I am warning you in advance. I am having one of my existential moments. You may hate it. If so, stop reading now. This fell from my mind, took a detour through my heart and landed here.
Funny thing about being a sports fan, it’s not all fun and games. Casual fans have the benefit of coming and going, enjoying the highs and ignoring the lows. Die-Hard fans have the highest highs and the lowest lows. There are those who approach the game as entertainment. Others, like me, live, eat and breathe it. Some can detach most emotion from it. Some freaks enjoy the statistics and fantasy aspects of the game more than the game – that is the new breed of fans. We all give a shit but in varying degrees.
But do you really matter?
Is this akin to one of the criticisms of religion, “your relationship and love for your God is a one way road”? In other words, are fans just in love with the idea of their team and what they believe or want it to be for their own selfish reasons so they can feel good about themselves and/or it can give them a sense of identity? That’s a fair question, right? Are the L.A. Kings just a different form of worship?
“I am a Kings fan till I die!” I have heard that before, a lot. I feel that way although I don’t express it in that manner. What am I? A Die-Hard? Yes. I attend nearly every home game. I watch nearly every game I don’t attend. Jesus, this site is a testament to my self-evident insanity, as is this article. Why the Sutt do I do this? Why the Sutt did I just write why the Sutt? Am I that obsessed with changing the word Sutt to Sutt? Unbelievable! I can’t even write Sutt anymore. Sutt! Isn’t this insane? Yeah. Why?
That is the question. Let’s say, tomorrow, Surly was no longer Surly. He was still a surly Jacob, but he wasn’t Surly Jacob. Would the L.A. Kings give a shit? I doubt it. Would any of the players lose sleep over it? No. Would he be missed? Not by me, because he would still be my friend and we would have food, books, scripts, movies and chicks to discuss…oh and beer and how his taste in it has evolved since he met me.
You may miss him but you’re not the team. The Kings would go on without him. They would win, lose, and nothing Jacob says or does really has an impact on the game’s outcome, does it? The arena would be quieter. Opposing fans would feel more comfortable in or around section 315. Beer sales would suffer. That is about it though. The on ice product would remain unchanged. So, it’s safe to say the Kings wouldn’t give a shit, in the grand scheme of things.
“We play for the fans,” players claim. “We do this for you, the fans,” GMs and coaches may say. Meh. That’s sales talk. They don’t do it for you anymore than any other business exists for your benefit. You are just a customer. You consume the product. You buy a ticket and you get to watch. That’s it. They benefit from your money. If you bought season tickets and never showed up to a single game, the Kings would still thank you for your business and being a passionate fan…because they would not know that you missed every game.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. The sport would not exist without the fans. You are right. However, that is only a true statement in the global sense. The sport would cease to exist if nobody came to the arena to watch. The American government, as we know it, would cease to exist if nobody voted. American businesses would cease to exist if nobody bought their products or services. The world would cease to exist if we all stopped living. So, “you” don’t matter and “you” have little to no impact on whether the Kings play, win or lose. Only if there is a large enough body of “you”, in the plural sense, would you make an impact.
So, that’s it.
If we really want to get our team’s attention, we need to be a greater version of ourselves. We need to unite, grow, have numbers, associate and have common goals. It won’t be enough for one sutting fan to complain about the team’s direction but 1000? 3000? 5000? I think the latter, perhaps even more.
Imagine what we could accomplish if that type of unity of existence pushed our agenda through. “Build a winner or else!” and to have the stones to back it up. That is what it will take. Wait, wait, wait…is that realistic? Has that ever happened? Have fans of a team united together in such a common bond that they were able to make a direct impact on a team and force change?
Imagine if 5000 fans arrived at Staples Center, all with the same 11 x 17 sign, “No more excuses! We want a Cup!” or “Build us a winner or no season ticket purchases.” Any variation would do. Would that get Tim Leiweke’s attention? That of Lombardi? The players? Would that make things better? Improve the club faster? Force change and the discarding of old, tired ideas that have repeatedly failed?
Ok. If you think it would and you believe that is how you, in a greater sense, can matter, where do we start? If you don’t, I ask you – do you really matter?
Categories: L.A. Kings News