Why I'm a Fan of the Kings: No Ice, No Gear, No Problem

“Within hours we had duct-taped rulers to broom poles and were hacking a tennis ball around on skateboards.”

Welcome to the refreshed Jewels From The Crown! To celebrate the new look and feel of our sports communities, we’re sharing stories of how and why we became fans of our favorite teams. If you’d like to share your story, head over to the FanPosts to write your own post. Each FanPost will be entered into a drawing to win a $500 Fanatics gift card [contest rules]. We’re collecting all of the stories here and featuring the best ones across our network as well. Come Fan With Us!

If there is a cover boy for the impact of Wayne Gretzky’s arrival on hockey culture in Southern California, I may be it. When the Edmonton Oilers dealt Gretzky to the Los Angeles Kings on August 9, 1988, I was almost ten years old and not at all into hockey. Baseball, skateboarding and the beach were my primary interests, and I do not recall having watched a moment of puck before that year.

However, I do recall just days later when my neighbor rolled onto my driveway in his new, black roller blades wearing a fresh LA Kings cap and carrying a hollow, all-plastic Mylec hockey stick. Within hours we had duct-taped rulers to broom poles and were hacking a tennis ball around on skateboards. From that point on, my participation in organized baseball dwindled and hockey – particularly roller – grew and grew.

Becoming a Kings fan in the OC was easy at the time; they were the only game in town. Why I am a Kings fan now? There are many reasons, but as I get older, the most meaningful is the diversity and loyalty of the team’s fan base. This is a wholly unscientific opinion, but I would bet that the Kings’ fan base is the most diverse in the league and I could not be prouder to be a part of it. Through the Kings I have connected with the most interesting people in the most random of places, and all it takes is a “Go Kings Go!” shouted at a bar, while driving, or walking down the sidewalk.

So, I guess that’s it. I could go on and on, but I’d prefer to hear from you…why are you a fan of the Los Angeles Kings?

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