: Kings Article:
2012 Championship Stories from Kings Fans - What it Means to You [Merged]
View Single Post
07-04-2012, 04:39 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Canonica - Bergamo
I tried to come to LA in every possible way during the Finals, but due to business reasons and a couple important projects I’m following I couldn’t make it. It sucked, as I had a friend of mine in LA who could have got tickets for me.
But let’s take a few steps backwards…
I was born and I grew up in Milan, Northern side of the country, in 1975.
Here of course football (not soccer, football) is religion.
My father, a die hard AC Milan, brought me to San Siro stadium for the first time when I was 4, and the reason was that I told him that I kinda liked Juventus’ jersey, a team my dad couldn’t stand (actually, I can’t stand them as well now…). The year after, I was already a season ticket holder, and for the following 25 seasons too.
In the meanwhile, in 1993, when I was 18 it happened to me to watch some NHL highlights on the Italian network. In Milan we’ve always had a strong hockey tradition, and the local team has a very loyal and fanatic fanbase. I was used to go to the arena (called the Forum) for home games, and sometimes I was hitting the road to support’em in enemy territory, but I was following only the Italian championship.
I started playing on the ice a couple years before, but I had little knowledge about the NHL and about what was going on on the other side of the Pond. Then, as said above, I started watching some highlights, and there was this Gretzky guy…who was playing in this yellow-inside building. And those jerseys, black, silver, white…I remember I said to myself, I have to get one of those, they are nice. And then the playoff came.
One night, I came home late, and I turned the tv on Eurosport: it was game7 against Toronto. I just wanted to watch the score, then go to sleep. I ended up watching it all, and jumping of joy when it was over. It happened like that, like a lightning stroke me. Why was I jumping? I mean, why? And since that moment, it’s been pure passion, the purest of feelings, a true love. The season hadn’t a happy ending, but you know, we had Gretzky, Robitaille, Kurri (who played in Milan the year before), Blake, Sandstrom. I know **** about the rest, but I thought future was bright. Yeah, future was bright…When you are 18 of course the future is bright, but the Kings’ one wasn’t: 5 years of awful teams and no playoff until 1998. However, I kept following the team, looking for every possible information about the history of the franchise, the players, everything.
Internet was helping a bit, but only my dad had it in his office at the time, therefore I was constantly asking him to print me tons of staff, scoresheets, statistics, articles. The Italian tv was used to broadcast only a few games of the final, so I had to use a lot of imagination about the Kings. I was starving all the time for news, and if I think about it, the kind of fan I've become developed in those though years, when it was really difficult to know anything about the team. Actually, my passion got stronger instead of fading.
Slowly things got better, and in late ‘90s it was possible to listen to the games on NHL radio, and I became a creature of the night, considering home games in Italy starts at 4:30 AM. It was tough, but I loved it: it was a giant step forward for me. I could listen to Nick and Daryl, I know for you it’s nothing, but for me it was everything, I could follow the guys live.
In the 2000’s I visited LA many times, and I had my good share of Kings game. I went to London in 2007, Stockholm the past Fall, and I was guest of Luc in his office in one of my trip (in 2008), a lifetime experience I shared with my wife.
On 11th June, I was watching game6 in my attic, and with 20 seconds left in the third I heard some noise coming from the stairs. Then I saw my wife with my 3 year old son, both wearing Kings t-shirts, smiling at me. They woke up and came upstairs, no alarm clock was set. And we were there, hugging each other on our knees in front of my tv, at 4:40 AM. A moment I’ll remember forever.
Then I got text messages from my friends at Staples, calls, it was a dream.
I’ve already took free from work the morning after, I went to sleep at 7, but at 9 I was awake again. I was electric, I didn’t need to sleep. On the other hand, I needed to shave, and badly.
In the afternoon I went to my office, and all my colleagues knew about our win and gave me a standing ovation, while I came into the building sporting my Clifford jersey. They all knew how important it was for me (I lost the count of how many half free days I took this spring). Another moment I’ll remember. Then I came home and I hung on my balcony my 7 meter Stanley Cup banner. It will be its place for a few weeks…
I plan to keep celebrating for at least 2 months. It should be enough, but I might consider extending the party for another month, we’ll see. I’m giving a huge Cup Party on 7th July and I’m really afraid my place will get destroyed, I have people coming in from Rome, Florence, Venice…but hey, who gives a ****…
Ok, I think I’m done.
Folks, sorry to have bored you with my story.
But to give you a glimpse of what it meant for me this win, I had to tell you how I did become a Kings fan. And at the end, I’m almost happy to have waited so long for this. You know, can you imagine if it would have happened in 1996? No tv coverage, no internet at home, I had no friends in LA yet. It wouldn’t have been the same.
What makes this special is the fact I can share it with you, I feel there, I’m not missing anything, I’m watching every second of everything. I have a question: how many times have you re-watched Dustin hoisting the Cup? 10? 20? I lost the count. And it always feels so good, my eyes always get a bit wet. It doesn’t get any better than this.
All those nights in my parent’s basement, listening to Nick speaking about a lousy team losing hockey games were worth this.
Nothing compares to this.
Stanley Cup Champions
View Public Profile
Visit Albi's homepage!
Find More Posts by Albi