At Long Last

The dream began in 1992. Fresh off the heels of the box office disappointment known as Freejack, along with the less-than-stellar Men at Work, Emilio Estevez had fallen on hard times. In his deepest moment of despair, a profound, life-altering challenge befell him. The good people at Walt Disney Co. had decided to allow the bastard Sheen brother the opportunity to coach an upstart NHL franchise known as the Mighty Ducks. The team, consisting of a rag-tag group of immature, underachieving prospects, proved to be quite a challenge initially, but one Mr. Estevez was able to eventually tame.

Emilio again became the center of American pop cultural attention, reminiscent of the lore surrounding his career during St. Elmo's Fire and The Breakfast Club. The media grabbed onto the story, and for a time, never let go. "He's Never Coached" said the newspapers. "They've Never Won" said the network news. But all could agree on one thing: "Together, They'll Learn Everything About Winning!". And so it went for those first years...

However, as most public fascinations do, things abruptly went south. The media began to seek meatier stories to satiate its appetite. A dismembered penis and a figure skating catfight grabbed the nation's attention. Emilio toiled for years trying to once again capture the Mighty Duck magic.

Last year, his transition from stardom to obscurity finally took a turn for the better. Emilio was again able to harness the respect of his peers for his role directing a feature film called Bobby. The schedule was grueling, as he had to fit all casting, shooting, and editing into the quick summer months between the 2005 and 2006 NHL seasons.

The recent adulation for his cinematic achievement, though, pales in comparison to the satisfaction he has received in his enduring career with the Mighty Ducks. Tonight, after 15 years of self-reflection, occasional doubts, and true moments of inspirational strength, Emilio Estevez is able to hoist Lord Stanley's Cup. He will sleep well tonight. And there will be no practice tomorrow.

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