I Want To Like Hockeyfest

I want to. I do.

But I just don’t.

I went to hockeyfest a time or two about 4 or 5 years ago and it was markedly forgettable. Had I a few little mini-Surly parasites with me, I suppose it might be a fun time for them. But on my own, at what I consider the crack of dawn for a Sunday, I just don’t see the appeal.

Maybe some of you can tell me why you had fun.

What did they even do this year? There is always a Q&A, which would be the only thing to hold my interest, but not for much longer than I would hold in a fart on a date. So, between 3 and 6 minutes, just long enough for her to say something I’d find less interesting than the sound of my own gaseousness, or for a King player/personnel to say something rehearsed we’ve all heard a hundred times before.

But aside from that, what is there? The same, tired “shoot a puck at a cardboard goalie” routine? A radio booth? Play the new EA NHL game in 105 degree heat? Buy more merchandise?

No. Sorry. Don’t care.

But I’m not here to complain. I’m here to help. So I’ve come up with some ways to make hockeyfest appealing.

– Darryl Sutter dunk tank. This isn’t your traditional dunk tank with a ball and a target. It’s actually just an extension of the Q&A. Everyone gets a turn to ask Sutter a single sentence question related to the Kings. If you evoke an answer that includes any reference to either wrangling or milking cattle, Darryl gets dunked into a kiddie pool full of manure.

– The Media dunk tank. Very similar to the Sutter dunk tank, only on this one members of the media rotate through sitting on the board and have one chance to ask Sutter a question about the team. If Sutter mocks the question, the reporter is dunked.

– The Matt Greene Shot Clock. No, this has nothing to do with that game involving the hoops. Here, Kings fans get to play a drinking game with Matt Greene. Simple really, who can take more Jaeger shots in 60 seconds. Since he’s a fair dude, Matt will take the shots upside down with a bleeding from the head. Any fan who wins get a free pair of season tickets. No fan will win.

– Mike Richards kissing booth. This is for the ladies, but not having a looked a woman in the eye since his 3rd grade teacher isn’t smacked him for staring at her tits, Mike Richards has agreed to this of the condition that all participants go in topless.

– Jeff Carter’s Gel-A-Thon. Another one mostly for the ladies. Kings fans line up for the opportunity to style Jeff Carter’s hair. Anyone who gives him a mohawk has to take a turn sitting on the manure dunk tank.

– Cancel-A-King Raffle. Tickets cost $20. The winner gets a good-for-one-use-only voucher entitling its holder the ability scratch Dan Carcillo at the last minute from the line-up of a game of his or her choosing. In the event Carcillo gets himself a lengthy suspension at any point of the season, the voucher is transferable to Colin Fraser, Dwight King or Kyle Clifford. However these usages come with caveats. If you use it on Fraser, you will be required to escort Colin to the next Nickelback concert. If used on King, he will show up to your child’s next birthday party in a clown costume and if used on Clifford, Kyle will be given your home address.

– Fantasy Fist Fight Hockey. This is just like your normal fantasy hockey league, but it’s all crammed into a 2-hour period. Entry fee is $50, which buys you a place at the draft table, a six pack of beer and two cold compresses. You draft your team, are matched up against another Kings fan and then instead of playing games, you just beat the shit out each other. No one wins either. Except for me. I don’t do fantasy hockey. This activity is just so I can drink and watch people hit each other. You know, to most closely resemble the real hockey season.

– Season Ticket Sound-off. This is actually a series of fun events focused on community building. Every year we have new people become season ticket holders, and we want to make them feel welcome. A faux section of Staples is built, and we season ticket veterans sign up to sit down and go through the motions of properly attending a Kings game. This way we can show the newbies the ropes so that come opening night, they fit right in. Lessons and activities include “Get to know your usher”, “How to properly deride opposing team fans in your section”, “When to ignore Bailey” and “Beer Etiquette”, with special sub-section – “How to know when it’s time to buy Surly a beer.” When the newbies have passed the first courses, they will move on to the more advanced stages: “Getting the fuck out of the aisle”, “How to curse in front of children without damaging your reputation” and my personal favorite “How to talk about rookies without sounding like a moron.” If this program is a success, I will also offer a bonus class, “How to sing along to a Davis Gaines anthem and why it’s better than Pia Toscano.”

Now we can’t do everything we want. Hockeyfest is just one day and space is limited, so some programs will have to be saved for another year, such as “Drew Doughty’s STD Screening Booth”, the scheduled performance by the Screaming Beer Bellies, the “100s vs 300s No Socks Allowed Luncheon” and sadly it turns out “Water board a Duck Fan” didn’t get approved by the council, since Bobby still needs to show his face in the land of beige, Orange County that he and other displaced Kings fans call home.

With a little bit of support I think we can make next year’s Hockeyfest an event we all want to attend.

Categories: L.A. Kings News

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44 replies

  1. I have stayed away from this abortion for 3 years now?

    I attended the 3 day extravaganza years ago, that was 3 days too long.

    I attended Hockey Fest at the TSC a few years ago, now that was a great event here is why:

    Prospects camp was going on before the actual event started, so you could get there early, park, walk into TSC and then go and watch the prospects going through drills and individual coaching on ice.

    Kings management was walking around, so were some players, and former players and you could speak to them, get an autograph or a picture prior to the event kicking off.

    Prospects were done, showered and going off to their hotel or out for lunch, and you could again speak to them, get an autograph, get a picture if they weren’t too busy on their cell phones. Hell these guys were just happy you recognized them, and were more than happy to sign an autograph and talk for a few minutes.

    The event starts: Dean Lombardi starts off his dog and pony show with Terry Murray. Dean with a straight face is telling everyone he was disappointed Ilya Kovalchuk used Dustin Brown as his personal tour guide for his wife because they had never been to Los Angeles. Dean then with a straight face starts to try to sell Scott Parse as a Top 6 forward. TSC staff start to walk around with those big shovels you see on horse farms to scoop up the horseshit because Dean knows this is a total lie.

    Kids press conference gets underway with Wayne Simmonds, Jack Johnson and Matt Greene. Heidi Androl is there playing Mistress of Ryan Getzlaf, no, no Mistress of Ceremony taking the questions and asking the players. The infamous question to Matt Greene about a nickname to which he responds “Hawk” because he thought it was cool, because he liked the WWE Road Warriors Tag Team and “Hawk”.

    All the concessions are setup, the other activities are setup and now the queues start to be established to get your picture or autograph or both with the players. Now, given the time, and amount of people attending, chances are you aren’t going to get all players autographs. It just isn’t possible unless you have others getting them for you.

    Once the few hours of players signing is over, then you can walk around and eat. Matt Greene is hanging out with the El Segundo Fire Departments Sausage and Peppers food booth, having a blast being Matt Greene, cracking jokes and if you ask him for an autograph he is happy to sign, even a picture.

    What I am getting at is, it was more fan friendly, not some event spread out at Staples where its one big massive queue to get 5 autographs if you are lucky and maybe hear something interesting from Dean or Jeff Solomon or Rob Blake or Darryl Sutter.

    My kids went to the 1st one at Staples and said it sucked, just too many people, not enough time and poorly planned.

    The Kings in all their wisdom will tell you its not really Tip a King, so if its autographs and pictures you want attend Tip A King.

    That would be great advice if Tip A King was affordable, but 2 years ago it cost 150.00 to enter Sony Studios and get some crappy “box lunch”. If that wasn’t enough, they have the nerve to then tell you, if you want autographs/pictures you now have to buy Tip a King dollars usually in 5 dollar denominations, similar to monopoly money. The average cost of an autograph is 5.00 Tip a King funny money. However some players are 10.00 because there is some booth where you are taking a picture where you are framed with the player in a movie lobby card like Slap Shot, Mystery Alaska, Happy Gilmore, Cutting Edge….

    Oh, and the one fucking thing I hate the most the famous “Go to the Front of the Line Pass.” I have no idea what the fuck this cost, but I am sure its not cheap but that is not the point. You are standing in line for 30 min to an hour in some cases and watch some jackass in a Reebok Premiere jersey with their girlfriend or kid just waltz up to the front of the line and flash this pass they paid I don’t know a grand for and go right up to the player and get their shit signed.

    Fuck that, get rid of it, especially when they hand it to some schmuck who didn’t buy it when they are on their way out and it gets used again, and again.

    Ok 150.00, then about 300.00 dollars and you can get all the player autographs, announcers autographs, alumni autographs. 450.00 for 1 person with proceeds going to Kings Care?

    Backup! This is way too fucking much money! I remember when you could go Tip a King for 25 or 50.00 and that was it. You would give one of the Ice Crew a “donation” which I have no problem doing, but at least you weren’t in the hole half a grand by the end of the night, and the players were relaxed because it was at night, they had no place to go, or a game the next day etc….

    I am not sure if Tip a King will be the same over priced event it was prior to the lockout year, but I am hoping that now that Timmy is gone, and with a new person in charge of fan development like “OD” maybe the price tag comes down, and its more affordable for everyone.

    WHO IS, or WHAT IS “OD”? Sean O’Donnell

    • Who the fuck is Pia Toscano? And who sings along to musicals? Surly you are a weird dude.


      I am very sad that you felt it was necessary to explain who OD is and hope that my sadness will not be exacerbated by it actually being necessary for anyone who comes to this blog. I remember going the first year of HockeyFest and swearing it off forever. All the problems that have been mentioned were present, but add to them that the “beer garden” had no draught, only like 6 different “flavors” (do Bud/Miller/Coors/Light really count as different beers, I submit no and in which case like 3 types) and you couldn’t leave the “beer garden” with a beer! I will say that they had Ed Kowalczyk perform an acoustic set that was pretty awesome, however they didn’t promote it and only like 50 people showed so it was very embarrassing and I felt bad for the star of the movie Fight Club. Also, do the Kings still do the autograph session for season ticket holders? If so then Tip-a-King bullshit ain’t so bad. Finally, OD should not be in charge of fan development. In fact, no former player should. Someone who is an actual professional in business, promotions, marketing, or sport management should have this job as it should be more than a ceremonial title.

      24 DAYS!
      32 DAYS!

      • I think OD is more of an ambassador, who will go out to various events, help organize them and do the photo/autograph thing sort of like McSorley, Ian Turnbull, Muggs, Bernie…

        Tip a King isn’t bad, its the cost which was just too expensive. Simple math you go with your kids or wife and kids and right there was 600.00 just to get in. Tack on the money you have to shell out for the autographs/pictures way too expensive.

        If the ticket cost for Tip a King is 50.00 I have no problem with that, and then the additional money for the autographs/pictures.

        I used to be part of a focus group, and also got to know James Cefaly. I met Mike Altieri and I would tell him what I think they did right, and what they did wrong.

        I can only give them feedback, and suggestions, but its up to them to address these issues and fix them.

        It seems like they are missing the more important theme here, and that is the fans want to meet the players, maybe the GM, coaches, and alumni, but the way its organized is just not very well thought out.

        The Tip a King they did at L A Live was good, they should get back to that format, at least that is outside and spread out so you can walk around, but that is in November when its not 110 degrees outside.

        With the ESPN Zone and the Penalty Box those who wish to drink can do so, overlooking the crowds down on the ground along with other Kings fans, and alumni.

        Fanfest isn’t really designed like Tip a King, and that is why its probably lost its level of excitement, and reeks of frustration.

        That theme song is a joke, and I hope to whoever, they 86 it! If you want to have some sort of theme song all the fans can chant or sing like it was an English Football Match, then use one of the songs people will know.

        West Ham United sing “Forever Blowing Bubbles”, Manchester City sing “Blue Moon”, Liverpool sing “You’ll Never Walk Alone”

        Just stick with “This is LA” by the Brigg its easy, and catchy and most people who go to games know the words to the more important parts of the song.

        • For several seasons I have been asking for a bad ass goal song at Staples. I hate to admit (i used to like), but now I can’t stand the Pennywise Bro Hymn song because it reminds of the Scmucks scoring. Can someone agree with me that the perfect/bad ass-intimidating goal song for Kings goals would be an editited version of the new Avenged Sevenfold “Hail to the King(s)” song. If you havent heard it. It’s on YouTube….it goes something like:

          Hail to the king, hail to the one
          Kneel to the crown, stand in the sun
          Hail to the king

          The King!!

          Who’s with me?

          PS…Pia Toscano is the best National Anthem singer we have ever had. She was our good luck charm in the 2012-2013 season.

          • That was my first thought when I heard the name of the their new album/single. Gotcha, I don’t usually get the anthem in the broadcasts on GameCenter; but I do recall who you are talking about from the AMAZING NBC coverage.

          • I will not listen to Bro Hymn on days the Ducks play, nor will I listen to Chelsea Dagger on days the Blackhawks play. However, thsoe songs are too fucking good in their own right to write off for the sins of shitty teams and their terrible fanbases. Our goal song needs no change “I Love LA” is fucking perfect! But I have always loved the “bum bum bum, etc.” part from Thrash Unreal by Against Me! as a potential goal song for someone, and again FUCK AMAZING song by itself.

            Bobby, Jacob, where are we on an edit button for this site?


          • Where I started. Frustrated. Would have to migrate to WordPress.org

          • So, I am just going to have to learn how to be accountable for my actions the first time? Bullocks!

          • It’s “BOLLOCKS or BOLLOX” Like “The Dogs Bollocks”, “Never Mind the Bollocks”, or “Newcastle No Bollocks”.

          • It’s amazing that spell check didn’t catch my fat-fingering. However, (insert sexual joke, possibly containing a reference to a STD here)! (e.g. It usually takes more than fingering to catch something!)

        • Both of your answers to HF were good. You helped me to remember what I really did like about the Event held at Toyota Center.. It was Fan Friendly.. Exactly.. the Players were available to have a pic.. autograph or just chat up.. just seeing them mingle with us was cool. I also got a chance to say hi to Greener..I really had fun when the players were introduced at the end of the day…they came through the folding chair set up and were high fiving all of us..
          And yes Rookie camp going on.. I go to El Segundo whenever I can to watch practices and try to pick certain players to get a feel of their style etc.
          It was a good Fest. You analyized well.
          GO KINGS GO!!!

      • If you rode in the elevator with her like I did before the Blues game 3 sweep of our cup run. You would know exactly who she was. I can still smell her perfume. She’s smokin hot. Like Alex Currie, Hottie Androl hot. Combine that with the fact that we won the cup with her singing the anthem, and she sings it well. I’d like to see her retire in a Kings jersey.

  2. not enough time right now to read through.. but want to say
    it was the WORST!
    I have gone every year except the Universal one.. I like Kicking off the season this way..
    I enjoy the seminars.. even a chance to get a pic or two..
    I understand now that the sport has grown changes need to happen. Changes to HF are not for the good…
    I am now writing a note to Luc to deliever tonight at Rookie game. You don’t have the
    right to complain unless you are willing to take the time to follow up, so I am trying to do so.
    I just received a text from my ticket rep saying she too thought it awful and we are all getting
    Met our new video coordinator.. kid who spent the last 4 years in Nashville. Nice guy.. I
    admire all the work for which he is responsible . Odie was there.. great to have him back.. always
    liked him.
    GO KINGS GO!!!

    • I am leaving now for El Segundo from Simi Valley. I will be wearing an old CSKA Moscow Jersey with Frolov in Cyrillic on the back.

      I wore this to the Tip a King back in 2005? Mike Cammaleri wanted to know what it said and I told him.

      Fro was with his brother Sergei and he was amazed someone had a CSKA Lutch hockey jersey let alone one with his name on it and number.

      He signed it.

      Be there or Be square!

    • What made this one particularly bad?

      • Trying one last time here…phone not cooperating today :/
        1) did not like being uniformed of schedule pre event..too vague
        Truth did Not like schedule. .with knowing Event would occur, put some thought and care of the Fan into it.
        Did not know only inside a friggin freeing Staples..did not plan on skating or having to sit in the ice cold for opening ceremony.
        what happened to using Nokia..much better.
        Players did not seem invested..yes they had just come from informal practice, but still.
        Not all staff there..Luc Not there. :(
        Only 3 concession stands opened..people over worked, and ran out of items.
        No Hockey Fest T-shirts. Merchandise..last season’s..told new stuff will be coming in a few weeks.
        Session for Autographs awful. No pics allowed. Only a few players avaliable. WE went through the row like cattle being herded. No photos were offered so players had something to sign ..why bad yiu ask?Since I had no heads up..did not bring a generic item with me, first in line. Robyn Regier(sp..sorry). He was so friendly, and I have to say..” sorry I don’t have anything for you to sign”. I was embarrassed at that :/
        Seminars were decent. Although the Kid’s one with the players was Not put in a location to accommodate the fans.
        I enjoyed the Q and A with the coaches. Meeting the New Video Coordinator Darin Panye is a funny guy.
        Also had fun hearing the Fox Sport’s West talk. Welcoming back Odie.. but the Fest was not worth a Premium Day’s pay at all.
        GO KINGS GO!!!

  3. This was my first hockey fest and it sucked balls. The kids press conference was funny but it was disappointing waiting in line for an autograph and then being kicked out because we didn’t have a wristband.
    The coolest part of that day was meeting Jonathan from The Ghost Inside. Really chill dude

  4. I always thought California Dreamin w/ Dr. Dre and Tupac would be an intimidating goal song.

  5. Oh man! I just read the Sutter interview on LAKI. Preseason is only 3 days away. Its so close you can smell it. New logo at center ice, BAM! Im so stoked, im gonna go get a beer to celebrate this moment. GKG\X/

    • Brown injured in practice. That should really open up left wing quite a bit. Pearson practicing with Kopi and Williams. Supposedly not a bad injury, hamstring, but not an ideal way to start the season. Especially cause he’s all we really got on left wing til Clifförd embraces his inner John Leclair. Or comes around full Bickell. It’s time for the Kings to release the Kracken!!! GKG \X/!!!

    • Fucking pissed about the home plate logo at center ice. That is hallowed ground. Nothing but the crown belongs at center ice

      • I agree, never liked the home plate logo. I think the marketing department got too cute; instead of going back to a classic they wanted a new logo and settled for something vastly inferior.

      • The home plate has been in the initial kings logos. Notice what frames the crown…well, unless you are one of those who called it a “banner”

      • That was my EXACT thought.. thanks for bloging it… I reaize this is the logo the Boys themselves picked and we did win the Cup with it on their jerseys.. why I now have one..but the CROWN was on the Ice when it happened and that is Our Logo.. in my Heart a Crown will
        always be my Symbol for my Beloved Los Angles Kings.. been trying to figure out where and exactly what design I want for my King Tatoo.. all I know is it Will be a Crown!
        GO KINGS GO!!!


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