Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Kings Court Featured Fan: Chris Van Deusen

Just when I was starting to worry that no other Kings fans wanted to share their stories with the rest of Kings Court, I got a surprise email from the King of the Die Hards himself -- Chris Van Deusen!

Chris is the owner of the Facebook "Die Hard Kings Fan" page and he loves this team with plenty of Pride, Passion and Power! Check out his fantastic answers to The Queen's fan survey AND be sure to support his Facebook page as well. He does a fantastic job. Enjoy!


1. How did you first get introduced to hockey?
When I was about 6 years old, I was the national poster child for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA, yes, I was one of “Jerry’s Kids” heh.). As such I did a lot of charity events for MDA, my favorite being the Magic Johnson Sports Award Dinner. That year the award went to Wayne Gretzky. Getting to meet #99 himself was something I’ll never forget. It was like I was hooked on hockey after that night, playing wheelchair hockey any time I could and learning as much as I could about a sport where hitting was encouraged. Whaaat?? I was 6!

2. When did you become a Kings fan, and what do you remember about your first Kings fan experience?
This is going to be a weird answer because there are sort of two answers. The first time I knew I was a Kings fan was when I was either 6 or 7 years old and some good family friends who were (and still are) season ticket holders took me to my first ever hockey game and it was the Kings vs the Red Wings at the Forum. Already being hooked on hockey, it didn’t take much for the Kings to rope in this fan. Now, I say there are two answers because until about the end of the ‘09-‘10 season, I always felt like a solo Kings fan. I got involved on the Kings Facebook page and made friends with Erik E. and at the next game I went to he introduced me to a good amount of the crazy people who I now consider my Kings Family. I felt like a “true die hard” as cheesy as it might sound.

3. Who is you favorite Kings player of all time, past or present, and why?
I can only pick one?! I think I will have to go with Rogie Vachon. The guy is a living legend of Kings History and is without a doubt, one of the all time best goalies. The thing that makes me pick Vachon out of all the rest of our great Kings is that he was a fantastic goalie in an era where there was little protection. In my opinion, you have to have major cahones to let guys shoot pucks at you when your padding & protection is half the size of the gear Quick wears today. How this man is not in the hall of fame is beyond me, even from a non-King biased standpoint.

4. What is your favorite memory of the Kings?
So many memories! Ugh, so hard to choose just one. If you mean personal Kings memory, I think it would have to be from last season. There was a game (which shall not be named!) where our guys were boo’ed off our own ice after the 2nd period. The internets exploded in debate over bandwagon fans vs the right to boo your team. I decided to take my answer to the team. I created a sign that said “Win or Lose, Kings 4 Life!” and took it to the very next home game. Got there early for warm up and put my sign on the glass like everyone else does, but to my surprise, a few of the guys actually noticed the sign! Mitchell, Scuderi, Quick, & Westgarth read the sign and cracked smiles. That was something I didn’t expect since they’re usually so “in the zone.” If you mean team Kings memory, it’d have to be the final moments of last season’s away game in Dallas where the game was won in literally the final seconds. If that doesn’t scream “Never say Die!” I don’t know what does. Sharing an Elevator & talking serious “hockey talk” with Bob Miller was also pretty amazing too though!

5. What is your favorite item of Kings gear and why?
My first jersey. I know, I know, lame that I didn’t get my first Kings jersey till I was 27 but hey those things are pricey! This one has sentimental value though because my father helped me find it, making Kings Hockey sorta “Our Thing.” It’s the last of the CCM era jerseys with the drawstrings and really nice shoulder patches. When my father helped me find it, I knew I had him hooked as a Kings fan.

6. If you could watch a game from any location in Staples Center, where would you be and why?
The Die Hard in me says section 315 with the gang you can hear from anywhere in Staples. However, I would kill to watch 1 game from the only wheelchair seats on the glass. Yeah, you know those seats. There are only 3-4 wheelchair seats that are actually ON the glass, but AEG is evil (and slightly illegal imo) with them. They’re the seats right next to the tunnel the guys come out from so AEG gets around the wheelchair issue by calling them “VIP Seats” which makes them $400 a seat. 1 seat over from them is a $300 price difference. For one night, I’d love to sit there, cheer on our guys each time they march out, and bang on the glass like the hockey nut I am.

7. If you could be a King, what position would you play and why?
I’d probably play goalie. I used to play winger in wheelchair hockey, but goalies are just cool. Plus that’d make 2 goalies in the family and my cousin could give me her advice at it. This wheelchair also has no 5-hole when turned sideways! Plus I couldn’t possibly be worse than Luongo now could I? 

8. If you had a chance to address the team right now, what would you say?
“PUT DA BISCUIT IN DA BASKET!!” No, seriously, It would probably be along the lines of “Men, the time is upon us. The time to claim Lord Stanley’s Cup as our own, is now. You have been put together exactly for that purpose. There is no question about your skill. It is there. Your level of heart cannot be denied. You wear it on your sleeve. For too long this team has been overlooked by the rest of the league, but I say NO LONGER! The plaque above the very castle doors you walk out of each night says one thing: Protect This Kingdom. There is a team in our Kingdom, a team that believes they can beat you. Go out there and show them that they are wrong! Show the league that they should fear the Kings! Protect your Kingdom! Make the League bow down to the Crown! The time is now Kings, and your loyal army stands ready.” Ok, so maybe it’s a lil dramatic but hey! It’s still good, no?

9. If you could have dinner with a current Kings player, who would you choose and what would you say to them? 
Big Willie Mitchell. When I met him at Hockey Fest last year, he seemed like a really cool guy and very down to earth. I think it’d be cool to talk to him about all the work/research he is working on in regards to concussion injuries as well as get the viewpoint of a “veteran King.”

10. What is the best thing about being a Kings fan?
The best thing about being a Kings Fan is getting to know all of the friends I now talk to almost daily. People use the “Kings Family” line a lot, but it’s because it’s true. Since running the Die Hards page, I’ve grown a second family, my Kings Family.


Don't forget Kings fans, if you'd like to submit your answers and become a Kings Court Featured Fan, click this link for directions!


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