Hockey

Wayne Gretzky taking on ‘The Simpsons’

Wayne Gretzky taking on ‘The Simpsons’

Wayne Gretzky taking on 'The Simpsons' 2016 images

Wayne Gretzky is going to be on The Simpsons in a few week’s time, according to a recent article at NHL.com (David Satriano). The player that most consider to be the greatest hockey player of all time looks like he will make his appearance in Edmonton Oilers’ colors, orange and blue. That’s one team that Gretzky played for during his playing career, and he is currently affiliated with the club in the capacity of vice-chairman of the Oilers Entertainment Group.

The commonly-tweeted cartoon pic of Gretzky shows him in what would have to be called his younger days due to the flowing brown hair. The image shows Oiler stripes and colors. However, the logo is missing (maybe for licensing/copyright reasons). The Simpsons’ artists do get one little detail right as Gretzky had a way of not tucking his jersey in fully. That detail is one that Edmonton old-schoolers will surely appreciate.

Al Jean, an executive producer of The Simpsons, is quoted in the recent NHL article: “People argue about a lot of things, but they never argue about who’s the greatest hockey player. It’s always him. I don’t think there is anybody better at anything that Gretzky is as a hockey player. He had a lot of great stories, and it was a real pleasure to meet him.”

Jean’s totally wrong about people not arguing about Gretzky being the greatest. Mario Lemieux, whose playing career overlapped with Gretzky’s, is the main answer for those who counter the pro-Gretzky argument. Lemieux was more of a body-checker and knocking a guy to the ice while you stay on your feet is a big deal in hockey.

I also take issue about what Jean says regarding nobody being better at anything than Gretzky at hockey. Monica Seles was probably a better tennis player than Wayne Gretzky was a hockey player. Furthermore, Michael Jordan is less controversial a pick in basketball than Gretzky is in hockey for greatest ever.

Jean mentioned other athletes that appeared on The Simpsons over the years: “We just did a list (of athletes on the show),” he said. “[Gretzky is] one of my favorites. I would say the only one that rivals him in terms of success in their sport is the Williams sisters (Serena and Venus) in tennis, and Magic Johnson in the NBA” <sic>.

Serena belongs on the shortlist of “greatest ever” for tennis while Venus does not (it would be a pretty long list for Venus). Magic Johnson belongs on the shortlist of the greatest basketball players too.

But one athlete that I think Jean could have mentioned as a great athlete that appeared on The Simpsons is Ken Griffey Jr., formerly of the Seattle Mariners. Griffey appeared in an old-school episode where Mr. Burns wants the office baseball team to beat that of a rivals’. He hires a bunch of Major Leaguers to work at the plant so that they can play on the team. Griffey may be below the radar in the greatest-ever debates, because he played clean in an era where many of the best juiced.

[springboard type=”video” id=”1670335″ player=”mtvt006″ width=”480″ height=”400″ ]

Anyone that knows the very fine points of Wayne Gretzky’s career will be able to tell you that he is an outright crappy actor. The Simpsons won’t be his first showbiz gig: Gretzky has appearances as the host of Saturday Night Light and as an ‘actor’ in The Young and the Restless on his resume. His SNL skits were egregious with one “you talk too much” ‘punch’ missing another actor by about a foot. When he appeared on Y & R, it seemed like he just couldn’t take a goofy smile off of his face. We’ll see in December if only having to voice act saves the day for the hockey Hall of Famer as it does seem simpler.

Hockey
@GrandSlambert77

Shane is a sports writer with a big interest in tennis, but he's also a noted writer about travel and fiction. Plus he can handle long walks in the cold Canadian tundra!

More in Hockey

Top 5 NHL underachievers so far in 2016 17 images

Top 5 NHL Underachievers so far for 2016-17 season

Shane LambertFebruary 17, 2017
Montreal Canadiens Fire Michel Therrien, Sign Claude Julien 2017 images

Montreal Canadiens Fire Michel Therrien, Sign Claude Julien

Shane LambertFebruary 15, 2017
Edmonton Oilers trade rumors as deadline nears 2017 images

Edmonton Oilers trade rumors as deadline nears

Shane LambertFebruary 11, 2017
Montreal Canadiens in Trouble in Atlantic Division 2017 images

Montreal Canadiens in Trouble in Atlantic Division

Shane LambertFebruary 4, 2017
Edmonton Oilers Look Good for Playoffs as Trade Deadline Nears 2017 images

Edmonton Oilers Look Good for Playoffs as Trade Deadline Nears

Shane LambertJanuary 27, 2017
Washington Capitals Gaining Momentum in NHL 2017 images

Washington Capitals Gaining Momentum in NHL

Shane LambertJanuary 20, 2017
Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks re emerging in NHL standings 2017 images

Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks re-emerging in NHL standings

Shane LambertJanuary 7, 2017
Columbus Blue Jackets franchise history   faves for Stanley Cup 2016 images

Columbus Blue Jackets franchise history – faves for Stanley Cup

Shane LambertDecember 29, 2016
columbu, connor mcdavid, devan dubnyk tops as nhl breaks 2016 images

Columbus, Connor McDavid, Devan Dubnyk tops as NHL breaks

Shane LambertDecember 24, 2016

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter

You will only receive one per day. You'll also get a free THE WALKING DEAD graphic novel with your subscription