I want to separate (1) the Kings winning the cup from (2) the cup banner-raising ceremony. Because (1) is literally and without exaggeration a dream come true. And (2) is just a bunch of boring self-indulgence that I would have happily fast-forwarded through had I not been watching it live on NBC.
I probably should admit that I don’t like the opening night introductions under normal circumstances. I understand the need to give each player his moment in the sun, but in the several decades of watching these things all I’m really doing is waiting for someone to trip and fall like Phil Esposito did in the Canada Cup forty years ago.
So, today, with the banner-raising, we get everyone introducing not once, but twice? Blegh. And — I could be wrong because I’ve never watched a full 30 minute banner-raising hootenanny before — is it normal to have the players each raise the cup again? Because that just seems…wrong. It’s not last season. It’s this season. You shouldn’t touch, much less raise, the cup before the season is over and the cup is won. To begin the season by raising the cup 20 times strikes me as misguided sports voodoo. Bad luck.
I don’t mind having the Kings brass introduced, but it’s embarrassing to display them at center ice on a carpet, like it’s a retirement ceremony or something. Full disclosure: I don’t like jersey retirement ceremonies either, and for many of the same reasons. I like the banner, I like the speech by the retired guy, but the rest of it? I guess I should be thankful they didn’t present Darryl Sutter or Dustin Brown with one of those cheesy hotel-motel art-fair hockey portraits that they give to honored old-timers.
Seeing Mrs Anschutz — yes, I’m glad she’s a Kings fan — just reminds me how silly it is that family members of owners get their names on the cup. Mrs. Anschutz didn’t invent this tradition. There are seemingly hundreds of excess Illitches on the cup. I just think it’s lame.
I see via Twitter that a lot of people were moved by the classy gesture of having the Sandy Hook family presenting the banner. I had to mute it. My wife and I made the decision not to tell our son about the Sandy Hook massacre. I do not need the Kings telling him about it.
My son’s only comment about the ceremony was to correct Bob Miller’s pronunciation of Mike Richard and Justin William.
As I write this, the first period just ended. 3-0 Hawks. Did the Kings have any shots on goal? I think I saw two or three.