Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Kangas wins Oscar

AP – St. Paul

Despite the early season struggles for the golden gophers’ men’s hockey team, one of their players accomplished something never done before by a WCHA goaltender. Earlier in 2009, Alex Kangas was a winner at the academy awards, winning the award for best kangaroo in a short film for his work in several short films created during the second half of the gophers NCAA missing 2008/09 season.

In all, four films were created about Kangas during the first four months of 2009, which might explain his woes as a goaltender.

The first film was Collapse, named for the Jared Diamond book by the same name; this film chronicled Kangas’ epic collapse during the second half of the 2008/09 season. The film was narrated by James Earl Jones. At the holiday break, Kangas was the best statistical goaltending in the WCHA (even picked as a mid-season 1st teamer by the legendary 60 Minutes, No Alibis, No Regrets blog) and by the end of the season he wasn’t even in the top 5, finishing 8th in GAA and 9th in save percentage.

When author Jared Diamond was reached for comment about the film he wondered, “Who the hell is Alex Kangas?” After reviewing the historical information of Kangas’ epic collapse in net Diamond added, “When the Mayan Civilization collapsed many centuries ago it was epic, at least until I saw some tape of Kangas’ play at the end of last season. His teammates would have been better off putting a stuffed kangaroo in the damn net.”

The second film was Swept a film about the weekend of February 7th when the Wisconsin Badgers traveled to the Twin Cities and took the broom to Kangas and his teammates. His sordidly poor play could not be overcome by his team’s offense and legitimately killed any chance his team had at winning the MacNaughton Cup. Soft goals were the storyline of the weekend.

Unlike the other films, this film followed dual storylines. The jubilation of the Badgers fans celebrating a big road sweep by their team, countered with the utter dejection of gopher fans, including an in depth look at several gopher fans that live in their parents basements while trolling opposing team’s blogs and leaving anonymous comments.

Middle Finger was a short film, only minutes long, where Kangas encountered some Badger fans following the events of the movie Swept in a parking lot. It was his tribute to North Dakota coach Dave Hakstol.

One of the characters in the film is based on hockey blogger Chuck Schwartz, who lived through the middle finger experience. Schwartz didn’t beat around the bush, “I’m happy that Kangas is successful at something, because it certainly isn’t goaltending.”

Finally, in Pardon Me, I’m Not Helen Briggs, Kangas searches his soul as he comes to grips with the legacy of pathetic goaltending at the university of minnesota. The short film was partly a comparison of his career to that of former golden gopher Helen Briggs (who occasionally went by Kellen) who was in net during the biggest upset in College Hockey history against Holy Cross on March 24, 2006, as lowly Holy Cross knocked off the #1 seeded gophers.

The film followed Kangas through campus and the lonely streets of the Twin Cities as he came to terms not only w/ his own failures, but of those of coach Rob Stauber and all past minnesota goaltenders. Following the private screening attending by FSN minnesota all-stars Doug Woog, Kevin Gorg and Frank “the Rug” Mazzdorko, Gorg commented, “wow he is almost as bad at goaltending as we are at providing a quality broadcast.”

At the Academy Awards themselves, the award was one of the first on the docket. The award presentation was given by PETA president Ingrid Newkirk; Kangas was the only nominee for the award. Before Kangas was asked to the stage to accept his award, the Teleprompter of the United States of America (TOTUS) had a short message of congratulation spoken by President Barack Obama.

“Ahh…On behalf of the people of the United States, I’d like to congratulate Alex Kangas on his success in these short films. From personal experience, I know how difficult it is to rise above when the deck is stacked against you. It takes great courage to overcome the obstacles presented by society. Ahh…umm….ahhh…our staff here at the White House will work diligently to bring universal health care to all kangaroos and to pass cap and trade so that kangaroos around the world have the chance to succeed and not see their dreams destroyed due to global climate change. Good night America. I’m Barack Obama?”

Kangas made his way to the stage accompanied by his head coach Don Lucia and several teammates. While Kangas accepted the award, Lucia spoke on his behalf. “Alex would like to thank all of his fans, who only support the team when things are going good and quickly turn on us when they don’t. As his coach and mentor, Alex has taught me many things. I’ve learned that there is still hope for my son Tony, who like Alex is a talentless hockey player. I now have hope that he can rise above and seek his other dreams, since they certainly won’t be on the ice. Thank…” As Lucia was attempting to finish his speech Kanye West took the stage and added, “I know plenty of kangaroos who were just as deserving of this award…”

This news was taken to the streets of the gophers’ biggest rival, the Wisconsin Badgers, in the epicenter of Badger Hockey: Madison, WI. Hockey fans met the news w/ laughs and jeers, while a homeless person with a bird on his shoulder only pandered us for spare change to buy crack. One fan, legendary Door County Badger (who has serious issues w/ his Door County Bias), was willing to provide a quote for this article. “You know what they say, you can’t spell sex with a kangaroo without Kangas. And that is the TRUTH.”

Throughout the time in Madison, an old man wearing a Tomahawk Hockey sweatshirt kept yelling “Ford Field Sucks.”

It would only be fitting that this story end sadly, and to accomplish that task we traveled to the San Diego Zoo. There we talked with Kangas’ former zoo keeper. With his head in his hands, he was weeping uncontrollably. “He's a kangaroo damnit! He doesn't need this!”

Oddly, Alex could not be reached for comment as part of this article, but his spokesman, FSN studio commentator Anthony LaPanties, said that Kangas looks forward to another productive season, of making short films.