(Ian Adams works in KPCC's IT department.)
Hello, new Los Angeles Kings fans! Welcome to the club. As you’ll find out, those of us who have lived and breathed Kings hockey since before the Lakers and Clippers lost in the playoffs are a pretty obsessed bunch.
I, for example, have a dog named Lord Stanley Pup, named for the man who founded the Stanley Cup. The deal we have is that he gets half a Milk-Bone for every playoff goal the Kings score. So now even my dog is a hockey fan.
Being as obsessed as we are, you’ll understand if we’re a little leery of the “bandwagon fans.” Me, I don’t mind bandwagon fans, except for a couple things.
First, those brand-new fans who pretend to be longtime fans. We can smell you a mile away. If you’re 18 years old and wearing a Wayne Gretzky jersey, something doesn’t quite add up. I’m not mathematician or anything, but he stopped playing for the Kings when you were 2 years old. I’m not buying it.
So, if you’re new to the Kings, by all means, go get yourself a jersey! Just get one with the name of a current player stitched across the back. Between Kopitar, Brown, Doughty, Quick or any of the others, you can’t go wrong. Yes, someday that player will retire or get traded to another team, and you may feel like your expensive jersey is outdated. But, it’s not. Like a bottle of fine wine, your jersey is actually maturing into a “vintage” jersey, and proves which year you become a Kings fan.
For example, I became a Kings fan in 1998, so I still proudly wear my #22, Ian LaPerriere jersey -- even though he hasn’t played for us in over eight years. It’s a badge of honor.
My second “bandwagon fan” complaint is how you feed into basic supply and demand. A regular season ticket in the nosebleeds will run you about 30 bucks. That same seat, for the Stanley Cup finals, is going for over $400! C’mon! I work in public radio! I can’t afford that! Sure, I could try to divert the funds, but my mortgage is due, and my dog insists I keep the Milk-Bones coming.
14 years of following the Kings’ every up and down, and I’ll be watching my team go for the Stanley Cup from my couch.
So, if you’ve suddenly become a Kings fan in the past few days, could you do us a favor and leave the playoff tickets to the longtime, and usually long suffering, Kings fans?
But really, those are my only two complaints. I want to welcome you into the Kings family, with the provisional title of “bandwagon fan.” If you’re still with us in October, when the next hockey season starts, you have my permission to drop “bandwagon” from that title, and just call yourself a “Kings fan.”
Go, Kings, Go!