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05-31-2012, 02:48 PM
  #14
Business Time
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Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 3
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Late 80’s/Early 90’s. I had grown up playing baseball and soccer, mostly in West Los Angeles. My younger brother began to watch a ton of Prime Ticket and he started to really love hockey. He got me hooked as well, and we both learned the game from Bob Miller. The Kings had some really great years, from ’91 to ’93. Going to Game 6 against Toronto ensured that I would be a fan for life. I borrowed a pair of roller blades from a friend and skated for hours every afternoon after school, so I could connect with the sport more. I started to play roller hockey regularly at UCLA and Santa Monica Beach. And my love for the sport (and the for the Kings) strengthened each year, even though the franchise got weaker. I eventually learned how to ice skate and began playing on ice, and do so to this day - mostly because of how much I enjoyed watching Kings games early on.

I have followed every Kings season for over 20 years, and every single one has ended similarly, in disappointment. I have great memories, Game 4 against Detroit in 2001 is probably the best to date. Got to watch Gretzky, Luc and Palffy; Blake and Norstrom. Even heartbreakers like the Montreal series in ’93 and the Blues in ’98 and the Avs in ’01 and ’02 were still rewarding, while being devastating at the same time.

But I always thought of myself as a fan of two different things: 1) The Kings and 2) Ice Hockey. Being a fan of the Kings meant finding pleasure in small victories. A single Norris trophy, Gretzky’s career milestones, and one year of Allison-Palffy-Deader being one of the two best lines in the league. Then the Kings would exit the stage and I could watch other franchises play hockey at its highest level and compete for the Cup. And I would always enjoy watching the SC Final, but without a rooting interest. It was just because I loved the sport, but it was void of any emotion. Back in the mid-90’s, I used to say that I loved watching Kings games more than anything. But I would occasionally turn on a Red Wings game if I really wanted to see good hockey (and I, of course, hated the Red Wings, so it was brutal).

This season, suddenly, those two worlds have collided. And it’s surreal. I thought it was going to take a lot more time. I knew the Kings had the pieces in place to possibly make a Cup run at some point (maybe), but nobody thought it would be this year, especially after the way things got started this season. But to watch this group of guys come together, click, and deliver to these fans a team that, for the first time ever, is elite from top to bottom, is something I didn’t ever think was possible. Now, I can finally get everything in a single game!

Take it from me, the Kings bandwagon may be full, but there are a ton of people who have been here for the long haul.

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