The Walrus Blog

Author Archive

Can It Be All So Simple

A Los Angeles Kings fan’s search for deeper meaning in the team’s Stanley Cup win
Dustin Brown, captain of the Los Angeles Kingskings.nhl.comDustin Brown, captain of the Los Angeles Kings.

For the first time in franchise history, the Los Angeles Kings are, quantitatively, hockey’s best team; champions of the gritty second season that begins in early spring and follows an arrhythmic cadence that favours deflected point shots and immovable objects colliding in corners. As a lifelong Kings fan, it feels both impossible and inevitable that my great childhood dream has become a reality. Monday night, when I finally saw captain Dustin Brown — with his doe-eyed toddler’s face and Asian mystic’s wispy facial hair — lift the Stanley Cup over his head, it felt less like a dividend paid to my decades of empathetic investment than a lesson in how to finally grow up.

Rest assured, mine is no fairweather fandom; I’ve been cheering for the Kings since I was ten years old. In fact, I can recall in vivid detail the precise moment I devoted myself to them.

November 11, 1989: It’s a sunny Saturday evening; I’m flipping channels and I land on Hockey Night in Canada. The Kings are playing the Canadiens. But something is wrong: the broadcast is in black and white. I open the television’s control panel and play with the dials: the balance, the brightness, the contrast. Nothing works. I turn the TV off, then back on. There’s colour now, but just at the margins — in the crowd, in the blue and red lines painted on the ice, in the Habs’ jerseys. It takes me a moment to realize the desaturation is an optical illusion.

The Kings are wearing silver and black. Having that summer played mistress in the big Wayne Gretzky drama — when the Edmonton Oilers traded away the game’s greatest player — the team has replaced its garish purple and yellow uniforms with sleek monochrome. The neon-bright ’80s are over. The Kings’ new jerseys recall the jumpsuits worn by utopian space explorers in science fiction films. They seem like a team that has travelled back in time from some wonderful future where altered laws of physics allow them to skate faster and shoot harder. They seem a team of destiny. But all that is peripheral to the fact that they look so cool. When you’re ten, that’s all it takes. (more…)

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Sports  •  2 Comments
Canada & its place in the world. Published by
the non-profit charitable Walrus Foundation
TwitterFacebookTumblr
The Walrus SoapBox
The Walrus Laughs
Walrus TV
Archived Blog Posts
  • August 2012
  • July 2012
  • June 2012
  • May 2012
  • April 2012
  • March 2012
  • February 2012
  • January 2012
  • December 2011
  • November 2011
  • October 2011
  • September 2011
  • August 2011
  • July 2011
  • June 2011
  • May 2011
  • April 2011
  • March 2011
  • February 2011
  • January 2011
  • December 2010
  • November 2010
  • October 2010
  • September 2010
  • August 2010
  • July 2010
  • June 2010
  • May 2010
  • April 2010
  • March 2010
  • February 2010
  • January 2010
  • December 2009
  • November 2009
  • October 2009
  • September 2009
  • August 2009
  • July 2009
  • June 2009
  • May 2009
  • April 2009
  • March 2009
  • February 2009
  • January 2009
  • December 2008
  • November 2008
  • October 2008
  • September 2008
  • August 2008
  • July 2008
  • June 2008
  • May 2008
  • April 2008
  • March 2008
  • February 2008
  • January 2008
  • December 2007
  • November 2007
  • October 2007
  • September 2007
  • August 2007
  • July 2007
  • June 2007
  • May 2007
  • April 2007
  • March 2007
  • February 2007
  • January 2007