Susan

Under the Arch Via NYC as of September 2010. I’m an LA Kings fan since the mid-80s and it isn’t changing. My brother raised me on the Rangers. I’m pretty sure he thought I was coming out a boy and when I didn’t, he decided it didn’t matter. I knew who Ron Dugay was by the time I was 6. I figured if I didn’t I wasn’t going to be a girl anymore, either. However, one day as a teenage sister and her brother, who is 6 years older will do, we got into a fight. I told him where he could take his foolishness and that whoever the Rangers were playing that night, I was rooting for them. Well in my house, that meant war. It happened to be? You guessed it. The LA Kings. And it stuck. Like a wart that just won’t go away. (shrug) Whaddaya gonna do?

You are going to root for them. You are going to hackle like a hyena when Sandstrom comes to the Kings. You are going to to stay loyal after the Canucks hand wipe the ice with the Kings in game 1, round 1 and then came roaring back. And then you are going to yell at everyone and their mother right through the finals.  Then of course, you are going to shut-up and do when the Kings miss the playoffs the following year and throw your loyalty behind the Rangers. Mind you, I do have a fascination with Pavel Bure (signed Russian Hockey stick and all) but, no I screamed “SHOOT THE DAMN PUCK BRIAN!” with the rest of NYC.

Next? Right. I dated a Red Wings fan for 13 years. THIRTEEN YEARS. The bad? Well I moved to St. Louis. You figure it out. The good? I learned a lot. I really did. About hockey, about the Red Wings. And truly, I’m not a hater. I rooted against them in the playoffs last year.. but not because of the team. It was personal (Arnold voice there)! The Red Wings don’t get a fair wrap in a lot of ways and I’ll argue that. They kind of grow on you, too. But much worse then the plague. No. More like.. like.. the barnacles on the bottom of the Titanic or something!

I’m kind of a conundrum of sorts I guess, that people don’t understand. When the Kings aren’t involved, which up till this year they really weren’t 2009-2010 :), I’d get very specifically odd about who I was rooting for and why. It would drive people crazy- especially in the west. I’d root for the Blackhawks just because I loved Chelsea Dagger long before they got a hold of it- and then even more because of how they played.. street brawl back alley, hockey. I’d root for the Flames because 5 years ago I think they just felt like: If we can’t beat you- we’re going to beat the crap out of you. I’m not saying that it is right by ANY means. Some how I just found it amusing. I’d root for Nashville because I couldn’t fathom how they got 20,000 people to do that whole goalie chant at once.. and you have to respect that. You wouldn’t catch me rooting for the Sharks, Ducks or Canucks. If they played each other, it was the Canucks because they were Canadian. I’d turn the other two off, I’d rather eat Duck for dinner in the dark. I hate watching the Wild. Sorry but they look like they are sleep walking through molasses. Calgary over Edmonton- they are just more fun but Edmonton over most because, again they are Canadian and as my shirt says.. Canada Kicks Ass. On that note, I fall on the Toronto side of the fence. I don’t root for Montreal. I’d rather root for the Ducks and the Sharks. Ew. I like Dallas and will take them because of Modano (this year that’ll be an interesting change). Columbus? Meh. Up in the air.. day-to-day like most injuries and most of us… and that leaves…

The Blues. Well now, aint that a kick in the Arch? I love my city. I really do. The Arch is a life saver and my muse. Scottrade has become a second home to me. It is a microcosm of the city it abides in, unless the Blackhawks are in town. Then all bets are off. I have not once been harassed at a game. Mind you I’m not a rude fan, either. I’m loud and I have fun but I’m not nasty- well unless you start with me.. but hasn’t really happened; except with a couple stupid boys (but that wasn’t in St. Louis). I do like the Blues a great deal. And truly will take them 90% of the time as long as it doesn’t affect the Kings. I love this city. But make no mistake. We know where my loyalties lie. They are easy to root for though when the Kings aren’t in town because most of the time it is impossible for them to harm us. They are playing everyone we need beaten. They aren’t in the same division. Now I’m sure that day will come.. but when it does, I will draw the line in the sand and stand with my boys.

My first visit to Staples Center was 2007 and I had a blast. However, I said I wouldn’t go back until the Kings made the playoffs. Not out of unhappiness or lack of loyalty. Nah. It was Kopitar’s rookie year. I knew they were going somewhere. Plus I couldn’t travel quite as much as I do now because of the Wings fan and high expense of living in NYC. So the best decision I could make, was the playoffs. That was April.. game three was perfect timing, on a weekend, and off I went. First in 8 years… and they won… and I almost killed our goalie.. whoops.

That’s the picture.. Jonathan Quick and I (if you happened to meet along my travels now, I look quite different, so sorry about that.. my hair is much lighter).  I suppose my almost killing him could explain the look on his face? II was the day after game 2.. the overtime thrill in Vancouver. An open ice practice and surely they were all exhausted but one-by-one came out to talk, sign and be, well patient as anyone could expect. I had walked over to the other side of the facility to see Handzeus. I recieved a text message from my friend Melissa that said “QUICK!” My dim-witted self stood there and slow wrote back.. “Quick? Quick what?” “No you fool! JONATHAN QUICK IS OUT” Well that was my exercise for the day. I tore off like a bat out of hell. Problem is. Quick is quite unrecognizable as you can tell from the picture and I blew RIGHT by him. Supposedly (I don’t remember), I nearly knocked’m the hell over. Supposedly (I didn’t notice) his head whipped around like the twinkies were coming, as I flew by. Aye. Sor-ry 

So Adam Graves saves me from getting hit by a car in Pittsburgh, and I nearly kill Jonathan Quick. Not exactly paying it forward, is it?

PS If you want the story above.. come find  me some day. It is a great story. But I like to tell it in person. Besides, there is a slew of stories behind it. Larry Murphy, Tomas Sandstrom, Jaromir Jagr, Mike Richter, Brian Leetch… list goes on and on.. oh and Ruth Chris’s Steak House in Pittsburgh always played a part! HA!

Hope to see some of you on the road or at a rink sometime this year… Other wise… I’ll see you at center ice.

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