Ex-NBA superstar/hobgoblin Dennis Rodman has been making the news lately because of his bizarre bromance with North Korean despot Kim Jong Un. (Said Rodman of his recent and second trip to visit his human-rights-violating buddy, "He's my friend for life ... I don't give a shit what people around the world think about him.")
Their friendship is strange, but if you examine the details, a much more frightening scenario emerges: Rodman's life is playing out like a real-life 1990s underdog sports flick, in the vein of The Mighty Ducks.
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He's already in the process of trying to bang Joshua Jackson's mom.
Why's this so scary? If Hollywood has taught us anything, it's "always bet on the team with the homemade uniforms."
#4. There's a Washed-Up Sports Star With Drinking Problems
Audiences know that the bedrock of any scrappy bunch is a vicious alcoholic with nowhere to turn. In The Mighty Ducks, we had Emilio Estevez as surly attorney/ex-hockey phenom Gordon Bombay, who's arrested for drunk driving.
"If only I knew someone whose addiction gets in the way of his career that I could study for this role ..."
The Bad News Bears (which was 1976, but whatever) gave us Walter Matthau playing a soused pool cleaner who once made it to the minor leagues. And finally, there's Tom Hanks in A League of Their Own, a drunken ex-Cubs player turned G.O.A.T. cinematic urinator.
It's meant to be symbolic of the Cubs as a whole.
Sadly, Rodman fits this template -- just last year, he was reported as broke, battling alcohol addiction, and owing almost $800,000 in outstanding child support. But like the movies, fate stepped in in an unsuspected way ...
#3. A Once-in-a-Lifetime Chance Turned His Life Around
The protagonist of a sports film can't actively aspire to be an underdog. No, random circumstance must first intervene and inspire him to beat impossible odds. Think "saving grandma's house from repossession" or, in this case, "cuddling up with a totalitarian dictator."
"May our love of basketball and terrible hair unite us always."
The underdog protagonist is often guided toward his destiny by some sort of benefactor or authority figure. In The Mighty Ducks, court-mandated community service forces Emilio to coach hockey. In The Bad News Bears, Matthau's recruited by a city councilman, and in A League of Their Own, it's the owner of the Chicago Cubs.
Never will the hero willingly improve his lot -- there has to be a catalyst in the mix who offers either freedom or money. In Rodman's case, hipster magazine-turned-Rupert Murdoch's golden goose Vice unexpectedly tapped him to visit the hermit kingdom a few months back.
"Eh, it's not so bad here; I played for Detroit."
Even though he was Vice's second choice after Michael Jordan declined -- presumably because of North Korea's secret alliance with the aliens from Space Jam -- the whole situation ended up being way crazier than anything a coked-up Tinseltown screenwriter could babble forth.
Ah yes, Jean-Claude Van Damme vs. Dennis Rodman vs. Mickey Rourke vs. A Tiger: The Movie.
#2. He Now Must Train a Team of Misfit Outsiders
North Korea's athletes are on the fringe of society, not unlike the Mighty Ducks, the Little Giants, and Air Bud (but only in those films prior to Air Bud: World Pup, as he cemented himself as the world's greatest sports-mammal in the straight-to-DVD releases).
Like Hanks, he would get in trouble on set for accidentally peeing on his co-stars.
In fact, North Korea's Olympic teams aren't really allowed to leave their compounds. Could an unorthodox leader who doesn't play by society's rules lead them to global glory?
Well, in what sounds more like a fever dream than reality, Rodman spent his first visit to North Korea on the sidelines of a match between the country's team and the Harlem Globetrotters, rubbing elbows with the Great Leader.
"You would have loved my dad. His was the Kim Jong Illest."
And perhaps it was the sight of his home team being shamed to the tune of "Sweet Georgia Brown," but in any case, last week Rodman announced he'd help the North Korea basketball team train for the 2016 Summer Olympics. (For maybe a week, but who can really say?)
Just don't ask him to help negotiate the release of American missionary Kenneth Bae, who's currently stewing in North Korean labor camps. (Quoth the Worm, "Ask Obama about that. Ask Hillary Clinton. Ask those assholes.")
#1. He Has the Perfect Nemesis
Finally, every underdog sports flick requires an asshole champion, preferably from the hero's ignominious past. Think Al Bundy in Little Giants, Bill Murray in Kingpin, and those shitty Icelandic kids from The Mighty Ducks 2. Heck, even Cobra Kai from The Karate Kid fits this archetype.
Who is Dennis Rodman's foe? America, those jerks who never recognized the brilliance of his 1999 Dane Cook buddy comedy Simon Sez. And here is the face of our nation:
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"SWEEP THE LEG!"
"But this is baske-"
That's Mike Krzyzewski, the Duke University basketball coach who's also taking the helm of the men's Olympic team for 2016. In addition to winning the U.S. Olympic gold medals in 2008 and 2012, Coach K also enjoys scowling and swearing a lot.
He's the perfect foil for Rodman, as he's arrogant and acclaimed. So, according to Hollywood sports movie mythology, Krzyzewski's totally fucked.
Sure, the North Korea men's basketball team has never ever appeared in the Summer Olympics before, and if they did qualify and lose, they might be sent to a labor camp. But given how weird this story's been so far, the only way this tale could sensibly end is by Dennis Rodman summoning a heavenly host of archangels and seraphim to rig the shit out of all the games.
Featuring the ghost of Christopher Lloyd's character and his career.