In the small, insular world of Capeside, Massachusetts, there was never a real emphasis on sports. Sure, Jack made some waves as one of the first openly gay high school athletes we can remember, but even then that was a backburner plot line at best. But Pacey and Dawson, two best friends/romantic rivals, never really competed athletically for the admiration of the show’s feisty heroine, Joey Potter. But that doesn’t mean we can’t argue the relative athletic merits of the two protagonists based on their alter-egos. That means in this scenario, Charlie Conway, heart of the Mighty Ducks franchise, faces off with the pride of West Canaan, Texas, Jonathan “Mox” Moxon from Varsity Blues in an all out battle for the fair Josephine. How do the two stack up, and who ultimately comes out on top?
Disclaimer: Comparing athletes from different sports can be difficult. Athleticism in sports can be such a relative term, especially considering baseball somehow employs someone like Bartolo Colon and he’s an effective player. I’m pretty sure he couldn’t even play on my rec league flag football team, but somehow he got some Cy Young buzz late in his career. Anyway, this is fake analysis of fictional athletes and an admittedly convoluted premise, so just go with it.
Neither player was really considered the most talented player on their respective team. Mox was a backup until he was pressed into service due to Lance Harbor’s knee injury. Charlie was probably the second or third best player on the team even before The Mighty Ducks 2 introduced the hand-picked stars from across the US. That being said, I would think that the relative skill level between a back-up quarterback in high school football obsessed Texas and the second-best forward in hockey-mad Minnesota would be pretty even.
Mox lead his team to several key victories and the team’s 23rd district championship, basically making up plays as he went along. Conway helped lead a rag-tag bunch of leftovers (and one giant ringer in Banks) to their team’s first ever district championship, and then onto a World Junior title, culminating in scholarships to the most prestigious hockey prep school in the country. Both had the heart, even if they weren’t their team’s best options.
Both Mox and Charlie finished their careers as winners, but let’s be honest. Look back at the first paragraph. Charlie’s teams kept upping the stakes and won at every single level. We’re not even sure if the West Canaan Coyotes won the Texas State Championship. Charlie has a freaking World Junior Hockey Championship medal that he can hang off his bedpost. Moxon probably has a district championship ring he probably never takes off and that overly creepy billboard his overbearing dad probably still keeps in the garage and embarrasses him with at family reunions.
Now I’m wondering what happened to them both in college. How weird would it be if they both ended up at Brown? Brown has a passable hockey team, and we know Moxon had already accepted a scholarship there. Would their paths have crossed? Would they have both been members of the same fraternity? Wait, was that the premise of The Skulls? I demand answers!
Advantage: Heavily in favor of Charlie Conway
This one seems a little harder to define. Much like Jay Bilas, I’m going to attempt to describe intangibles, which by their definition can’t really be described.
As awesome as Charlie Conway was in the movies, and as much as he accomplished, there’s really nothing compared to the BMOC lift you get from being the starting quarterback on a Texas high school football team. Charlie nowadays probably could go back to his hometown and have somebody recognize him (probably Averman) and buy him a beer. Moxon, on the other hand, would never have to buy a beer in West Canaan for the rest of his life.
Ultimately, it probably comes down to one thing. I’ve watched every second of all three Mighty Ducks movies, and I didn’t see a scene where Ali Larter wore a whipped cream bikini for Charlie. Pretty sure that seals it.
Advantage: Heavily in favor of Johnny Moxon
For Moxon, the final play to win the district championship, a hook and lateral to Billy Bob where everyone on the sidelines lost their collective minds has to be one of the things he still dreams about at night. Being a part of something like that sticks with a guy.
For Charlie, the final game of the district playoffs comes down to a shootout, and he takes the final shot, using the now completely cliché triple deke maneuver. It was the culmination of the entire movie, and really, was his last moment as the undisputed leader of the Ducks. Later movies had other players garnering late-game heroics. But Charlie’s goal was definitely the sweetest moment for him.
This battle was pretty even. Just like in Capeside, the two players had different strengths and weaknesses, and both probably seemed like the right choice for Joey Potter at any particular time. But we’re all forgetting something. Joey was ultimately a little weird and quirky, and definitely wouldn’t have gone for the athlete type.
Even though both Moxon and Charlie were deeper than the average athlete, they both had a bit of a show-off streak that Ms. Potter never found appealing. They probably both end the day wishing for something like Ali Larter in a whipped cream bikini, while Joey goes off and gets with some weirdo Scientologist. Just a guess…
Winner: Charlie Conway
Matt Brockway is now very confused. Follow him on Twitter @subtlehyperbole.