If you follow me on social media, you may know that I am an LA Kings fan. I'm not kuh-ray-zee, but I am definitely enthusiastic. I love me some Kaaannnngggsss. I know that meeting a black woman with a love for hockey is a bit like stumbling upon a unicorn in the woods … or a unicorn anywhere. I'm sure it'd be just as surreal finding a unicorn in downtown Chicago. But here I am.
So how does a black girl from Jersey become a hockey fan?
I was on Twitter one night reading my @ mentions when I saw a tweet from the LA Kings account inviting me to come to a game:
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That last one was just so y'all would know I AM LEGEND.
I decided to go, and took my friend Ted with me to the game, because I didn't know shit about hockey. He's a big sports fan, so I figured he'd be interested in this version of "lacrosse on ice." We had the VIP hookup, which means we had free valet parking. And while valet parking at Staples for Kings games is wayyyyy cheaper than, say, for a Lakers game, free is free. It made me feel fancy.
When we got there, we were greeted by Pat, a handsome bearded young man who is the director of digital media for the Los Angeles Kings, a.k.a. the guy behind the tweets. He was with Heather, a delightfully sunny blonde. They introduced themselves, and then Pat handed me an official jersey that read TREAT YO SELF on the back. Pat was a big Parks and Rec fan, followed me on Twitter, thought I was funny and "legendary" at the live-tweet, which is what led to the now-monumental invite. He had had the jersey made for me. For ME. A total stranger had gifted me a personalized piece of clothing. I mean, the free parking was already enough to make the trip worth it, but now this? Needless to say, I was helluh geeked. I basically made this trip for the beer and ended up with a new article of clothing! The Kings coulda been the worst team in the league, but that simple gift opened my heart to these yet-unseen ice Vikings.
(Pat would later say in a radio interview that getting me to become a Kings fan is one of his proudest moments. And I told him it was the jersey, homie. It. Was. The. Jersey.)
Once we got inside, Heather took us through some heavy double doors that were manned by a security guy who was very serious about checking that our tickets allowed us on this level. We entered a hallway that looked like it could serve as the passageway for deliveries, i.e., it was not pretty, so I was wondering, Where the hell is this chick taking us? As if reading my mind, she told us: "We're going to the Chairman's Room." Not gonna lie, my posture straightened a little, and I strode as though newly knighted. Your girl was doin' big thangs.