Typically, July is a very boring sports month – all around. The NHL & NBA have finished their finals, it’s the middle of the MLB season, NFL & college sports haven’t started …
However, living across the country from your favorite baseball team makes any time they’re in town fairly exciting (especially if you, like me, don’t have the MLB package). I love being able to see the Yankees in HD and I’m lucky enough that they’re on ESPN and Fox fairly often, but when they’re in Anaheim (as they were this weekend), it’s great to see them in person. Granted, they often lose, since Anaheim is the only team with a winning record against the Yankees in the last 13 or so years, but it’s still good to see them play. In their first two games this weekend, the Yankees scored 14 runs against the Angels. Very good, actually… except for the fact that the Angels scored that many on Saturday alone and 24 on Friday and Saturday. Today’s game was a lot closer though the Angels still won. The Yankees had been one of the hottest teams in baseball before meeting up with the Angels, so hopefully they’ll get back to that after the All-Star break.
This weekend was also the LA Kings’ development camp for their young players who haven’t made it into the NHL yet. It’s always good to see the players who’ve been chosen. I don’t follow that much minor league hockey, so I never know if I agree or disagree with the rankings before the draft or have much of an opinion on how various teams did in the draft. The development camp puts it into perspective a bit, since you can see the players in person and judge them for yourself.
It was nice to see the large turnout today at the development camp in El Segundo. Everyone says it was about as crowded Friday and Saturday, too. Since Friday was during a work day and Friday and Saturday had great weather and (as always in southern California) plenty of options for fans to spend their time, it’s great to see how many of them chose to spend time inside to get a glimpse of the Kings’ future. Hockey has the shortest off season, but it can still seem to drag at times. Development camp is definitely a way to get a good hockey fix in person.
Hockey Fest in the end of August at LA Live is really the next major event for hockey fans in southern California. The more I hear about Hockey Fest, the more interesting it sounds. I think it’s something all southern California hockey fans will be able to enjoy (yes, even the Ducks fans). Of course, southern CA hockey fans who haven’t visited the Science of Hockey exhibit at the Discovery Science Center should check that out to kill the time in the off season.
To read more of my thoughts on the NHL and other sports, check out Press Box Perspective.
Tags: development camp, Ducks, ESPN, fans, Fox, Hockey Fest, Kings, MLB, NHL, Science of Hockey, Yankees
Derek Armstrong, Dustin Brown, Kyle Calder, Denis Gauthier Jr., & Bailey (the mascot) of the LA Kings were on The Price is Right (CBS) yesterday. It’s been advertised all season and the ad (with the guys either bidding almost nothing or choosing not to bid on a Ducks jersey) is great. Click below if you haven’t seen the ad yet.
The behind the scenes footage they’ve shown in games (which is available through Kings Vision at the official Los Angeles Kings website) is also very entertaining. Unfortunately, the actual appearance on the show wasn’t as good. It was great to see the Kings on there and hear the (half-hearted and clearly forced) “Go Kings Go” cheer from the crowd, but I’d heard that day’s show referred to as “hockey themed” and the only thing hockey themed in the entire show was the showcase the Kings did. The prize package was an amazing one for any hockey fan, but the people in the showcase showdown were clearly not hockey fans. The idea of going to Switzerland for the 2009 Men’s World Ice Hockey Championships didn’t even appeal to them. I can understand the ice box at Staples not being appealing to someone who likes hockey (you can’t really see the game, but I guess it wouldn’t be bad to watch one game from there – it’d be better than that horrible “rinkside view” FSN is forcing on the fans), but when the idea of going to Switzerland for the world championships doesn’t appeal to you, it’s clear that you’re not a hockey fan. Any Kings fan would have loved the prize package, but the guy who won the other showcase was thrilled that he didn’t win the Kings showcase, even though he got a snowmobile and lives in Florida. Of course, a Kings prize package for someone who lives in Florida would be a bit annoying even if the guy was a huge fan of the Florida Panthers (in town to play the Kings tonight and Ducks Sunday) or Tampa Bay Lightning.
I always figured the showcases that are not won are used in future showcases for the show, but does this prize package just go away and give the Kings advertising without having to spend any money on prizes? If so, it worked out very well for them. The guys looked like they had a lot of fun (I haven’t talked to them about the experience yet, I wanted to see the show first), it’s just too bad more of the antics didn’t make it on the air.
I remember seeing an article in one of the Canadian newspapers about how The Price is Right should have had more important players from different teams on the show if they wanted to have a hockey themed show. While I agree with this, there are a couple problems with that idea. A. The show wasn’t hockey themed, B. The showcase that was hockey themed was more LA Kings themed than general hockey (you wouldn’t get a prize package from a team of your choice, you’d get a Kings prize package, same thing with the tickets), and C. The Kings are local, so they were around when the show was filmed.
The Price is Right with the Kings was a bit disappointing after the amusing previews, but it was good to see hockey showing up in a TV show, just as it’ll be great to see Luc Robitaille on Bones (Fox) in January.
Tags: Bailey, Bones, CBS, Denis Gauthier Jr., Derek Armstron, Ducks, Dustin Brown, fans, Fox, FSN, Hockey, Kings, Kyle Calder, Lightning, Luc Robitaille, NHL, Panthers, Price is Right, rinkside view