A near brush with death (or paralysis)! A bloody sacrifice! Attractive women! Facebook ogling! Obsessive-compulsive rituals! Stanley Cup jubilation!
When the Los Angeles Kings finally won their first Stanley Cup, the home crowd unleashed a virtual orgasm inside Staples Center.
Attending the Kings’ coronation at Staples was like living inside an adventure movie. Ups and more ups, no downs whatsoever (well, there was the uncertain outcome when the game started), and everybody felt satisfied in the end after the big battle scene concluded.
In 2012, Los Angeles finally welcomed Lord Stanley’s Cup. The most impressive trophy in sports is more spectacular in person, the TV simply doesn’t do it justice. The Cup’s overwhelming presence didn’t disappoint and neither did the journey from the beginning of Game 6 to the boisterous conclusion.
Before the 2012 postseason, I hoped to attend at least one Kings playoff game. Yeah, they’ll play Vancouver tough. In the end, I honestly thought this was going to be another one-and-done year. A year ago, had you told me the Stanley Cup would have been presented to the Kings at Staples Center, I would have kicked you in the balls (or the appropriate genitalia). That’s just what happened on June 11, 2012; the Kings were crowned for the first time in 45 years.
I was the keeper of the plastic Stanley Cup that Staples Center charged us $40 for. It didn’t require white gloves.
Maybe it was the high price for a bunch of plastic, maybe they were in short supply, but for some reason, there weren’t a ton of people around L.A. Live and Staples Center with this faux Stanley Cup.
So if you had one, you were a rock star.
Not free booze and it’s-easy-to-get-laid rock star. But people took note. They wanted pictures of you with the Cup. They point at you. Sometimes, they touch you sort of inappropriately; unfortunately you don’t get touched inappropriately by people you’d like to get touched inappropriately.
Some photographer snapped some pics of me posing with the Cup. She wanted bigger smiles from me and more action shots. I had to express genuine love and happiness, even kiss the Cup the same way players do after winning it all. I’m no actor, it was tough pretending to emulate the joy one feels when their teams won the championship. Yet the photographer egged me on: “smile bigger, that’s not how you kiss the trophy.” I was kissing a plastic phallic trophy. There wasn’t any tongue action. How much more kissing did I need to do? Any more kissing and it would have led to fondling to heavy petting to … uh, I don’t want to imagine what more would have to happen.
The photographer asked for my name and I also gave a plug for Daily Girth. After that, a cameraman and some dude with a microphone interviewed me; he had an accent, probably from some country that really cared about hockey. Maybe Canada.
He asked me several questions about what would a Kings victory mean? Was I confident that they would win tonight? I felt like an athlete getting pestered by the media. It was cool. I tried to be diplomatic, answering questions properly and trying to stay neutral. I put everything in perspective, saying it was important for the Kings to establish a championship identity, especially since they shared a building with the Lakers, one of the most successful sports franchises in history. I tried not to sound too much like a homer, yet here I was wearing a Kings jersey and holding a plastic Stanley Cup that said Kings on it.
L.A. Live was, well, alive. The Beer Garden was too packed to grab a brew, the street between L.A. Live and Staples was closed for more Stanley Cup-related activities such as kids cramming into the mini-hockey rink for easy slap-shots, radio stations giving stuff away, random guys with backpacks trying to get their hustle on with non-NHL licensed swag and a DJ blasting tunes. Before entering Game 6, I heard the DJ pump Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man,” which got me properly hyped for the Kings’ biggest game in their history.
On the other side of Staples Center, a crazy guy on the corner with a microphone preached on about Heaven or Hell, leaning against a cross that had Heaven or Hell signs on each side. His ramblings sounded totally incoherent, “hurga hurga waa zu zu mak hurga … Heaven or Hell. Heaven or Hell?” That’s all you could hear was Heaven or Hell. Other people held large signs with Bible quotes. Obviously, John 3:16 was on one of the signs. As I passed by, I looked around and asked, “what about Austin 3:16?” A Kings fan turned around and started laughing.
Lovely Ladies Of Lord Stanley
By now you must have seen the mammary glands of Taylor Stevens. She was the girl with the massive chest sitting behind New Jersey Devils coach Peter DeBoer.
“Yup those are my #boobies against the glass #StanleyCupFinals #kings yaay if u see me on tv lemme know,” Stevens tweeted during Game 4.
Naturally (or surgically), she appeared in that same spot for Game 6. Stevens used to have all natural 36HH breasts and was fuller figured woman; she shed the weight and bolted on some 46FFF enhancements.
A lot of people are calling her a porn star so in the interest of accuracy I tried to research such media. All I found was that Stevens is a webcam girl and chat host on a site called iFriends. She can be found at TaylorStevens00.
Stevens wasn’t the only female that made you gawk. There were plenty of those in attendance at the Kings playoff games. One such girl was the Short-Haired Vixen in the nosebleed section who was a regular at these games.
Anytime she walked up toward her seats the focus of many guys gravitated toward her.
The same could be said about a girl we nicknamed J. Lo. The J. Lo Girl was new to the scene, the first time we saw her was for Game 6. She was a thicker Latina hottie, but curvy enough to attract unwanted stares. Well, at least her boyfriend must not have liked it. From her seat, she tried to take pictures of me with the plastic Cup.
When I walked to the lobby between periods to check Facebook (because a lot of people get zero reception there), J. Lo Girl was in line for the bathroom. She yelled toward me, “hey, where’s the Stanley Cup, I wanted to take a picture with it!”
After the game, about an hour and a half after the final horn had sounded, our group celebrated with drinks at a local restaurant. A cute, Buxom Waitress handled our order. She did a fine job getting our drinks, but someone in the kitchen had to be messing up our food order of two flatbread pizzas. It took a little too long. The Buxom Waitress assured us that they make their flatbread pizza extra crispy, which I took as either “we forgot about your order” or “we’re burning the shit out of it.” It was the latter. Buxom Waitress told us as much so the second pizza was on the house. She was some looker, that Buxom Waitress.
Don’t Forget Your Lucky Underwear!
Superstition in sports has been around forever. Rituals, eating at certain times, wearing certain items, these are all things that are important to do from a mental standpoint.
The playoff run of the 2012 Los Angeles Kings:
First round: Defeated Vancouver Canucks, four games to one.
Western Semifinals: Defeated St. Louis Blues, four games to none.
Western Finals: Defeated Phoenix Coyotes, four games to one.
Stanley Cup Final: Defeated New Jersey Devils, four games to two.
I had to wear my dark blue shorts (which appeared black), black undershirt, new-school black Kings jersey (which wasn’t mine, it was Daily Girth Principal Martin Salazar’s, who wears a size smaller than me, however, hockey jerseys are made bigger for all that padding; my larger body was the padding), ankle-length black socks, black Nikes with the gray swoosh (when I bought them, I never intended them to be the lucky Kings playoff shoes, they just looked cool) and finally, I had to wear my Akribos XXIV watch with the diamonds in it (when you’re the leader of Daily Girth, you have to ball that way).
One last piece of equipment: I almost ruined the ritual when I nearly forgot my black Jockey boxers. I was going to leave to the game right after work and had all my gear packed except for those boxers. Sure, I could have worn the underwear I was wearing at the time, but that wouldn’t have completed the ritual. Had I forgot that underwear, I really would have been shitting it for Game 6.
One of my buddies was so nervous for these games he kept on changing his rituals. His Luc Robitaille jersey didn’t work, which resulted in one of the Kings’ few losses. He brought out his Anze Kopitar All-Star jersey for the clincher.
My other friend had to wear black Vans, black socks, black Champion boxer briefs, the same black L.A. Kings hat (the one with the new logo), an old-school purple Kings T-shirt under his Robitaille jersey and radio headset to listen to the play by play.
Another friend in our group would wear the same jeans, undershirt and jersey; on game days he would have to visit his grandma and buy her bread form El Gallo Bakery in Los Angeles.
The Interwebs Screamed
The Internet (well, Facebook it was mostly evident) blew up with L.A. Kings talk during the last two months.
People who never paid attention to hockey all of a sudden started proclaiming they’ve been fans for life. Since ’88 (conveniently, that was the first year Wayne Gretzky played for the team) in some instances.
Whenever I checked into Staples Center for these playoff games, sure folks took note. But it wasn’t a gigantic thing when they played Vancouver and St. Louis in the first and second rounds. I don’t remember double-digit Likes for the check-in against the Canucks on New Year’s Eve.
A championship team always has room for bandwagon fans. But what I’ll remember most were some of the comments my Facebook friends made while championship madness was going down inside Staples Center.
“Now that’s how you use a powerplay! Goddam I said goddam!”
I’m sure you’re thinking of Uma Thurman in “Pulp Fiction” right now.
This came from a friend of mine who was a Vancouver Canucks fan. Even she had to realize the damage three goals in a five-minute power play does.
She summed up the feeling Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur must have felt toward the end of the game. Perhaps after Brodeur gave up the sixth goal of the game, shortly after the Kings had scored on an empty netter.
“Broduer just gave up on life. Game. Over.”
Way to recognize, Canucks fan.
Speculation about a postgame riot flared up as well: “so um, what’s everyone doing for the inevitable riots that are gonna take place in a few hours? Lolz,” one of my friends wrote.
There were no riots. Lakers and Dodgers fans would riot. There simply aren’t enough Kings fans to pull off such mayhem.
In my first hockey story I wrote about how my head hurt from cheering after the Kings scored three goals in the first period against San Jose in Game 3 of the first round last year.
Like that Jamie Foxx song, I blamed it on the alcohol. After Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, I realized it wasn’t the alcohol, but the severity of the situation (well, in the case of the San Jose game, the alcohol helped some).
Game 6 had the highest stakes possible. As the Kings scored during that legendary five-minute power play (Rob Scuderi’s blood all over the ice was proof enough after Steve Bernier was called for boarding), a feeling of uneasiness left the fans and we knew the Stanley Cup would finally be in the Kings’ possession.
Our seats were the ultimate nosebleeds; nobody sat behind us so we could stand the whole game. I liked to sit on the unfolded chair, resting one butt cheek on an armrest with one foot on the handrail that was near me. Salazar, who sat to the right of me, liked to sit on the backrest with his feet on the folded part of the chair. Or when things got crazy, he stood on the folded part of the chair.
After one of the goals (I don’t remember people, there were six of them, it was chaos after every score), Salazar jumped up and down on his chair, losing his balance and falling forward. Had he fallen, it could have been an ugly tumble down the stairs. But I didn’t let that happen, I caught him like the Hulk snagged Iron Man at the end of “The Avengers.” Salazar said I saved his life, but he could have just been paralyzed.
Sitting to my left throughout this playoff run was an older dude who we swore looked like billionaire Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Records fame. Why would a billionaire sit in the cheap seats with us common folk?
It turned out the guy wasn’t Branson. Salazar even told him he looked like the billionaire. The Sir Richard lookalike laughed, “Hey, that’s a good one.”
At the end of the game, Branson shook our hands and gave us his business card. Turned out he’s an optometrist. Since I’ve been someone without health insurance for seven years now, using Costco to buy glasses and contacts, I will use that card and hope for a better deal. Thanks, Sir Richard.
It must be said one more time, seeing the Stanley Cup in person is an incredible experience. It’s not like looking at it behind some glass or on display. The thing is so damn magical, it’s like the gods crafted it. I’ve never seen such a shine on anything.
And now that the Kings players’ and coaches’ names are inscribed on Lord Stanley’s Cup, L.A. might just pay attention to hockey a little more.
I know I will.