Alpha Dog

Athletes with personal problems play better because their sport becomes a means of escape. It’s why Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis won it all after his trial for murder and why that guy in your rec league who’s going through a bitter divorce pulls down 15 rebounds a game.

Given this, you should be at Arena when the Phoenix Coyotes open the regular home season against the Columbus Blue Jackets. It’s hard to think of a team – in any major sport – that’s gone through as hard a slog as the ’Yotes have in recent years, but the bankrupt Desert Dogs are, at least, a bit richer at the coaching position with well-respected former Dallas Stars head man Dave Tippett replacing the woeful Wayne Gretzky at the helm.
Sat., Oct. 10, 6 p.m., 2009

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Ed Kummerer