LAKings.com continues with THE SPORTING LIFE, a multi-part summer series in which professional athletes talk about experiencing a Kings game at STAPLES Center.
Robbie Keane, the captain of the LA Galaxy, has become a regular at Kings games at STAPLES Center since moving to Southern California. The Irish footballer has also enjoyed nothing but success since joining the Galaxy, as the striker has helped his new club win back-to-back MLS Championships both in 2011 and 2012.
Keane is also new to the sport of hockey but he has enjoyed watching and learning about the game so far. Just don’t expect him to exchange his soccer cleats for hockey skates any time soon.
In this fourth installment of The Sporting Life, Keane explains:
Q: Prior to coming to Los Angeles and attending Kings games at STAPLES Center, how much knowledge did you have about hockey and the NHL?
A: Absolutely zero knowledge. None at all, to be honest with you. I was staying near the STAPLES Center for a few months and also I had been invited to the stadium by AEG before. When you watch it live, it's a great game. Now I bring my son to watch. We really enjoy it.
Q: In terms of popularity, where do you think hockey ranks in your native Ireland?
A: No one watches it, to be honest with you, so I couldn’t even tell you. It’s because of the time difference compared to here as well. Plus, it’s not a big sport over there.
Q: What would be the most popular sports in Ireland? What sports in the U.S. -- sports such as baseball, football, and basketball -- are not very popular back home?
A: In Ireland the biggest sport is football, and Gallic football, which is huge over there. Also horseland is very popular. The American sport that is not big back there is probably baseball. But again, because of the time zone, those sports are never shown on TV so people can’t watch them and, thus, don’t know anything about them.
Q: In terms of strategy, do you see a lot of similarities between soccer and hockey?
A: None at all, which is pretty funny.
Q: How do you describe the Kings experience at STAPLES Center? What’s it like going to a game with the atmosphere like that?
A: I think it’s great. Certainly the playoff games are very good to go and watch. It’s very exciting and the fans certainly do get excited for it, especially when the gloves come off, and the helmets come off, and they start swinging at each other. Then the crowd really gets excited.
Q: What teammate with the Galaxy might make the best hockey player? Who would make the worst?
A: I’d definitely make the worst. Who would make the best? Hmm, we must have a player from Canada. I think I would probably have to say maybe Jack McBean just because he’s big and young.
The LA Galaxy – 2-1 winners on Saturday night at StubHub Center against Vancouver; their third win in their last four games; and now 10-8-3 with 33 points -- next face the Colorado Rapids on July 27.
For all Galaxy ticket information visit LAGalaxy.com and follow them on Twitter @LAGalaxy.
Check out LAKings.com/news now to read the first three series installments featuring UFC/MMA legend Tito Ortiz, horse racing champion jockey Garrett Gomez, and up-and-coming NHRA drag racer Courtney Force.
Future editions of The Sporting Life will feature a local MLB catcher, a pro golfer and an NFL veteran. We also will hear from a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame who provides his unique insights on our sport.
Special thanks to Alex Sale and Justin Pearson