So, Where Are The Anaheim Ducks’ Fans?

Unlike Surly, I spend most of my days and nights in Orange County - currently I would put myself at about 20% L.A., 70% O.C. and 10% down the rabbit hole. I am not shy about team pride. Shirts, workout clothing, hats, and my car show the love. Lately, I have noticed a trend.

About 2 months ago, I saw a guy and gal in Chipotle’s parking lot. He drove my identical car (which is not an easy thing to do) and even had the same L.A. Kings license plate frame. I had the shirt on and we chatted for a few seconds. A couple of days later, I ran into not one but two separate groups of golfers, with one person in each group wearing a Kings’ hat – one at the driving range and one between the 9th and 10th holes. Once again, I saw them, they saw me, we conferred and mused out loud about the coming season. The latter commented, “I love it, in the heart of Orange County, two Kings’ fans wearing their team colors and not a Ducks’ logo in sight.” I smiled and approved of the keen observation.

About a week after that, inside Home Depot, again wearing my Kings’ hat, and boom, another Kings fan (his hat circa silver and black era) walking the other way. I lifted my hand, he lifted his, we high-fived as we walked by each other and let out a spontaneous and simultaneous “Go Kings!” in the middle of the store – I kid you not. It was spooky karmic. Later that day, one of my dearest friends who happens to be a Ducks’ fan showed up at my house with his family for a BBQ and he was wearing…a Kings hat he bought at a game last season. I have seen him with that hat at least 3 times in the past two months. I am doing the Lord’s work with him.

Parked at the pet store. A purple Chrysler PT Cruiser with a huge L.A. Kings sticker on the rear window…a sticker that occupied the entire window. Impressive.

The next weekend, on my motorcycle, pulled into a parking lot (wearing a Kings’ shirt) and receiving a “GO KINGS! WOOO!!” from a car pulling out.

The freeway, highway, shops, stores, restaurants, all in Orange County and in many different cities. Anaheim, Yorba Linda, Fullerton, Newport, Huntington, Costa Mesa, Kings’ fans everywhere. Have I seen a single Ducks’ hat? A single Ducks’ shirt? A single Ducks’ anything? Yes. Some guy / gal / imp at my gym who has a disgusting Orange front license plate on his silver Audi. Have I seen this dude, chick or thing once wear a Ducks’ anything (so I can identify the rat) inside the gym even though his car has been parked next to mine (I may have planned that) more than once? No.

So, what is going on? The current? Tide? The seas of change? Has there been a genocide that actually changed things for the better and upgraded the general populace’s acumen & IQ? I do know this. I am having withdrawals. I haven’t had a single person in this county to direct my requisite piss, wit and vinegar for months…and chirping Bobby Ryan on Twitter is barely keeping me sane…what? Well, it went something like this:

@b_ryan9 round of golf. My treat. Pelican, south course. I win and you ask for a trade to the Kings. I lose and you remain a Duck. Deal?

@kingsofhockey handicap?

@b_ryan9 10

After trying to get Dustin Brown in this…

@DustinBrown23 Great Pic Brownie. I challenged @b_ryan9 to a round of golf, I win, he asks for a trade to the Kings. Persuade him to accept

@kingsofhockey @dustinbrown23 haha. Pass. Course is too tough to gamble my career with!

For one fleeting, insane second, I thought Bobby Ryan would actually accept. I saw the celebration on the 18th hole as I putted for an exhilarating 73, Bobby Ryan picking up his cellular phone and calling his agent (secretly thanking God), GregWyshynski getting the exclusive interview with me about the bet and historic match, Surly running around in circles screaming, “We got Bobby Ryan! We got Bobby Ryan!” for days, Dean Lombardi formally appointing me as the Kings’ Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary for life, a couple of ingrates claiming that the golf game never happened and writing that isn’t the real Bobby Ryan, and Gary Bettman uttering the word “WHAT!!??” right before his head exploded and painted the roses red.

Let’s hear it for the winds of change.



Categories: L.A. Kings News

Tags: , , , ,

45 replies

  1. We’re in South OC, and we are seeing the same….more and more Kings support! Still hard for my daughter who goes to CSUF and hangs in South OC to find a guy who not only likes hockey, but who is not a fair weather Ducks fan. Still work to do!

  2. Ducks fans don’t even break out their gear until they’re sure the team has made the playoffs! They think the season stars in April and ends two weeks later when they’re eliminated.

  3. I literally just high fived two Kings fans last night at a bar and the OC fair. Our roots here are older than Anaheim’s. Its showing.

  4. I live in Belmont Shore in Long Beach (borderline L.A-O.C) and this will be my 7th year as a ticket holder. I’m the type of person that refuses to wear any tees with huge logos across the chest like Quiksilver, Volcom, etc. However I do wear tees, sweatshirts, and caps that let it be known that “I AM A KINGS FAN!” Whenever my wife and I go for our daily strolls down 2nd St or head I’m at the gym I make sure something I wear says “Kings”. And yes..I too have the back sticker and plate frame on my car. I have been doing this for several years now and sometimes got smirked at, cus yes it wasn’t till a couple of years ago that our team sucked! But lately in the last couple of months, I too have noticed a rise in Kings fans and have run into those same people you described above.
    (Just hoping these people are legit and not bandwagon fans or people from Anaheim jumping ship and claiming that they were Kings fans before they were Duck fans so they have always liked the Kings. BAH!)
    And for the record i am doing my part to “Proliferate the Kingdom”. My first born baby boy is scheduled to be born (C-section) on October 6…he has his Kings onesie and Infant Kings jersey waiting for him. So while mommy sleeps…My first “Kings-bonding moment” with my kid will be when he is 1 day old… Him and I at the hospital watching the Kings-Rangers game on TV the morning of October 7th when they are in Europe. Can’t wait…..GO KINGS!!!

    • Hey, I know you!

      Love the article, Bobby! I live in LA, so it’s not unusual for me to see Kings fans and not *ucks fans, but even I’ve been getting my share of sudden camaraderie with strangers. I have stickers prominently featured on my car. I was stopped at a red light the other day. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the guy in the car next to me trying to get my attention. He was giving me an enthusiastic thumbs-up. I must’ve looked confused because he rolled down his window and said “Go Kings!”

      OMG!!! I am so pumped for the season to start! This is our year, I feel it!

    • The real test will be what you name your child.

      • After my daughter was born, I outlawed the term “Duck” in our household. I would not even allow anyone (including visitors) to make a Duck sound. If there was ever a Duck, it would have to be referred to as a “Bird” and nothing more. If the question came up of what kind of sound that particular type of bird would make, the canned response was “boooo.” I did this to ensure that our daughter’s first word would not be “Duck”. It worked. It wasn’t. It was Bobby :) The word is now allowed in our house but I remind everyone (including visiting children of friends and family) that a Duck goes “booooo”.

    • Your son is due on my son’s birthday, who I have raised as a Kings fan…his first game was at the Fabulous Forum and he got to meet Wayne Gretzky for his birthday that night. Go Kings Go!

  5. Hahaha, what a great read. You hit it perfectly. I must share a little story. I live in Chino Hills, though not OC, it’s a rock throw from the Pond(Honda Center). A few years ago when my daughter was in 7th grade(now 11th) I was called to her school regarding a small altercation. Four Duck fans(boys) approached my baby and proceeded to harass her because she was wearing a Kings jacket. It got so nasty she felt she had to defend herself and threw down Clifford style. Of course, I reprimanded her as a good father should, but to tell you I wasn’t smiling inside would be a fib.:) Fast forward to today…..she tells me how all the Duck fans have disappeared and talks of the many King fans she encounters now at school. What happened Duck fans? Where have you gone? lol Go Kings Go!

  6. One thing to learn from the Ducks is what a Stanley Cup will do for your fan base. When the Ducks won, they immediately added thousands of new “fringe fans”. These are not necessarily people that really understand hockey, but wear Ducks stuff around OC because it immediately became fashionable.

    It has been a few years, and their team is not as good as it used to be, so a lot of these fringe fans have lost interest. They are not so visible anymore…

    • All too true. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve had the following conversation, though less and less as the years roll by…

      Me: “oh you like hockey?”
      Moron: “yup”
      Me: “what’s your team?”
      Moron: “the ducks”
      Me: “ew. Thats awful. Why?”
      Moron: “because they won the cup”

      I don’t probe any further than that. That’s the funniest part… A large part of their fan base will parade around “we won a cup!” when they weren’t even a part of that ‘we’ until after the cup parade was over.

  7. ok…I have a good one…I live in Anaheim about 5 minutes away from the Honda Center….I am a VERY proud Kings season ticket holder…I got pulled over by an Anaheim police officer for a ticket and the first thing he said was “It is so good to see a Kings fan here in Anaheim, but I have to give you a ticket…….” Took away a little of the sting!

    GO KINGS GO!!!!

  8. Living in Orange, I like to rock the Kings gear proudly. One of the most annoying comments I was hearing last season was “I like them both” or “I hope they both do well”. Nothing like hedging your bets to show your display your loyalty!

  9. I live right next to Anaheim, about 5-10 minutes from Honda Center, and always wear my Kings hat and shirts wherever I go. I went to high school down the street from the Pond, and I have a lot of friends who claim they are ducks fans. But whenever I try to talk to them about the ducks, or hockey, they always have no idea what im talking about. It is funny how clueless ducks fans can be about their team, and it seems like no one cares until the ducks are in the playoffs.

    Being in college now, I find its much the same. Being a huge hockey and Kings fan, I can only talk hockey with other Kings fans, some Sharks and Red Wings fans at my school. Hardly ever do I find a ducks fan who knows much about hockey or the nhl.

  10. Hello to all my fellow Kings fans,
    As a 23 year old whose lived his entire life in Orange County, my family has always been LA fans. (Kings, Dodgers, Lakers, Trojans) From a ripe age of 6 I received my first hockey stick and from that point on proclaimed hockey to be my favoritist sport! (6 year old talk) I played passionately until at the age of 12 a virus viciously attacked my body destroying muscle and nerves. Thank god doctors were able to reverse the progressive damage before it could reach my respiratory system. As I lay in my hospital bed the wonderful people at Make-A-Wish foundation approached and granted me a wish. Many of my family suggested Disneyworld, swim with dolphins, but as it was my wish to make, I chose to meet the Los Angeles Kings. (I’m proud to say I was the first to make such a request) a limo drove me to the Toyota Sports Center where I met the team, watched them practice, got brought onto the ice by Stu Grimson (for being an enforcer, he is the most kind hearted, nicest guy I’ve ever met) and pushed around the rink in my wheelchair. Took a team picture, and got autographs in the locker room from Blake, Robitaille, Palffy, Stumpel, Norstrom, Laperriere, Allison, Deadmarsh, Emerson, and Visnovsky. It was one of the best memories of my life and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity and time I spent with them. Since then I’ve been to many games, Hockey Fests, Tip-A-Kings, and some practices.

    Now that I’ve explained some of my history with hockey and the Kings (and so you 30-40 year fans don’t think I’m some punk kid =P) I would like to add that I too have noticed an increase in the amount of people sporting Kings gear. New Era within the past year or so has FINALLY put out some nice looking fitted Kings caps. And with the return of Snapbacks, I’ve noticed more people (13-25) sporting hats than anything else. Now as far as these people being true fans differs from person to person. I’ve run into guys, (usually my age 20-25) who of course are sporting and strike up a conversation about the Kings and we’ll talk for a while. (longest has been an hour) And then I’ll run into younger guys (teens) and try and talk to them about the team and they either brush me off, agree with me and say “ya” which will end the convo. Or the worst case scenario I had where this guy wanted to physically fight me as if I asked how his girlfriend was doing. When really I asked what he thought about the new players we got. (Gagne & Richards) From my experience with the younger demographic of Kings fans is that they like the fact that the gear says Los Angeles and Kings (who doesn’t want to be a king?) They could care less about hockey or the actual team which angers me because the Kings hold a special suite in my heart for all they brought me and they’re true ride or die fans.

  11. During the playoffs this year, every time me and my buds were at Disneyland, we saw tons of Sharks jerseys. Every time we saw one, we’d yell, “Go Kings!” proudly outfitted in my Kings gear which I make sure to wear every time we go down there. Go up to grab some food and the lady working the counter says, “Yeah…go Kings,” while her coworker comes up with a big smile to say the same. Wouldn’t be a big deal other than the fact if they work at Disneyland, it’s safe to assume they live in the OC and much rather root for a real team than the one her employers made. Nice to notice that there were aboslutely NO *ucks jerseys/shirt/hats during that whole span.

    It must suck to be a *ucks “fan”.

  12. Grew up in OC, now live in SD. Spend a good chunk of time in both. And yes, the Kings just have roots far older than Anaheim, and it still shows. Kings hockey is alive and well. A killer team with no other sports to root for this year – buy your tickets now because the kings are going to be the biggest show in town this year!

  13. What kind of ride are you sporting, Scribe? I saw a really nice VW CC in downtown San Diego a few weekends ago — very cleanly modded, topped off with a Kings license plate frame.

    Keep the posts coming, love the journalistic work. Eklund is reporting that Doughty is close agreeing to a long term contract. Anything from your source(s)?

    • Okay…some of you will think I am an abject pussy, but do you guys wear Kings garb to Honda center? One of the fun things about bringing your kids to the game is having the whole family put on their Kings’ gear. I’ve always felt anxious about doing that at Honda, even worse after the Brian Stowe affair at Dodger stadium…

      • Only been to Honda center for ducks/kings a few times, but hell yes I wore my jersey.

      • Hockey fans are different. We don’t bring the bullshit basketball and baseball brings

      • I would say so long as you don’t do it in the playoffs with a broom as a prop, you should be okay. About 30 of us were at the Forum, Kings vs. St. Louis. Kings were down in the series 3-0 but up in the game 4-1. Koharski (could care less if I spelled that incorrectly) called a BS 5 min major in the third and the Blues came back to win the game and the series because of it.

        Anyway, there was one idiot up in a Blues jersey and had a broom. We lost the game and the series on a classic missed call from DB Koharski and this dude kept yappin’ away, like he did something of value. Long story short, he was met in the lobby by a gang of unhappy Kings fans. Remember, this was back in the Forum days. Things are a little different at Staples but he got lumped up because of his mouth. Not because he was wearing a Blues jersey.

        Be respectful to the fans and the building and you should be cool. Like Bobby says, hockey’s not baseball or basketball. Most of us are civilized.

      • … I’ve worn a Kings’ jersey every time I’ve ever been to Ponda. There’s never been anything close to an issue with it; as a matter of fact, more often than not I’m talking hockey with an Anaheim fan sitting next to me or in front of me. The Ducks DO have real fans, amazingly enough – and some of them know the game pretty well.

        As a matter of fact, when Anaheim joined the league in 1993, I wanted to like them. I saw the guys they stockpiled in the expansion draft, and I was impressed. I liked Bob Corkum, Stu Grimson, Troy Loney, Billy Houlder, Randy Ladouceur, Alex Kasatonov. I thought Terry Yake was underrated and shouldn’t have been let go by Hartford. But the original name of the team, logo, the presentation, the broadcasters, the duck calls … everything around the Ducks just turned me off completely.

        As far as what happened to Bryan Stow at Dodger Stadium, I’ll never condone the level of violence that was shown in that incident. But. I will say that I’ve been going to sporting events for a lot of years – for decades, really. I’ve never seen any fan get into a physical confrontation without bringing it on themselves. I’ve never had a problem with fans of other teams coming over and rooting for their team. It’s a beautiful thing, actually.

        It’s the opposing team’s fans who get plowed before the game and completely make a spectacle of themselves that usually get bothered after it’s over. At a certain point, it just becomes annoying, and everyone with a modicum of social skills knows were the line is. Don’t cross it, and there won’t be any issues. If you provoke a large group of people, don’t be surprised if they respond. I’m not saying it’s right, but be careful what you wish for when you’re calling out another team’s fans – you might get it.

        We’re not talking about dealing with the typical Raider fan here. I know – I used to go to Raider games back in the early 90s and I remember what went on. Those were violent people watching a violent game in a violent area of the city. Dodger fans, like most baseball fans in general, are pretty laid-back and just want to enjoy the game and relax.

    • The American muscle car with lots of aggrsssive ponies and one hell of a mean streak kind…decked in black on black with tinted windows, a reflective Kings license plate (not just the frame) in the front that changes depending on the angle you look at it from “Los Angeles” to the crown logo, as well as a license plate frame in the back. I don’t care for stickers on cars (personal taste) but when the Kings win the Cup, I am going to custom paint my Harley in the logo. Fortunately, it is already black

    • Oh and nothing new on Doughty from our end.

  14. I wear my Kings jersery proud at Honda center for Kings/Ducks games….last time I went with my boss who invited me and my sister and his whole family are Ducks fans so we sat proud in the purple and black and had a blast being there and cheering against his family!!!!

    But Honda Center does not get as loud as good old section 315 at Staples Center does….LOVE THE NOISE!!!

    Is it time for hockey yet????

  15. First Will Wheaton and now O.C?… (I admit he sounded right). Last time I was in O.C. I drove
    abusively through two parking lots (whiff this, bitches) hoping to start something. And,…nothing. They just ducked the asshole obviously from L.A. I feel weird saying this, but I don’t think the fans deserve the Mighty Ducks. They should change their name to “Totems” and move to Seattle (have red and white jerseys, like the Hawks, and live to torment Van. like back in the very old days).

  16. It’s actually not too surprising being that the Kings were the only hockey ticket in town until the Mighty (Lame) Ducks showed up. I was living in downtown HB during the 92-93 season and it was mayhem. I remember leaving the grocery store and seeing Go Kings spray painted on the side of someone’s car! It was truly epic! What a time to be a Kings fan!!!! And now after almost 20 years later will the Kings lift the cup finally?!? I sure the hell hope so.

    I thought the Ducks were an absolute joke when they played their first season but I hate em even more because they won the damn cup before LA did. Long before the Ducks or Sharks the Kings put hockey on the map in CA. If they can’t win the cup with this current line up well….Just hope the Sharks don’t do it before.

  17. I’ll look out for your ride. Neglected context: Silver/Black Paxton-blown pony with extra clear-coat and Kings rear plate frame and hat in back window. Shares space with blue hat with angry orange bear head part of the season. Semi-low-key but to the point. Parking lots were Honda before and after Kings game and restaurant across freeway. Wife actually SPENT her roll of quarters, but at least we won.

    She knows that if we ever win the Cup she’ll find me by looking for the boy in the rally-shirt passed out face-down in the gutter in front of my bud’s pub (“Hey sweetie, you better come get him…he’s napping out front”).

  18. Most of the responses above are what I thought guys would say. I concur that it is obnoxious when visiting teams’ fans get unruly, especially if the home team loses. This is not usually a problem with Canadian teams visiting Staples, as most of those folks are very polite.

    I actually like it when a lot of visiting teams’ fans show up at Staples. Makes for a better game. They spend money there and that supports the Kings. Actually I have sat next to a lot of interesting people from out of town at games, and they should be allowed to come out and support their team. Oh yeah, it is better when the Kings win though.

    I don’t mind fans yelling and screaming next to me as long as they are not real inebriated don’t have to put my hands over my son’s ears to muffle really saucy profanity.

  19. 1) God U are entertaining
    2) Hockey withdrawal has hit you full on..you are sounding delirious or nuts :)
    3) I have beern working out in Pomona so see a mixture of Kings and Enemy attire. Last Sunday I thumbs uped a guy in a Kings hat, and later got a sneer on my face as I saw another guy in a Sharks T shirt.
    I do remind myself at least they like the sport.
    GO KINGS GO!!!

  20. Gotta agree with the others….as a native OCer I find the dynamic of Kings/Ducks interesting. Kings fans tend to be far more talkative and energetic about the team and the sport while Ducks fans tend to be very passive. My son plays roller hockey in laguna hills and I would say the breakdown of parents is probably 60% Kings Fans, 20% Ducks, an 20% some other team. If you ever saw my vehicle….you would know it was me. If you ever see me-give me a big Go Kings!

  21. Ooops, forgot to mention,,,,,great article. Enjoyed reading it.

  22. I live in San Francisco now and I wear my Kings Jersey to the Sharks bars when watching games, games at the Shark Tank whether the Kings are playing or not. People get really pissed. Can’t wait for next season. Go Kings Go!

  23. I live in Irvine – and hell yes I wear my King’s jersey around and always get nods of approval and thumbs up.. Yuck fans are flaccid bandwagon tools who always seem to look at me like I’m an alien. “You mean there’s such a thing as hockey fan who wears their colors all year round?” they seem to say. Yea. See the King’s stickers? Hockey bag? Taped up sticks that look like they’ve been fed through a wood chipper? That’s what we do in the off season – hone the gift and watch Tivo clips of the last series…we hold grudges.

    My wife asks me what I want for my birthday (or Christmas, etc.) – I tell her a cotton Kings jersey – soft, frayed cotton you can lounge around in. She can’t find such a thing and neither can I – anyone heard of such a thing? If you have – let me know at shaneborgess@yahoo.com.

    Go Kings!

  24. @Johnathan i know exactly what your talking about, im young still and i notice every other kid has a kings snapback but they know nothing about the kings they do it cause its the new trend and that aggravates me so much. i seen at least one a day i also have one but ima a die hard kings fan and have been for years. and i try to talk to these kids about the kings and the most any of them would know is who #99 was and thats pushing it i wish the bandwagoning and trend would stop

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