Kings Banner Raising: ZZZZZ (honk) ZZZZZ (honk)

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.

 
  • https://www.icloud.com/ DougS

    Frankly, I agree with you about the ceremony. I thought it was way too much. The simple dignity of raising the banner, with Bob Miller doing a little emceeing, would have been far more moving, IMHO. Hated the music video, the cheesy dramatic music as the banner went up. Less is more.

    I thought using one of the Sandy Hook kids was self-serving and lachrymose flavor-of-the-day-ism. If that makes me cynical and heartless, so be it. I’m old enough to have earned the right to be cynical.

    Worst of all, I thought it could not have been better designed to doom the Kings to exactly what happened: They came out flat and the Hawks whupped them. I think it was Pat Riley who noted, about his days coaching the Lakers, that the Championship ring ceremony games were always hard because of the emotions involved; you were never al that excited about playing the game, and it just made the other team all the more determined to beat yo. And they didn’t have the big production number that we saw yesterday.

    I don’t know if the League office or Kings PR choreographed the ceremony, but all of it was designed to get the Kings players concentrating on last season rather than today’s game. And it went on for so long that you know it just got the Hawks all the more juiced up to beat the Kings. And we all saw what followed >(