Willa Ford has been the punchline of many jokes in the Red Wings blogosphere during the team’s courtship of Mike Modano, but perhaps we should have been thanking her instead.
Now that Modano is firmly entrenched as the Wings’ third line center, it appears that it was actually Ford, his wife, that pushed Mo back home.
Ultimately, Modano’s wife, Mandy, a singer who goes by the stage name Willa Ford, provided a good push in Detroit’s direction.
“She was probably the No. 1 fan pushing me towards playing,” Modano said. “She wanted me to play, and she wanted me to go to Detroit, just to prove to a lot of people that they’re wrong, that you still have some hockey left in you, that you can still play.”
That’s a drastically different view of Ford’ role in all this. Previously, the popular idea was that Ford was trying to get Modano out of hockey and back to California with her, especially when the San Jose Sharks came a calling.
It will be a homecoming of sorts for both Ford and Modano, who both started their careers in the Motor City. A Detroit radio station broadcast Ford’s first hit “I Wanna Be Bad” that broke her into the music industry.
But most importantly, Ford just wanted her husband to do what he loves the most.
“I would never want someone to tell me (what to do) in my career,” said Ford, 29. “He’s never told me, ‘you can’ or ‘you can’t,’ and he’s always been really supportive, so we have that in common. He wants me to relish in what I do, and I want him to do the same thing. So if he wanted to play hockey, I want him to play.”
The couple is currently looking for a place to stay in Detroit. Ford will be looking for work in the Detroit area, which shouldn’t be too hard considering the big tax breaks the state of Michigan gives the entertainment industry. That means we may be seeing a little more Hollywood flavor at the Joe this season.
“I’ll be in and out constantly,” she said. “But during long home stints, you’ll see me a lot more. I don’t want to miss. Last year, I missed a lot of his games, but I don’t think I really want to miss a lot of this, I think it’s going to be exciting this year.”