Just like others before him, Ken Campbell will irritate

I like to imagine that Ken Campbell wrote a tweet that went something like this: “Lots of bandwagon celebrities at Kings games now. Will they stick around when the Kings don’t repeat?” But then he remembered he doesn’t get paid for tweets. So he expanded it into an article.


Just like others before them, Kings will suffer fleeting fame – The Hockey News

Waiting to get into the Kings dressing room after Game 3, these A- and B-list celebrities passed by in succession: Mary Hart, David Beckham, Joshua Jackson, Tom Arnold and Matthew Perry. Then while entering Staples Center for Game 4, Janet Jones-Gretzky and family were having trouble getting past a security guard who asked her, “Is your husband a player?” I must say, Paulina Gretzky looks much better in person fully clothed than she does online, semi-naked surrounded by Jersey Shore wannabes.

People who live in Los Angeles are surrounded by celebrities. It’s what we make here, like Pittsburgh makes steel or whatever Pittsburgh makes.

[...]

Through the Stanley Cup final, the media, or at least their bosses back at the office, were searching for the answer to the question: What does this mean for hockey in L.A.? To that end, the players were grilled on how often they got recognized in public and whether the magical run had translated into Kings fever.

Actually, that’s only a burning question for people who have to make up shit to talk about on television or in articles like this one.

From this corner, here’s what Los Angeles winning the Stanley Cup means. It means the Kings achieved a monumental feat. It means they did something very, very special. [...] They’ll take a place in the history books as one of the most unlikely, most dominant playoff champions in league history.

That’s just another media narrative. The Kings were not-favorites, in a tournament where there are no favorites. But they weren’t “the most unlikely” unless you weren’t paying attention. They were an 8th seed that was a point or two from being first in the division. Like 3/4 of the teams in the playoffs, were a loss or two from not making it. You make it sound like they were the Bad News Bears.

What the Kings did was the equivalent to an NFL team squeaking out a wildcard spot on the final Sunday of the season, then winning all their playoff games and the Super Bowl by an average of 30 points.

Eke out. Squeak in. There is no squeak out.

And given the recent history of Stanley Cup winners, it means the Kings won’t win the Cup in 2013.

Just like 29 other teams, their odds are not good. It’s hard to do. And nobody thinks otherwise. You’re raining on a parade nobody’s having.

Thinking it will have any kind of deeper meaning –

Deeper meaning? What are you, kidding? Nobody thinks there’s a deeper meaning.

– or make Los Angeles more of a hockey town reminds me of what people think when someone runs his or her first marathon. But contrary to popular belief, it means only that person has the fitness and endurance to run 26.2 miles. It doesn’t mean he or she can have another child, go back to school, change jobs or accomplish anything he or she tries.

There is no popular belief that people who run marathons also can have another child, go back to school, change jobs or accomplish anything. Except for the fact that almost anyone can go back to school or change jobs, so it’s true in the sense that the sentence “people who [insert any activity you want] also can go back to school or change jobs” is true for 99% of the population.

The Kings will be the toast of the city for the summer and will see a spike in interest over the short term. But those who expect Southern California to become a hockey-mad Mecca will be disappointed.

However, they will be more disappointed in the fact that they (the people who expect LA to be hockey Mecca) don’t actually exist.

This team has been in the NHL 45 years and during its romp through the playoffs, the Los Angeles Times ran a front-page column explaining the rudimentary basics of the game. Among the pearls of wisdom: “The Kings use four ‘lines’ or platoons of players, each made up of three forwards, two defenders and a goaltender. Except for the goalie, they swap out every minute or so, in well-practised ‘line changes’ that resemble Azerbaijan hostage rescues.”

“Practised”? That’s a Canadian spelling, isn’t it?

That’s a funny quote though. If I had seen it, I would have posted it as an example of how stupid people in the mainstream media are. It’s not an example of how little people in Los Angeles know about hockey. In the US, most people don’t know anything about hockey. I grew up in Michigan, and MOST people don’t know anything about hockey there either.

What is more likely to happen is the Kings will live off the fumes of this championship for a little while before settling into their usual existence as a team whose bottom line and recognition value depend on its on-ice success.

Translation: “The Kings will continue to profit from its recent success before attempting to profit from future success.”

[...]

Los Angeles is a big enough place that when the team is relatively good, it’s easy to find 18,118 people who want to go to a game. [...] But if you went anywhere beyond the perimeter of the Staples Center and L.A. Live on game day, you would have had no idea the Stanley Cup final was even happening.

Having lived in Los Angeles for 29 years, I can say that when the Lakers win, you will see some people with Lakers flags on their cars. I’ve seen Dodgers flags. Sometimes, you can hear people shouting at their TVs. But I hear shouting on NFL Sundays and we don’t even have a team. And the cars with Lakers flags on them are nothing compared to the World Cup soccer flag-toting cars with their decorations and honking. But nobody would call Los Angeles a World Cup town, or a basketball town, or a town of any one particular thing.

Except for fame. It’s a town that makes fame, lives off fame. And there’s new fame every five minutes. No one in Los Angeles thinks any one person’s, or movie’s, or team’s, or band’s fame lasts forever, or that any one achievement guarantees anything in the future. In fact, I would say it’s the opposite. It’s ingrained into the psyche of Los Angeles that whatever you just did is about to be eclipsed by something else somebody else did. And unlike most other places, where a sports team might be the only show in town, in Los Angeles it’s not even close, because everything is here.

 

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