HEY ANAHEIM FANS…
First of all,
Second of all, some of you Kings fans do as well.
I love my Kings faithful. We are brethren. Sisterhood. Clan. Cult.
Allow me to paint a picture.
An anxious Kings’ fan awaits a good Kings’ game. It’s been too long. His blood simmers, slowly crusting over into a black tar of apathy after several stressful losses. He remains hopeful. With no twinkle in his eye, he awaits a red one behind a piece of glass.
Circumstances arise, forcing Mr. Hopefully Annoyed, Angrily Excited Kings’ Fan Season Ticket Holder to be late for the Kings vs. Ducks game taking place at Staples this uneventful Thursday. Only the second time he has been late all season.
Traffic, will call for friends, forgotten wallets and general nuisances.
Half a period missed. Rage.
But finally, live hockey. Game looks decent. Nothing exciting, but the Kings aren’t losing yet.
Out of nowhere, a shot, a deflection, a goal. 1-0. Rejoice.
17 minutes before more hockey.
Another beer and a few glances at the crowd. Ducks’ fans.
Bad habits induce a trip to the patio.
More Ducks’ fans. These ones are taking group photos.
Our Kings’ fan decides now is a good time.
“HEY ANAHEIM FANS!” he exclaims.
The chemically imbalanced crowd roars,
And so on, a few good volleys.
The Ducks’ fans smile. They say something about the playoffs, the ones they won’t be making this year. Laughter. Swigs of beer. More chants. Good times. Our Kings fans’ mood is creeping towards the sublime.
Suddenly, two people claiming to be of the same species, but clearly of other, less evolved origin, burst through the masses and construe the playful banter of passionate hockey fans reveling civilly, albeit loudly, in their chosen team’s current success, into barbaric and hostile ravings. From laughing all around to malicious violence in a heartbeat. Jerseys are grabbed. People are pushed. Gasps are heard. Our Kings’ fan is splattered with the once drinkable remnants of his beer.
The crowd disperses, isolating the offending parties who preferred to talk with their hands and fists.
Security saunters, slowly and sloppily sorting out suspects. Someone owes our Kings’ fan a new beer.
The two responsible neanderthals are wearing Kings’ jerseys.
With eyebrows protruding far beyond allowable length and eye-sockets buried deep in their skulls, the offending Kings’ fans rescind but maintain the demeanor that got their shoulders grabbed by men in red jackets in the first place. Our Kings’ fan is truly stunned.
Fandom is an incredible thing. Passion. Pride. Power. While silly and contrived on billboards and t-shirts, these words ring true within the hearts of the faithful. Not just the Kings’ faithful. All the faithful. Those who prefer slash skating, hard hitting, slick passes, doorstep saves and deadly one-timers over dog-piles, base-running, dribbling and birdies. Brethren are they all. One word must be repeated, in regards to fans, in regards to players, just not in regards to rival teams.
I did not witness respect tonight during the 1st intermission in the smoking patio.
I’m sure, rather, I hope, many of you reading this know of what I speak.
Bantering, chanting, razzing, booing, cooing, yelling, bellowing, moaning, groaning, sighing, muttering, cursing, exclaiming and cheering are welcome, in fact, necessary to a fun-filled night of watching the sport for which we all care so deeply live with 18,117 fellow fanatics. However, there is a line, there is always a line.
I hope the two men, or boys, rather, who decided they needed to wear their genitals on their sleeves are reading this. I hope their dreams are riddled with confusion and metaphor beyond their comprehension. I hope karma seeks them.
Disrespect the opposing team.
Never disrespect the opposing fan.
HEY ANAHEIM FANS.