(Civil disobedience has been contained to Kings fans littering on Chick Hearn Drive…)
Congratulations to the LA Kings! Now you know what it’s like to be a Red Wings fan!
Hockey is a great sport. It’s an elegantly brutal, hard charging sport, full of many different constantly moving parts. Its fan base is surely blue collar. Sure, it doesn’t score points in bunches like the NBA or the NFL, but it is more exciting than soccer and these guys are manly MEN. You try skating for 30 seconds (a LONG shift by NHL standards) while another equally large man is trying to check you into the boards, and you will get a taste of how hard it is to play hockey. Plus, it’s cold. They’re playing on ice for God’s sake! It moves quick and when someone scores a goal past a goalie who is protected by gear larger than the Sta-Puff Marshmallow Man, it’s a thing of beauty. Well, most of the time anyway.
Moreover, the NHL playoffs exhibit one of the greatest time-honored traditions in sports – the post series handshake. No matter how hard you checked another player into the plexiglass, or whether you rubbed shaved ice into another player’s face, you always have respect to skate by him and shake his hand. There is no chest thumping; no scowling at other players because they had the gaul to try and put their hand up in your face while trying to shoot the ball; no chalking throwing up in the air to celebrate yourself. And no one talks about winning multiple championships before PLAYING a game… Just celebrating with a handshake and a hug, a “great game,” and a “see you this summer…”
And THAT is true sportsmanship.
You hear me, NBA?