How Much Do You Really Matter To The L.A. Kings?

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

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27 replies

  1. I think everyone showing up with the same sutting sign or some large sutting sign made in collaboration like they do in Asia, or the Olympics would be amazing. They can’t ignore that, can they? I pay to watch every game and I go to the sutting shark tank to watch these bastards play and stay the whole game, whether they humiliate me or not. I deal with the rabid idiocy because I love this team. Maybe that’s irrational, I don’t give a sutt, I do it anyway.

    I don’t give two sutts about any other sports, but hockey, and the Kings in the highest of that, I care religiously. I give all the sutting sutts about them and want a sutting cup before I die (which unless I go out in some incredible fashion isn’t for a while, but still). I know that they don’t care, but it’s nice to have a community of those who do care, coming together and caring about the same things, and voicing them to deaf ears. It helps in the bad times and it makes it really sutting exciting to have a collective roar go up when things go well. When we win the cup (yes when, it’s going to happen), the roar from Staples will be epic. We’ve waited for this a long time. Honestly, I could give a sutt if the pllayers care, because I sutting do. I care more than I rationally should. It’s fantastic to care so much about something that really matters so little. Mattering to them doesn’t matter to me, and I love it.

  2. That’s a damn good article! I’m in! Now we need 4,998 others… Another question; would the Kings share the cup with the fans of LA? Would we get a chance to bask in the glory with the team? I guess that’s two questions but… IMPORTANT questions.

  3. This is a good article, I am surprised – mainly because I found it here (Ba-Dum-Tish). I kid. I kid. :)

    The answers: Do we matter to AEG? Not individually and not very much collectively. To Lombardi and Management? Not really individually, and moderately collectively. To staff? Not individually and not collectively. To players? Only in person individually and considerably collectively.

    In the end though, a showing of force would have influence, but as with anything else, an aspiration of such a showing severely overestimates a group’s commitment to such a cause. If such totals of people aren’t marching and protesting over the ridiculousness that is perpetuated every day at Capitol Hill, I sincerely doubt such a crowd could be mustered over a state of dissatisfaction with the efficiency of a hockey organization.

    Sutter has agreed to his multi-year contract and is set to take the helm of the Kings on Tuesday, doesn’t matter what we want, that is just reality. He carries with him the same playbook of X’s and O’s, but he does so with intensity and discipline. We might as well see where this leads us to at the end of the season. You may get your wish soon enough if we fail to make the playoffs, for all we know both he and Lombardi will be out the door next. I don’t really want to see Lombardi gone, but at the same time, I can’t necessarily say that it would be a bad thing; like a coaching change, it depends on the replacement.

  4. Won’t make a suttin’ bit of difference until it hits the bittom line. And, while I might threaten to give up my season seat, I won’t. Because I want to be able to come back. To that seat.

    We could threaten to stop buying concessions, parking, and souvenirs. But, really, that’s not much of a dent.

    An aside: “We play for the fans”…bullshit. I will believe they care a bit when they finally start saluting us after a win .. or at the end of the final game of the season. Other teams do, the Kings don’t (did you see the NYRs do it on 24/7?). Was that a TM thing. Sutt him if it was. If not, sutt the one responsible for it. That really offends me.

    Jim

    • I LOVE when the Team salutes the fans at games end. I watched the Rangers last year (Fro) and that tradition really touched me.
      The Kings did do it once I believe at the stsrt of last sesson.
      And when the Three stars are announced at the end of the game the individual player always raised his stick in salute of appreciation.
      GO KINGS GO!!!

  5. Maybe the place to carry the signs would be the annual season ticket holders’ “Meet the Players” event. If enough of the folks that comprise the revenue base failed to go or “protested” there, surely it’d be heard.

    But being heard isn’t enough — the organization would still not take any real action.

    #UccupyFigueroa!

  6. If you do make those signs, make sure you don’t buy them from Staples is all I’ll say.

    We don’t matter unless we are a collective.

    And we won’t matter, even if we are a collective, unless our voice/visuals is heard/seen.

    Do I see it happening? No, not on a large scale. And it’s not because people don’t care, or care enough, but because we watch sports for entertainment and for most of us, it doesn’t run our lives. We watch it in a sense to get away from certain aspects of life, or to feel apart of something.

    Casual fans will come and go as you said, but diehards will be diehards. We tend to support our team no matter what, that is why most of us are a bit looney, even if we don’t see it.

    The only way to get recognized where it really matters is through money. Not buying season tickets, not buying jerseys, etc. But will that happen with the diehards? Unlikely at best.

    While I understand your logic and agree with it, it won’t happen unless the Kings turn into complete shit and not only does the casual fan leave, but more importantly, the diehard as well.

  7. For the first time in 30 years I became disinterested until TM was let go. Now I’m angry that we have a new coach with the old NHL mentality. The Kings have the talent… get a coach that let’s it fly! My frustration level is at Defcon 5! All these years and now we have the talent, only to see this Defense 1st mentality rather than a balanced attack. The only way to influence things is to stop supporting the unimaginitive efforts of closed thinking management! This year I stopped going… it’s killing me but I can’t take seeing good talent go to waste.

    • This may be part of the growing pains, the same ones the Sharks went through. Sometimes, a franchise, before it is great, has to fail WITH expectations. The Kings haven’t had expectations since Gretzky. My view of the game has changed. At this point, I have an open mind and will just let my mind and heart give the coaches, management and the team a blank slate. If they fail and Lombardi and Sutter are still here, I won’t lose interest but they also won’t get my hard earned dollars anymore.

      • I just feel they sign these contracts do a few piddle events and get the big pay checks. Die hard fan here and with the economy so bad haven’t been to a game in 2 yrs. When my autistic daughter wass in girl scouts she had me sent cookies to the players and 1 box special w/ a letter to her favorite player. No thank you or even an answer from her fav player Dustin Brown. I called verified cookies delivered. How do u explain to an autistic kid why she didn’t get anything back? Her letter sent back unopened. So do we fans matter? Not in the least. Just keep going go games doing all the stuff u do at a game helps them keep their checks coming. What a big let down.

        • Send me an email – lakingsnews@gmail.com. I need your contact information. I will get in touch with the Kings and have Dustin send your daughter some nice things, directly.

        • That is terrible! There has to have been a mix up and maybe the delivery happened but Brownie did not personally receive. He would NEVER ignore that letter..he is an Honorable Man.
          GO KINGS GO!!!

          • I don’t blame Brownie because her letter came back unopened.

          • Glad you ate not blaming Brownie ..I am hoping your daughter will still like what she gets once Scribe gets the ball rolling cause I know he will..and the saying kids are resillent holds true..and lastly best wishes to your daughter and your
            family.
            GO KINGS GO!!!

          • Thank you. Sometime autistic kids hold grudges. Lucky she understands that he never got the letter. When she was in 2nd grade her and her dad went on a school field trip. Well when it was time to go home they got on the bus and the exact seat they sat in to the trip had two other girls setting in the seat that they where in on the way to the trip my daughter had a cow! She wanted that seat her dad had her sit in another seat on the way home. That was 6 yrs ago and when ever she sees those girls she still says they stole her seat. She just won’t let it go. Lol

          • That was 6 yrs ago and when ever she sees those girls she still says they stole her seat. She just won’t let it go. Lol

            She fits right in with lots of people I know.. :)
            GO KINGS GO!!!

          • Thank you. Sometime autistic kids hold grudges. Lucky she understands that he never got the letter. When she was in 2nd grade her and her dad went on a school field trip. Well when it was time to go home they got on the bus and the exact seat they sat in to the trip had two other girls setting in the seat. My daughter had a cow! She wanted that seat her dad had her sit in another seat on the way home. That was 6 yrs ago and when ever she sees those girls she still says they stole her seat. She just won’t let it go. Lol

          • Oops! Don’t know how my last post came up twice. Sorry about that. Lol

          • Thanks hockey jockey. lol thats my kiddo and the way her mind works always amazes me. she is my gift from God. :-)

  8. I said it years ago my friend. We’re all just rooting for a LOGO. It’s really that simple. The players change, the management changes, but the LOGO is still the LOGO.

    And that’s what we’re rooting for. A crown, a chevy replica, a UPS logo, the players could give a flying fart about any of us. Ask them to play for free, see what they say. You do pro-bono work, I do pro-bono work. Players? Hah!

    Atlanta fans stopped going ’cause they sucked. They moved. Is THAT what you want? Another RAMS? The only hockey in town would be the DUCKS?

    Blasphemy!

    We’re the cubs, the clippers, the lions all rolled into one.

    I’m still hoping bitter beer face can turn this thing around. Boudreau certainly hasn’t.

    • Barry. I can’t post on hb for a month (StayTunedMTC). trolled the edmonton boards, made fun of canadians, and got banned. Fun times.

      Yeah. All it is is a logo. And all “they” care about is money.

    • That’s One way of looking at it (logo).

      But if you want to get right down to it we are really rooting for the town. The team is just the extension of the city an hockey is the chosen outlet. It’s our micro Olympics on a daily basis.

  9. Is this world just a toy for a really big kid and we are unaware as he hold us in his hand? oh, sorry…

    How about a flash mob call outs to Staples?

  10. Bobby,

    European soccer. Some fans of those teams have gotten so entitled in a sense, they are all on the same page. I watched a real madrid game a couple years ago where the fans all left, like all, half an hour early because they were losing one game. And thats all they usually lose in a season, a couple games. But the fans leave. Either you win, either you pay HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS to bring in the Cristiano Ronaldo’s of the world, or we’ll do something else.

    I also believe fans have stormed the stadiums in Italy and other places when they want a coach fired. They pressure the board and the team president to make changes.

    It does happen, but only in places where the fans are truly hardcore. Not NHL fan version of hardcore (“I die with this team on the solitude of my couch, but I wont step outside the box to actually pressure the real people running the team), but the european soccer fan version.

    Thats what you need, but what can you really do beyond whats already happened? You can pressure management to fire the coach. Thats already happened. But you cant pick a new coach with 5000 people. No one agrees enough on anything. Maybe you can agree on who not to hire Sutter, and pressure management to forget that idea, but then its still the same management who gets to come up with the next idea, not you, and it will probably be another similar idea.

    Then you can pressure the owner to get new management, but this is the same owner who hired the first manager you dislike, so he will probably hire another manager you dont like.

    At the end of the day, even european hockey fans are victim to the whim of the one owner, board, team manager, etc. You can pressure them to spend more money, but you cant pick who they decide to spend it on. In european soccer its easier, theres Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, and thats it. Real Madrid knew they had to get Ronaldo, there was no one else, and Ronald wanted to come to them because tehre is no salary cap, they can spend as much as they want, and they have a reputation thats draws players in.

    You can pressure Lombardi to sign Parise, cough up the money and all, but what if Parise doesnt want to come? And god knows he wont, no one wants to come play for Daryl Sutter. Giving that man a multi-year deal just ensured the Kings will not sign any god free agent scorers the next few offseasons. And without bringing in the star power Lieweke wants, Lombardi will get fired. Lombardi doesnt realize it but he probably just signed his own resignation. You cant just think about whats best for the team you have, you have to consider whats best for drawing in players. I wrote how players like Doughty might need someone liek Sutter to kick their ass this season, but thats it, a one year deal, the rest of this season, to have Sutter improve the team’s work ethic. Hopefully then they would have been ready for bigger and better things, and Lombardi could have brought in a Phil Jackson to help the current players score more and attract better talent.

    Guess thats not happening.

  11. This is reminding me a bit of the
    Take back Wallstreet and Take back LA.
    I do think it most fans are attached to their city’s team.
    That is why we as a ‘newer’ city with parents who migrated here are King fans often with a secondary team that out parents followed.
    And if we leave Los Angeles we take our Loyalty with us. And we also have favorite players we follow and cheer for and pray they do not end up on enemy soil (Hanzues ).
    GO KINGS GO!!!

  12. This is of topic but I just wanted to tell you guys a story which is true. Ok so I have been a Kings fan forever. When I met my husband back in the 1988-89 season he had never wacthed a hockey game wasn’t into the sport in the least bit. Well when he came to pick me up on our first date I asked him if he minded if we stay in instead of going out. He said it was fine with him but asked what we where going to do? I said to him I am a Kings fan and wanted too see that game that was on tv. He said ok. A few nights later we where going out to dinner and he asked is there a Kings game on tonight? I said yeah but didn’t think you wanted to watch another game. Well he has been a fan ever since and yes I did teach him all about the sport! When we got married in 1995 I chose the month of October that way we would never forget our anniversary since that is the month hockey season starts. Lol

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