Dallas Stars

Hey, Look, it's a UFO! No, Actually, it's an Even Weirder Sight: Mike Modano, Detroit Red Wing

Hell hath officially frozen over.

In Arlington, the Texas Rangers are still playing baseball. And in Dallas, Stars fans are now cheering for the Detroit Red Wings.

Well, at least one of them.

The Stars, off to a 2-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0 start or whatever the hell it is these days in the NHL, play their home opener tonight at American Airlines Center. As usual, Mike Modano will be on the ice.

But like never before, he'll be in a Red Wings' sweater.

Modano, whom Stars' fans presented a fond farewell last April, flirted with being a co-owner and said he would've accepted a front-office job had it been offered. Instead, motivated by money and a chance to play near his hometown, he signed a two-year deal with the Stars' most hated rival.

How strange will it be to see Modano in Motown garb? The best player in franchise history coming back with the team we love to see lose?

I grew up in an era where Roger Staubach would've had his left leg amputated before playing for the hated Washington Redskins. But with free agency and agents and marketing conglomerations and players' unions and cross-pollination and "I" before "team," these days there is no brand loyalty other than the fans to their teams.

Was it a better sports world when the player you love today had no chance of being the one you hate tomorrow? Or, like Jerry Seinfeld surmises, does it really even matter because all sports fans do anyway is cheer laundry?

Tony Dorsett was a Denver Bronco, Emmitt Smith an Arizona Cardinal, Pudge Rodriguez a Detroit Tiger, Calvin Hill actually was a Washington Redskin and Troy Aikman was almost - almost, I said - a San Diego Charger.

Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira are now New York Yankees. Here's hoping we're not booing Cliff Lee in pinstripes in 2011. But you'd be a fool to think it's not a possibility.

It goes both ways, as we've been grudgingly forced to treat as our own arch enemies from other teams like Vladimir Guerrero (Angels), Avery Johnson (Spurs), Devean George (Lakers), Terrell Owens (49ers, Eagles), Deion Sanders (49ers) and Brett Hull (Blues).

Modano as a Red Wing. It's gonna look nauseating. Even more so, perhaps, than Dirk Nowitzki as a Spur, Michael Young as an Angel or Jason Witten as an Eagle.

Or is it?

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Richie Whitt
Contact: Richie Whitt