WHO WANTS TO BEAT THOSE DREADED AVS?

REGIS: Welcome to the show, folks. It’s time to play “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.” And our first contestant is a Canadian man who claims to know nothing about hockey. His name is Dwight. Hello, Dwight.

DWIGHT: Hello, Regis.

REGIS: You know how the game is played, Dwight. We start with easy questions for small money, and we work up to $1 million.

DWIGHT: Wow!

REGIS: Could you use that?

DWIGHT: You bet. My snowplow’s broken.

REGIS: All right, Dwight, here’s your first question.

No. 1. In the historic Red Wings-Avalanche rivalry — which resumes tonight — who is considered “the spineless, gutless turtle?”

A. The ref.

B. Donatello — of the Ninja Turtles.

C. Claude Lemieux.

D. The Octopus.

DWIGHT: I’ll go with C. Claude Lemieux.

REGIS: I thought you said you didn’t know hockey.

DWIGHT: Well, come on, Reeg, everyone knows that one.

REGIS: Is that your final answer?

DWIGHT: Oh, yeah.

REGIS: Claude Lemieux is correct! Congratulations. You’ve won $100. On to the next question.

No. 2. Which of the following NEVER fought Patrick Roy?

A. Mike Vernon.

B. Chris Osgood.

C. The entire Montreal coaching staff.

D. Hulk Hogan.

DWIGHT: I’ll go with D.

REGIS: Is that your final answer?

DWIGHT: Yes, sir.

REGIS: D is correct. You’re on a roll, my friend. Let’s go to the $400 level.

No. 3. Comparing the Wings to the Avalanche is like comparing:

A. Bruce Springsteen to Neil Diamond.

B. Mother Teresa to Godzilla.

C. Cheech to Chong.

D. An established franchise to a Johnny-join-the-league-lately franchise.

DWIGHT: Hmm. Can I use a lifeline?

REGIS: Sure. Who are you going to call?

DWIGHT: I’d like to call Mickey Redmond, the Red Wings announcer.

REGIS: All right …let’s get him on the phone …(ring). Hello, is this Mickey?

REDMOND: Yes. Would you like to book a tour?

REGIS: Uh …no. This is Regis Philbin from “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.” Dwight here needs help, Mickey. What’s the answer to this question: Comparing the Wings to the Avalanche is like comparing …

REDMOND: God and the Devil?

REGIS: Heh-heh, that’s not one of the-

DWIGHT: Never mind, Regis. I’ll go with D.

REGIS: Is that your final answer?

DWIGHT: Yes.

REGIS: D is right! Congratulations! Because you’re doing so well — and because this column has only so many inches — we’re going to jump right to the $500,000 question. Are you ready?

DWIGHT: I sure am.

REGIS: OK. Answer this one:

No. 4. The reason the Avalanche moved to the new Pepsi Center from McNichols Arena is:

A. McNichols was condemned by the Health Dept.

B. It’s hard to play hockey without lights or ice.

C. McNichols served Coke.

D. It’s closer to John Elway’s house.

DWIGHT: Hmm. Can I use my other lifeline?

REGIS: Sure. Who are you going to call?

DWIGHT: I’d like to call John Elway.

REGIS: All right …let’s dial here …(ring). Hello? Is this John?

ELWAY: Uh, yeah. Who’s this?

REGIS: This is Regis Philbin, and Dwight here wants to use you for a lifeline on “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.”

ELWAY: How’d you get this number? (Click!)

REGIS: Sorry, Dwight. He doesn’t want to help.

DWIGHT: That’s OK. I know the answer. I just wanted to hear John Elway’s voice.

REGIS: Well then, what’s the answer?

DWIGHT: B. No lights or ice.

REGIS: That’s correct! Congratulations. We’re now up to the final question. This is for ONE MILLION DOLLARS. Here it is:

No. 5. The only reason the Avalanche beat the Red Wings in last year’s playoffs is:

A. Chris Osgood was hurt.

B. Igor Larionov was hurt.

C. Valeri Kamensky came back.

D. We let them win.

DWIGHT: That’s easy, Reeg. It’s D. We let them win.

REGIS: Is that your final answer?

DWIGHT: Yes.

REGIS: Oooooh, I’m so sorry. The answer is A.

DWIGHT: No it isn’t.

REGIS: I beg your pardon?

DWIGHT: It’s D.

REGIS: Uh, I know you’re upset, Dwight, but the answer is …HEY! PUT THAT STICK DOWN!

DWIGHT: IT’S D, YOU BLOWHARD!

REGIS: You’re not Dwight! You’re …Darren McCarty!

DARREN: That’s right! Now gimme my million dollars — or $3 million Canadian.

REGIS: OK! OK! But at least tell me who’s going to win the series this time?

DARREN: Is that your final question?

REGIS: I promise.

DARREN: Wings in six. And tell Elway I’m posting his number on the Internet.

Contact MITCH ALBOM at 313-223-4581 or albom@freepress.com. Catch “Albom in the Afternoon” 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WJR-AM (760).

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