It started with a post on the InsideSoCal.com/Kings blog (linked here), asking Kings’ season-seat holders, in particular, why they are so. Or, why you forked out dough to see the team’s season-opener Saturday night (a sloppy 6-3 loss to Phoenix). Or, considering you didn’t want to put out the money, have devoted yourself to following the team religiously on TV this season.
The answers were both predictable, and charming. Disturbing, and admirable.
Kings fans are dilussional, and loyal, to a fault. So, who’s fault is it?
The team? They’re not all that great about the invention of lying. They may sell hope, but they don’t flat-out dupe the customers.
The column we did for Sunday’s newspaper (linked here) tried to explain, from our filter, why being a part of Kings Nation (if there is such a banana-crazed republic out there) is a badge of honor and a source of concern.
Follow up here, or on the Kings’ blog (which seems to be up for grabs with information since our well-respected beat writer, Rich Hammond, has gone to LAKingsinsider.com to type in paragraphs of knowledge) and keep the conversation going.
One more thing:
Reader Don Fulton may have summed it up best in an email today about what it’s like to be a true Kings’ fan:
Hockey as a sport elicits passion. Perhaps it seems so much more understated here in Los Angeles since we have the Lakers, Dodgers, Angels, USC and UCLA, but grab a seat in the 300 level at Staples Center during a hockey game and you can witness and participate in the passion I’m writing about.
The Kings, forever looked at as lovable losers, still have a passionate and knowledgeable following.
Sometimes the team is difficult and exasperating to watch, like last night’s horrific effort against the woebegone Phoenix Coyotes.
And sometimes it is difficult to tell what the problem is with the Kings.
Is it the coach? Are they missing that key defenseman to headman the puck up the ice and be the face of the power play? Is it the goaltending (or lack thereof)? Is there a lack of on-ice leadership? Does the team lack toughness? Are we still rebuilding?
I point these things out just to let you know that Kings fans aren’t just blindly following them without regard to the things that it will take to get the team to the next level.
Kings fans want to see the post season.
Kings fans crave the Stanley Cup.
So while it may be a given that Dodgers and Angels fans are looking at every move Torre and Scioscia make with a healthy scrutiny, you have to know that Kings fans are every bit as critical of the on-ice decisions made by Terry Murray and the off-ice determinations of Dean Lombardi.
The main point I suppose I’m trying to make here is that Kings fans aren’t any more delusional than the fans of the Lakers, Dodgers, Angels, Trojans and Bruins (Clippers purposely omitted!).
They’re simply called upon to be much, much more patient with the process.
And at some point the longsuffering will pay off with a championship that maybe, just maybe will allow the fans to be viewed as what they really are…..