- with that shirttail trailing him like a jet stream. Always in the right place at the right time and usually there a half-second before anyone else.
And off the ice, he was the impossible combo platter of wildly popular and mildly humble. With good looks and great play, he was the man in Dallas in the '90s. Every guy wanted to be him; every girl wanted to do him. We went to Reunion Arena to watch him play and went to Primo's to play with him.
He'll retire with a Stanley Cup championship, a World Cup gold medal, an Olympic silver medal and the staggering scoring totals of 561 goals and 1,374 points.
Considering he was Usain Bolt on skates and Brad Pitt in bars and assuming we'll forgive him for pulling on that sweater of the Detroit %^&*$#@! Red Wings, Modano will officially retire in good standing Friday with a press conference at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.
He'll do it as easily the all-time best Dallas Star. But what about his place alongside the local giants on Dallas' Mount Sportsmore?
There can be only four faces, so it's the cream of the elite. One representative from each team of the major four sports:
Dallas Stars -- Modano, no-brainer. He's done more for his sport in Dallas than anyone else for theirs.
Dallas Mavericks -- Dirk Nowitzki. Taller than Modano. Not as handsome. German. But, otherwise, Dallas' one basketball title is also the direct result of one man. Him.
Texas Rangers -- I know you're tempted to emotionally knee-jerk with Nolan Ryan. But it's gotta be Pudge Rodriguez. MVP. 3 playoff teams. Popular. And the best defensive player in the history of the organization.
Dallas Cowboys -- Toughest choice of 'em all. Tom Landry? Roger Staubach? Troy Aikman? Jerry Jones? Somehow, nope. You couldn't have a Mount Sportsmore without the face of a three-time Super Bowl champ and the NFL's all-time leading rusher, Emmitt Smith.
Modano. Dirk. Pudge. Emmitt.