Last year, when the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup, I got to experience a portion of it. I’m – obviously – not a player. I’m just a fan, in a city full of fans. Of good people who put a large amount of themselves into the way they watch sports. I used to let my moods be dictated by how well the Bruins were doing.
I think the Win (hey, writing it that way is a good shorthand for “this is important”!) brought out some of the very best traits of this city.
Being a Boston sports-fan is like being a part of a very democratic cult. Everyone moves under a massive, undulating banner in step to the rhyhm of the W-L record of the Celtics, the Bruins, the Pats and – to a much lesser degree now, what with all the Pink Hats – the Red Sox. In this city, you’re constantly aware of the fact that damn near everyone you know and everyone you see is feeling the same highs, the same lows. Everyone has an opinion – and some of them are fucking stupid – but it really does feel like a community.
So with a win – a big win – a championship win… that’s when the entire community gets to band together even tighter than before and just feel good about the whole journey. When the Bruins won – people were nicer here than I’d ever seen them before. It was like a mass exodus for bullshit… for like, three days… and then everyone was pissed off again.
But it was wholly wonderful while it lasted. The parade, the honking, the partying, the high fives, the booze, the booze, the good times and the booze.
I think Boston is special that way. I do. I think other places might be better sports cities for some types of fans – Chicago, maybe – but dude, Boston is really up there. The inherent bond between suffering Boston fans is this queer tether that’s been painful/wonderful/fascinating to be a part of.
It was just great and I’ll always be glad I was here, in this city, for that win.
Conversely… L.A. isn’t like that.
I’m not going to hate on L.A. – quite the fucking contrary. I think in a city with two basketball teams, the podunk hockey team in the middle of one of the hottest states in the country isn’t going to have much of a chance in, you know, competing for people’s attention.
But that hockey team won the goddamn Stanley Cup last night.
My Bruins – big and bad as they were last year, save for a few elements – didn’t make it that far. The Kings did.
The Los Angeles Kings beat the best goalie of the past, what, 15 years?
And yeah, New Jersey looked really old out there. There were some dumb penalties. There were mistakes.
But the Kings didn’t exactly prance all the way through to the Cup. It wasn’t an easy walk. They had to walk… hard.
And their fan base – splintered though it may be and starved for attention – deserves to feel that accomplishment.
Fuck – arguably, they deserve it more. I mean – if you’re a long-time Kings fan, today should be all cupcakes and blowjobs.
I really hope it is because ESPN and the major news market sure as shit don’t care.
The photo I opened this post with is a still of ESPN’s NHL homepage about eight minutes before I wrote this sentence. It’s not even 4pm on the first day after the L.A. Kings won the goddamn Stanley Cup and the lead story is about how the Bruins are their picks to win next year. Which, don’t get me wrong, is awesome that they think so but… but…
GIVE THE KINGS THE LEAD LINE – JUST FOR LIKE, A DAY.
It’s a big deal that they won the Cup and it’s insanely disrespectful to put that story in a tiny square two-in beneath the 2013 projections.
But whatever… that’s ESPN. ESPN does not just cater to the greater L.A. area and ESPN has to keep an up-to-the-minute stream of information and opinion all day. I’m sure it was up this morning, with a big glossy banner and the words “CONGRATULATIONS LA KINKS” . Whatever. That’s fine. I get that. Let’s take a look, for comparison’s sake, at the LA Times’ website.
Okay – yes. Totally important information there about Syria and Russia.
But that’s not the lead story.
No, the lead story, there to the left, is about new details about the Alcatraz escape.
Oh shit , no it’s not.
It’s a piece about how the 1962 Alcatraz escape “still captivates”.
Your hometown team just won the Stanley Cup and you’re running a story about something that happened, in 1962, in San Franscisco.
How the fuck is that okay?
Kings fans – you deserve better. The Kings deserve better.