With multiple franchises in pro sports - Lakers and Clippers (NBA), Dodgers and Angels (MLB) and Kings and Ducks (NHL) - plus major interest in UCLA and USC athletics, LA’s fans are some of the most sports-crazed in the country. Matt “Money” Smith and Steve Hartman - two of the leading authorities on So-Cal sports-stir up the scene with this entertaining compilation, including guest lists from Phil Jackson, Tommy Lasorda, Luc Robitaille, Jeanie Buss, Steve Garvey, Tony Hawk, Flea, and many more. The Great Book of Los Angeles Sports Lists, a new book about the Southern California sports scene is available for purchase now.
LAKings.com recently sat down with one of the authors, Steve Hartman, as he talks about his new book.
LAKings.com: What do you like best about the book?
Steve Hartman: Money and I are very different people with very different perspectives on sports. This book has the perfect blend of hardcore and off-beat sports views. There is also a certain imperfection when it comes to sports lists. There is never an absolute right in sports arguments.
LAKings.com: You are well known for your sports trivia and overall sports knowledge. How much research did you have to do for this book?
Steve Hartman: I made sure that all the information in the book was 100 percent accurate. It was fun for me to do a little research beyond even my own obsessions. I actually learned some things about certain athletes I never knew before.
LAKings.com: Can you talk about the decision to list KINGS FANS as LA's most passionate fans?
Steve Hartman: I have to give credit to Money for that. I have followed the Kings since they came on the scene in 1967 (I was nine at the time) but Money is the true hockey fan having grown up in the Chicago area. Personally, I think hockey fans across the board are the best fans in any sport.
LAKings.com: What are some of your favorite Kings moments and who are some of your favorite Kings players over the years?
Steve Hartman: The first Kings game I ever covered as a reporter was Game 4 of the 1982 playoffs against Edmonton. It was the game after the Miracle on Manchester and the Oilers won forcing a deciding Game 5. After the game there was a near fight between the Oiler players and the LA media. It was insane! I have many favorite Kings including Wayne Gretzky, Kelly Hrudey, Luc Robitaille, Rogie Vachon, Charlie Simmer, Dave Taylor and even the current kids. They have all been great guys, which can be a rarity in the sports world.
LAKings.com: You work in local TV (KCBS and KCAL-TV, plus your new FS West show "Outspoken") and you have a daily national radio show which is heard locally on AM 570. When did you have time to write and put this book together?
Steve Hartman: Great question. I wrote most of the book on weekends between sports reports on KCBS and KCAL. It was a great challenge because we were on a deadline and I wanted to make sure each list was unique. I have always worked best when the pressure is on.
LAKings.com: How do people buy the book?
Steve Hartman: They can order the book on line through Barnes and Noble or Amazon.com. They can also buy the book the old-fashioned way at any local book store.
MORE ON THE GREAT BOOK OF LOS ANGELES SPORTS LISTS
In the book, Kings fans are selected as the best fans in Southern California...here is their list:
Really? A hockey franchise in Southern California has the best fans? When Jack Kent Cooke (Who owned both the Lakers and Kings) asked why television ratings were so dismal, rumor has it Chick Hearn answered, "Because they're all here at the game." Sellouts are the norm for this mostly average NHL franchise. I would put their knowledge of the Kings, the team's history and the league as a whole up against any fan base in town. The Kings are an attraction no matter their record, and even though they've been pretty bad lately, once they get rolling, they create emotion in the city that's hard to match. Nobody lives and dies by their franchise like this loyal group.
Other Kings lists featured in the book include:
Top-10 Greatest Moments in Kings History
Top-10 Los Angeles Kings
Interview conducted by Jeff Moeller | LAKings.com