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07-04-2012, 05:20 PM
Bandwagon Since 1967
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Brea, California
Country: United States
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Originally Posted by bland View Post
Grew up poor in San Pedro, my dad struggling to pay off student loans as he studied architecture after leaving the service in Vietnam. Went to my first Kings game as 6 or 7 year old at the Fabulous Forum in the cheap seats, and snuck down to the lower bowl in time to see JP Kelly tie a game late against the North Stars, and was hooked ever since.

Spent nearly every single allowance at the only local Stop N' go that sold Topps NHL trading cards, trying to find a JP Kelly, being such a naive kid that no one in their right mind would make a JP Kelly card back then. I think the first French pronunciations I ever learned were Marcel Dionne and Andre St. Laurent.

The Kings, and eventually the NHL became my life-long passion. I've got a picture of myself in my high-school yearbook from the late 80's in my Ulf Samuelsson jersey pretending to trash a freshman. Cancelled a prom date to catch a Kings/Flames playoff game one year.

It's been a struggle, never really thinking that this would happen and trying to build an understanding of what it takes and wondering why previous management groups could never put it together. 1993 never seemed "real" - it was store-bought with stolen money, a collection of players from another franchise who had already won, with just a few "real" Kings sprinkled in. It was as though the LA kings were rented out for a few years, then returned to us when the fervor died down.

This year is why so many of us have been so patient with what Lombardi has been trying to do, and why we have argued so hard in favor of his plan with the out-of-marketers who didn't understand why they didn't go for a quicker fix.

This is our team, for the first time EVER developed from within, along with players acquired from the picks earned from those hard to stomach years.

It hasn't been easy, but it's always been worth it. I hope this is our year, finally, and that the others who have waited as long and thru as much turmoil and mismanagement get their turns as well. It's why those clowns who bash Phoenix for their small fanbase are the worst kind of hypocrite - they also have fans who dedicate as much of their lives to their teams as those of the more successful franchises. Sure, there might not be as many, but it doesn't discount their hopes and dreams as well.
How old are you? I might know home town is San Pedro and I am 54. Graduated in 1976 at SPHS and left town around mother still lives there.

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