Like I needed any more.
Well kids, it’s that time again. Tomorrow morning we hop in our cars or make Southwest a bundle of money and travel to Las Vegas for a weekend of hockey and regret. So, not so different from a normal night at Staples, just with more flashing lights and fat people from Iowa. The last couple Frozen Furies have sucked. One because it didn’t happen and the other because I had just quit smoking and spent the weekend craving immolation.
For me, Frozen Fury is when the season begins. It’s the end of training camp, last chance for young hopefuls to state their case to earn the big bucks. The outcome of the game still may not matter, but the urgency in huge players is always a cut above the pond hockey that typically precedes it. I usually pay more attention to training camp than I have this year, but even then, my juices don’t really get flowing until Frozen Fury, and that’s not just because Vegas strippers are better than LA’s.
Today I began thinking about how this year could be very different from the Furies of the past.
Forget the fact that there are two games. Twice the chance for liver failure, twice as much money spent, twice the time wondering how the hell to get around and out of the MGM Grand. That is all expected and we are prepared. But this year there is going to likely be a very new and very caustic element to contend with – New York Ranger fans.
We all know The Gauntlet.
Forgot about the Surly sighting in that video at 12 seconds, next to Krusty the Clown’s bastard half brother. The Gauntlet is where, as far as anyone can tell, the chant “Hey ____ fans, you suck!” began. When heaped upon residents from the Rockies, it is met with smiles and laughs, maybe a few old digs about Cup wins thrown by the guy in the Sakic jersey, a dive from the shmuck rocking the Forsberg. The Gauntlet is a massing of Kings fans at their absolute drunkest and loudest.
This year the Gauntlet meets New Yorkers.
If anyone has been to a game at the Garden, or hell, simply walked around midtown, it won’t take long to figure out that Ranger fans will have quite a different reaction to braving the Gauntlet than the simpering Avalanche fans to which we have come accustomed. I don’t know how many New Yorkers will make the trip out from Vegas, but I’m sure it will be a few. What I do know is that the more of them that show up, the more apt the title “Fury” will become.
Screaming “Hey Avalanche fan, you suck!” into the face of a guy who has been living on thin air his whole life is like introducing a wolverine to your poodle. Yelling it at a Ranger fan is like throwing a pebble at a Pit Bull.
Should that stop you? Hell no, just know what you are getting into and don’t be surprised when a normal looking little guy smelling like sewer throws a punch your way and follows it up by puking a half chewed hot dog onto your jersey.
See you in Sin.
Categories: L.A. Kings News