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Banner Day

by John Ondrasik / Los Angeles Kings

The press was already tweeting about a ruined party.

The wife was a few rows down chatting with Marcel Dionne, having no clue he was Marcel Dionne.

The Kings were scowling down the tunnel after a 3-0 first period Hawk spank.

The Staples crowd was as quiet as a lock out.

This King fan…was at peace, content, even mildly jolly.

Whatever dismay the hour of no legs, five on three’s, bad calls, and own goals might have brought, one perfect black cloth hung still. Its trance, Ghandian tranquility.

I’ve seen thousands of hockey games, one banner raised.

The Kings did a fine job with the ceremony. Bob was class as always. The Round the Rink Cup Toss was clever. The Sandy Hook family, with Marcel & Rogie reminded us of priorities, past, present, and future.

A few tidbits from the bleachers:

What you might not have seen unless you were at the game were the Kings players checking out their rings like Santa had just dropped a stocking. After each player received their ring they were yanked to a position on the boards to await the Cup pass. But they couldn’t help skating over and sharing, a word, a smile, a headshake, with a teammate. After seeing the rings, I get it.

Marcel and Rogie were emotionally moved and truly surprised when presented with their personal Cup Rings. As Kings fans we all know how much they deserved it and credit to the organization for recognizing them.

I said hello to Gary Bettman before the game. Thankfully he doesn’t follow my Twitter feed.

My favorite Iphone pic is a shot of the Kings players watching the banner rise. It could have been a high school championship celebration I thought. No sense of pretension or ego on the ice. We ascended as a family, players, coaches, management, fans, and Staples employees.

The game was almost an afterthought. You could have predicted it.

Ironically, after winning the Cup I don’t know if I’ll ever be as passionate a Kings fan. I know that may surprise my fellow lifers, but think about it. We saw what we thought we might never see. We kicked the bucket list. We kissed that first kiss.

Marathoners run many races, but there’s only one first finish line.

The Kings won the Stanley Cup.

We really did.

And whatever happens going forward…I’ll be there…

Looking Up.


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