In the movie Gladiator, Maximus disposes of a combatant and then screams a question to the arena, “Are you not entertained? Are you not entertained? Is this not why you are here?”

Last night, an assembly of Kings slew the St. Louis Blues. Before the battle began, those who fancy themselves entertainers tried to inspire us into a frenzy with an audio and video presentation.

Was I entertained?

I was not.

I am a writer. It is my craft. Even if you present me with a dull and dry set of events, I will do my very best to weave from it a story that will hold your attention and leave you inspired, laughing and/or in a state of melancholy depending on the intended goal. Add great characters and an interesting history and I will work hard to leave a positive and lasting impression.

Last night, Danny Zollars and those who work with him sought to entertain, inspire and leave that lasting impression. I regret to say they failed. If last night’s entertainment was a book, it would be a series of fragments without a plot or theme.

Noise is not entertainment.

Visual effects are not a substitute for the story.

I respect the fact you may disagree. This is after all just my opinion, but I want you to walk with me for a moment and imagine if you saw this instead.

The arena is dark. Music slowly builds. This music is appropriate for the mood of reliving history.

Video Screen (each video is 5-15 seconds and transitions seamlessly):

The Triple Crown line and Daryl Evans’ Miracle on Manchester goal, fade to…

Luc Robitalle’s draft, first goal and winning the Calder Trophy…

The Gretzky trade and press conference…

Gretzky’s goal number 802…

The music, lights and effects build…

Gretzky’s game 6 overtime goal in the 1993 series against the Maple Leafs, fade to

Gretzky’s hat trick in game 7 of the Maple Leafs’ series and the celebration, including the locker room scenes, that sent us to the Cup finals…

The music style becomes more ominous.

Game 1 of the 1993 Stanley Cup finals and our victory…

Marty McSorley’s stick measuring video in game 2, penalty, followed by the game 2 loss…

The game 5 loss that gave Montreal the Cup…

Wayne Gretzky and Dave Taylor’s jerseys raised to the rafters…

Music fades more to the background

Video Screen (each video is 5-15 seconds, and ends in slow motion before it transitions to the next):

The 2001 playoffs, Eric Belanger’s game winning goal in game 4, and Bob Miller’s call of that goal, fade to…

Adam Deadmarsh’s overtime goal in game 6 and celebration…

Kings eliminated in the second round against the Avalanche…

Arena suddenly goes black and the music stops.

Without music and each of these videos in slow motion…

Rob Blake lifts the Cup as an Avalanche [this would lead to the fans’ rising emotions and you would likely hear boos]…

Pictures of Ace Bailey and Mark Bavis…

Kings eliminated from the 2002 playoffs…

Luc’s jersey raised to the rafters…

Flashes of the past two playoffs and the series losses against Vancouver and San Jose.

Everything stops to a thunderous and unexpected single beat that shakes the place and you feel in your heart. The arena is silent as is the music, lights, all of it, for just a few dramatic seconds. Then, slowly, the music begins again. This music is more inspirational, more emotionally charged…

Video Screen:

You see the words, “That was then…” followed by a Dustin Brown hit and Bob Miller’s call of that hit…

A game winning goal and celebration with Bob Miller’s “He scores! Kings win!”

The music and lights rise in intensity.

You see the following sequence of videos.

The drafting of Dustin Brown and putting on the jersey at the draft followed by a few of his hits and goals…

The same with Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty, Jonathan Bernier, and Kyle Clifford followed by their highlights…

Jack Johnson after he arrived, and then Justin Williams, followed by highlights of their hits and goals…

Jonathan Quick followed by a 10-15 seconds of his most amazing saves as the music continues to rise…

All of these videos present the theme of the new blood, the music culminates and then goes to another level as we transition to…

5-10 seconds of Simon Gagne’s scoring highlights as a Flyer and Lightning followed by a written media quote (just the words in quotes) on the screen about his acquisition at the time it occurred and then the video of him holding the Kings’ jersey…

10-15 seconds of Mike Richards’ scoring, hitting and fighting highlights as a Flyer, followed by a written media quote on the screen about his acquisition at the time it occurred and then the video of him holding the Kings’ jersey…

Video Screen shows LA Times, ESPN and other media quotes about the Kings as a contender this season…

At this point the music has built to a frenzy with the laser lights and we transition to…

Video Screen & on the ice:

Justin Williams’ face comes on with a regal and sharp background, he looks up and says, “Our time”, followed by the same with…

Jack Johnson, “This is our time…”

Drew Doughty, “We will become…”

Simone Gagne, “The Kings of hockey…”

Matt Greene, “We want the Stanley Cup…”

Mike Richards, “We want the Stanley Cup…”

Anze Kopitar, “We want the Stanley Cup…”

Jonathan Quick, “We want the Stanley Cup…”

Dustin Brown, “Nothing less will do…”

There is then a series of goals, hits and celebrations in rapid fire form as the music has reached its climax, followed by a booming beat, a picture of the Stanley Cup on the video screen and ice as the Kings’ logo fades into it and slowly takes it over.

That leads to the final shift in music and the players’ entrance.

I could write a separate article about that entrance, that high school drama class castle and the lack of style with the entire presentation but we can save that for another day.

This was less than 1 hour of thought on my part. How much time and resources did Danny Zollars and crew have?

What we saw last night was a disjoined series of videos, a sound mixing that was unbalanced, a story telling without imagination, creativity and, most importantly, a failure to do our story justice, as it should have been told and shown.

I don’t doubt Danny Zollars’ heart is in the right place. I am certain he cares about his job, about the end product and wants to do his best. What I wonder though is this – is what we saw last night his “best”?

You may say, “Scribe, your expectations are too high.” Perhaps. Maybe last night was also a product by someone who doesn’t have the LA Kings’ history at his finger tips, didn’t live it and can’t relate to it. I wonder sometimes if those who are placed in positions of marketing, entertainment and such within the organization should have that background and history to be effective. Regardless, what I do know is this is Los Angeles. AEG calls Staples Center the “sports and entertainment capital of the world.” Is it too much to expect the entertainment to meet the very standards imposed by such words?