It took me eight years, but I finally popped my Los Angeles Kings playoff cherry on Monday and it felt great. Like every Kings fan who has waited for this occasion, I was pumped up like a kid on Christmas morning. It was a fantastic feeling walking to Staples Center hearing the fans chant, seeing all of the jerseys, witnessing the incredibly hot Ice Girls hand out Mardi Gras beads and take part in some innocent jawing with the many Canucks fans in attendance.
But then we entered the arena and the booze started flowing and some Kings fans found themselves some liquid courage. Awesome. I saw a Canucks fan get punched for standing up and cheering for his team. I saw drunk Kings fans try to start a fight in the upstairs patio. I overheard a Kings fan question a Canucks fan’s sexual orientation…in the bathroom.
When did Los Angeles Kings fans become Raider Nation?
Let’s start with booing the Canadian National Anthem. This is just classless and, in Twitter terms, a #fanfail. I get it, we’re amped. We’re ready to march all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals. We’re finally on the national stage. Can we please avoid the title of “ghetto-est fans in the league”?
Then there’s telling the Vancouver Canucks players to “Go back to Canada”. Now this is plain dumb. Please, someone, explain the logic here to me. This isn’t a national series. This ain’t the Olympics. This is the NHL playoffs. Let’s just say for a moment that the Canadians “went back to Canada”. Well, then, you can say goodbye to Drew Doughty, Wayne Simmonds, Ryan Smyth, Jarrett Stoll, Justin Williams, Brad Richardson, Richard Clune and Randy Jones. Then we’d have the first overall pick in the draft and we could draft Taylor Hall. Oh, wait, he’s Canadian too.
Okay, Randy Jones can go back to Canada.
Now I have nothing against trash-talking the opposing team. You can make inappropriate comments about the Ginger Twins, say Luongo looks like a combination of porn star and a rat, or call Kyle Wellwood the fattest player in the NHL next to Martin Brodeur.
But when you’re throwing beer at someone in a Canucks jersey who is cheering because their team just scored, you’re a douche.
When you and your five drunk friends are trying to start a fight with one Canucks fan in a parking lot, you’re a douche.
And, yes, when you spit on a small and seemingly un-tough Canucks fan, you are very much a douche.
Hunter S. Thompson said “The massive Raider Nation is beyond doubt the sleaziest and rudest and most sinister mob of thugs and wackos ever assembled.” Do we really want this comparison? Look, I know that the handful of people that act like idiots are small compared to those who are just passionate and want to watch hockey.
So, if you’re reading this and thinking to yourself “Hey, that sounds like me!,” please stay home….or go to an Angels game.