Friday, March 18, 2011

Do You Cheer Or Just Boo?

I'm fascinated by the debate raging over Kings fans booing the team after their horrible performance Thursday night.  Fascinated because this is far from the first time it's happened.  In fact, the first bad booing I remember was the Kings home opener in 2009.  They stunk up the joint big time that night as well, yet ended the season by making the Stanley Cup play-offs for the the first time in eight long years.  So maybe booing isn't always a bad thing.

I suppose the reason the booing became such a big deal this time is because of Terry Murray's reaction.  He's since softened his comments, and even taken some blame on his shoulders for not properly preparing the team.  I've read comments on Rich Hammond's posts where people even suggested Murray got a talking to from the Kings brass for not keeping his mouth shut, especially given the season ticket price increases we fans are all enjoying.

Empty seats are not good for the health of ANY franchise.
Message boards, Facebook groups, mainstream media and the blogosphere have all weighed in on whether fans have the "right" to boo or not.  America is the land of the First Amendment and free speech, so of course you have the right to express yourself, which includes booing.  It's also the right of other fans to openly disagree with you.  That's the awesome thing about free speech.   But in the flurry of arguments about frustration over ticket prices, fan expectations, players feelings and anything else that could factor into whether booing is acceptable or not, the REAL issue isn't being brought up.  And the REAL issue is your personal responsibility as a fan

For me, if you're going to exercise your right to say things about your team, you have to be shouting during the good times AND the bad.  So for everyone who booed Thursday night, I have a question for you.  When the Kings perform well, are you also screaming until your throat hurts?   Or are you only raising your voice when there is cause to complain?  Because if you're not doing both, I encourage you to SHUT YOUR MOUTH.

I suspect many of the complainers that booed Thursday were also the people that remained quiet as Vancouver Canucks fans took the energy out of our barn on March 5th.   That's the way it is with fans in Los Angeles, and not just Kings fans.   For the life of me, I don't know what it is about this city that breeds a sense of entitlement among our fair-weather fans, who react as if the team doesn't "deserve" their support if it doesn't win every game.   Of course, this is also the same fan base that will loudly cheer "Team XXX SUCKS!" any chance they get.  After all, nothing says class like putting down someone else.

I know there are plenty of Kings fans out there that don't fit that mold.  If you're one of those, it's your job to set the fair-weather fans right.  We're in the middle of an identity crisis, Kings fans.  I for one don't believe this booing, negative garbage is who we are.  We're better than this.  We should strive to win with grace and humility, and be good sports when things don't go our way.  That's what winners do.  That's what true fans should do, too.


Sports is like life, folks.  Things aren't always rosy, and if you throw out the baby with the bathwater every time things don't go your way, you're not the kind of fan I want supporting my team.   We have so much to be proud of in our Kings, and they have more than earned our support -- even and especially when they have a tough night.


1 comment:

  1. 318 is a deadspace.
    Im moving next season to a louder section full of loud loving fans who chant go kings go as much as I do :)