You never forget the first one.
It took 45 years for the Kings to win their first-ever Stanley Cup. Some fans waited that long. Some have waited their entire lifetimes.
This Cup is for them. It’s for the diehards. It’s for the people who wandered the desert, who endured years of terrible hockey and heartbreak and ridicule because they were hockey fans in Los Angeles.
When Dustin Brown lifted the Cup, I immediately felt a great sense of joy for my husband, a lifelong Kings fan who undoubtedly bawled at his desk at work like a child. I watched the game by myself at home; I felt this great sense of incompleteness watching those final moments of Game 6 and realizing I only had cats to keep me company because Ed was working.
But this Cup is a toast to him.
The Kings came first. They came along before any other team, they were there long before I was.
Ed came to the Kings as a reaction to everyone around him being a Lakers fan. He was a hockey-loving kid in a sea of gold and purple Lakers paraphernalia, living with parents who didn’t understand hockey and couldn’t pronounce Gretzky correctly. He grew up listening to Brian Engblom and Nick Nickson on the radio because his family didn’t have cable.
He was 16 in 1993 and was forced to take his parents to a couple of first-round playoff games because they wouldn’t let him drive to the Forum by himself. He went to what games he could on a limited teenage budget. He eventually got shut out of the final because alas, celebrities and others hangers-on pushed ticket prices and availability to the point that a kid from a middle-class family couldn’t see his beloved Kings play for a championship.
Along the way, there was the Frenzy on Figueroa. He flew in to L.A. from Tucson just to watch that game. Besides that, though, there was little fanfare, little to cheer about.
In between, the kid grew up, got a college degree, got many jobs, got a wife, lived in every other time zone in the country.
It took us 11 years to return to Los Angeles, to be able to witness this parade in person.
The wait was worth it.