Replica Ring Winners!

Before we get to discussing round two of the playoffs against the San Jose Sharks, I need to clear up some old business. Back in March we held a contest for two free replica Stanley Cup rings, sponsored by a reader, Jared, who paid for the rings and the shipping cost to send them to the two winners.

Well, Jared and I finally had time last week to get through all the submissions, many of which were great, some of which… Come on guys, try harder next time. It was great to see all the fans and readers from around the country and Canada, many of whom had traveled long distances to meet the Kings at various events, after games and to get their picture with the Cup. I wish I could send everyone a ring, but you can’t all be winners.

If you’ll recall there were two contests. One was to take a picture of yourself in your Kings jersey representing in enemy territory. The second contest was open-ended and the only stipulation was to amuse us.

The winner of the first contest was Ottis from Tampa Bay, with this picture.

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Here are some great runner up, photos… This first one came REALLY close, but Otto won out for his pronounced hatred of having to live in Tampa Bay and the variety of photos he sent.

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Now the second contest at once provided a few awesome entries, and many disappointing ones. “Amuse us” was interpreted by many as sending me an email saying some facsimile of “Hey uh…. Can I have a ring, please, I’m a Kings fan.”

First, the runner-up, which I LOVED. If I ever decide to get rid of my “back-up” ring I bought for myself, it’s going to this guy, John from Kansas. This is his homage to a painting called “Bleeding Kansas”

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Also, always appreciate a good Kings tattoo.

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If I spoke Spanish and could understand anything in this song, Bugarin very well may have won :)

Seriously this is great.

There’s another video I was sent that while helplessly cute, distinctly ignored my “No Briggs” rule. I’ll figure out how to get it loaded on WordPress later…

But the winner was a story sent to us by Valyrie from Simi Valley (which if you’ve been there, might as well be out of state, fuckin’ boonies, or, as the Australian goofball who lives with me would say, “Bum-Fuck-E”. Don’t ask why they call it that, I have and I don’t understand the answer).

Grab a beer and a tissue and take a few minutes to read the following, which is word for word (save for omitting her last name) the email Valyrie sent me.

——-

Dear Surly,

My name is Valyrie. I have not been a hard core Kings fan like many of my friends are but I fell in love with the Kings back in 2001 when a really cool guy I met through some friends invited me out from Vegas for the weekend and to go to a Hockey Game. I had never seen a live game before but I loved the game and was intrigued. That guy was David Courtney. Not only did David take me to a Kings game, but the Kings lost and he never lost his enthusiasm and we went to “Pinks” afterwards.

David and I became fast friends and after my first game I was hooked. I got a game puck, people were pissin and moanin about “who the hell is the red head and why did she get the puck”. Some schmo behind me yelled “This is David Courtney’s girl…shut yer trap!” At the time I had no idea David was a Rock Star.

David and I dated briefly but knew pretty much from the start we were destined to be the Best of Friends. I loved him so much. And when he met Janet, his beautiful wife, I knew my friend was going to be happy for the rest of his days.

Whenever David & Janet were at the house the conversation always came around to the Kings and the Cup. He always defended their every action and play and never criticized the players because he knew the day would come where he would announce them as the Stanley Cup Champions. David & Janet missed my 2007 wedding in the Sequoias because it fell on the weekend of Frozen Fury in Vegas. We had a bit of a tiff over this because I needed my friend there when I got married and he was committed to a damn hockey game. But when he told me “Val, they are my team, my extended family…I have to go, I made a commitment to them” …..I knew…..I had been trumped by a hockey team.

So last May, David did us the honor of officiating my daughter Ellen’s wedding. To her there could be no one to do it except her Uncle David. So he did, and it was beautiful. I remember standing with him and my brother, a San Jose Sharks fan, and admiring Davids World Series Ring. My brother was in awe and David said, “Yep its pretty special, and when the Kings win the cup, they will look pretty snazzy together”. And they did just a couple of weeks later.

The Kings made their run and the Cup was theirs. And you know as well as anyone, how devastating the lock-out was to Kings fans, especially David. He just wanted them to raise that banner at Staples….he wanted to announce his boys around the Cup. He waited his whole career for that and I had spent the last 11 years waiting for it also.

The morning Janet called me to tell me David was gone, is one that is still raw. I still cant reconcile the thought that I will never see my friend again. But, I find some small amount of solace watching the boys play. I haven’t been back to Staples since David died. I was supposed to go once with Janet, but the logistics never worked out. Honestly I don’t know if I can be there without him in the building. In the 11 years I have lived in Southern California I have never been in the Staples Center when David wasn’t there….I never thought of that until just now.

So why should I ask for the Replica Ring? Hmm…good question. I had dinner with Janet some weeks ago and she brought out Davids ring. I was aghast at how big it is and how heavy. And the minute she put it in my hand I sobbed…….I sobbed for what seems like forever…..because that ring would never touch Davids skin. It had touched Janet’s, his Brother John, his sister Carolyn, his best friend Dan and now me…….but it never felt the smooth skin of the Kings greatest fan.

I would love to have a Replica ring from a contest where I could tell you my story about David and how he brought me to the Kings fold….how I went from someone who liked hockey, to someone who Loves the Kings…win or lose. I would love to have something that I can share with my daughter, that one day she can give to her kids…because we do crazy stuff like that in our family. Because it wont just be a replica ring…..its a symbol of the hard work and dedication to a sport that my friend loved so so much.

Even if this doesn’t get me the ring, thank you for giving me the opportunity to tell you my story of how I came to love the Kings. I miss my friend so much. My one consolation is that David lived to see the boys win….and we were there too.

Take Care….



Categories: L.A. Kings News

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13 replies

  1. WOW…an obviously easy choice…God bless David Courtney! Beautifully written, Janet……..now let’s GUT the filthy sharks!!! ;-)

  2. Valyrie thank you for sharing that with us. David was an institution and someone all fans will miss. No matter who is announcing and what stadium they are in, when it comes to announcing anything Kings in the arena I hear his voice. It is so nice to hear what a great person he was outside of the arena, because there is so much that transcends hockey and that is what makes it so great, by itself it is miniscule but the fact that it brings all of us together is what makes it so important. Now let’s win another! 4 down 12 to go! GKG!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Very, very sweet story that brought a tear to my eye. I miss David Courtney too. His enthusiasm will never be matched.

  4. That was no easy task deciding, thanks for all the leg work Surly!

  5. I am so sorry Valyrie. I am happy you won the ring.

  6. Hi Guys, my name is Dan, David was my best friend. I can’t begin to tell you the hole that is in my life with him gone. We saw each other through some of the best and worst of times. Nothing has been the same since he left. I can tell you this, there is no more classier organization than the LA Kings. David worked for the Angels, Clippers and as we all know did traffic on the radio among other things. But the one organization that truly stepped up for Janet was the Kings. They have stood by her like none of the other teams did (and they were very good to her too). In what was one of the best and worst moments of my life I was with Janet when Luc and Tim Liewicke presented her with David’s ring just before the players were given theirs. Mrs. Anschutz came up to Janet and hugged her and they spoke of David together. In one of the funnier moments, the look of horror on Janet’s face when I said I wanted to get a photo and Tim Liewicke said “yes!” And began taking the ribbon off the that bright turquoise Tiffany box. I though she was going to smack Mr. Liewicke. But she didn’t and I have an incredible photo now. I can send that photo to you if you would like to see it. But the reason I am writing this is because I have a replica ring but I also have a Tiffany ring (no, not David’s). So, if you would like me to send you the replica ring so you can give it to Bugarin, I would be happy to part with it to put it in the hands of another die hard King’s fan.

    • Dan, I so want to hang out with you sometime. I feel as though I know you already from talking to David and Janet. I know how hard the last few months have been for you, and I look forward to the time we can all share a beer, talk about David and our Kings and smile and enjoy the memories with little to no tears.

      Take Care darlin.

  7. Ok got only half way thru the email from Valyrie and the tears came flowing.. ahhh
    But so Glad she wrote in and shared her story.. she was the obivious winner IMO.
    Thank you for letting us fellow King family peeps get a chance to hear more about David.
    and on a semi related note.. I have tried to give the new guy a chance..but so far.. ick.
    GO KINGS GO!!!
    WWTC!!!

    • and p.s. now that I have played the song( yes ADD backwards :)
      I understand enough Spanish to say… Very cool song!!!
      Any one who takes time to write a ballad/story and put to music..
      Ring for him Please!
      GO KINGS GO!!!
      WWTC!!!

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