What a long strange trip it's been.
For the 5th year in the row the Kings have made the Stanley Cup playoffs. Last nights win made it official; as they shut out the Phoenix Coyotes, 4 to 0.
Congrats, Kings! Who would have thought that something once considered so elusive for this franchise would become an annual expectation.
This is my 10th year as a LA Kings season ticket holder, and it has been filled with more hills and valleys than you can imagine. For the most part (especially the last few years), it's been all good, but I was reminded last night that it wasn't always.
During my first few years as a season ticket holder the Kings were bad - like, superbad. They had just started a rebuilding movement, and pulled out all of the stops when it came to stripping the team bare, and installing a new ethic and playing style.
All the while, the passive fan stopped going to games while hardcore fans, like myself, saw a brighter future. I recall sitting in the rafters of Section 315, and being able to move about at my leisure. I could choose any Section I wanted to sit in, and it wasn't unusual to run into some stranger giving away lower-bowl seats for free.
Those were a different time - a simpler time. We knew we were bad, and came to games just because we loved being there.
Now, I feel burdened knowing that the Kings are considered a part of the elite. I watch games intently, like a lion eyeing its prey. I spend time analyzing new-fangled statistics like Corsi and Fenwick, and then shake my head wondering how I could have allowed math to enter into the equation.
Of course, I don't mean to sound like I'm complaining. It's so much better being a fan of a winning team, and I wouldn't trade experiencing the second season for anything (besides, maybe, a Dodgers World Champtionship).
Its just that I marvel at how so much has changed in 10 short years.
Anyway, enough with the reminiscing. I wanted to also share in this post a give-away from a recent Kings game. Featured below is a LA Kings hockey card team set made by Upper Deck. Check out scans of both the front and backs below. BTW, the card above (on the right side) is a header card to the card set, below. It says,
"LA Kings fans and players share a passion that runs deep. We are bound by a devotion and pride that unites us all."Passion. Devotion. Pride. Those are emotions that fans of any sport can understand.
Oh, another thing, someone please tell the Dodgers that we need a Baseball card Dodger team set give-away this year.... Like, seriously!
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