INTRODUCING: Tuff’s 3 Periods!
TUFF’S 3 PERIODS
It’s great to finally have a platform for my impossibly high-quality LA Kings insight and fart jokes. It’s a responsibility I take very seriously, which is why I’m pleased to present you fine connoisseurs of Los Angeles hockey humor with my brand spanking new feature for The Royal Half: Tuff’s 3 Periods. Each week, I’ll be presenting my take on three interesting bits of actual NHL news, and, if you’re lucky, we may even get to see some bonus action in overtime!
FIRST PERIOD – RAISING ARIZONA
Well, it looks like we’ll be watching the Kings battle the burgundy butt-smoochers for a number of years to come now that the Phoenix Coyotes’ sale has been finalized. Despite the teams’ mutual dislike for one another, I’m going to suggest that this is a good development for Kings fans. The Coyotes are a division opponent that is nice and close to home, not to mention their home arena being nestled amongst some of the finest leisure options for our wine-swilling and club-swinging broadcast team. Incidentally, this proximity to fine golf courses proved especially useful for the Coyotes after the Kings dispatched them from their most relevant playoff series in franchise history.
More than that, it’s the redemption for Coyotes fans that makes this a win for hockey in general. It’s not good practice to start setting down roots and then simply rip the team away from a city when they’re down on their luck. If you hung tuff with the Kings during the lean 00s, you probably remember withstanding taunts from every other fanbase about the Kings’ meager attendance and the city’s supposed ambivalence towards hockey. Imagine if during those years the Kings were forced to relocate, and you never got the chance to ride the wheel of karma all the way up to that yearned-for and long-awaited apex of orgiastic hockey triumph? That moment of validation and victory that showed you a glimpse of what it’s like to have your day as champion, after spending so many years as the violently chewed blob of Fruit Stripe gum on the bottom of the Pacific Division’s shoe.
Coyote fans – and all true hockey fans – deserve to experience at least the chance to be granted that moment of catharsis… and the simple, existential joy that comes along with watching a dream (no matter how ultimately trivial) come true.
SECOND PERIOD – FAREWELL, PENNER
By now you’ve come to grips with the fact that Dustin Penner is no longer a member of the Kings. If Penner leaving the team doesn’t elicit within you at least a minor pang of wistfulness or regret, then you, sir or madam, qualify as a pessimist. A Pennermist, if you will. Symptoms of mild to moderate Pennermism include: Focusing way too much on his stats, ignoring the incredibly historic clutch goals and plays he’s made, forgetting his indelible place on our first and only Cup winning team, and ignoring how his personality fit into the fabric of this locker room. For example, look at the respectful and constructive banter that Penner to this day still engages in with Alec Martinez:
— Dustin Penner (@Dustinpenner25) August 23, 2013
Oh… well, my point still stands. Dustin Penner loved his Kings teammates and tried his very best for them when the stakes were highest. Love him for what he did for our team, not what he didn’t do. And if you ever feel a bout of Pennermism coming on, go re-watch his reaction after scoring the conference-clinching goal against Phoenix.
Also, the guy mentioned on Cabbie’s show that he keeps his missing front tooth in the glove box of his car.
THIRD PERIOD – DODGER STADIUM STADIUM SERIES
It was recently brought to my attention that there is a very vocal segment of Kings fans who do not like baseball and say they couldn’t care less about the impending Stadium Series matchup and the gaping hole of lost income potential where the accompanying Alumni Game should stand. To them, I say this: Baseball is an amazing game that, while not as viscerally satisfying as hockey, has unbelievable depth and historical richness. I’m serious, if you hate baseball, I’m officially imposing my first King Tufficult Decree:
King Tufficult Decree No. 1: Stop shitting on baseball. You don’t like it when people who know nothing about hockey characterize it as a glorified boxing match on ice, right?
Whether or not you give baseball a chance is irrelevant. This Stadium Series game is a huge win for the franchise, a chance to experience something that up until now has only taken place in the East, peppered with too many Original Six jerseys and not nearly enough Forum Blue. We’re watching the Kings prestige as an NHL club rise before our very eyes, and through the hard work of our players and organization, we’re now being afforded novel and historic experiences on a grand scale. It’s a spectacle, but that’s not always a bad thing. I know it will be something that I will never forget, unless I black out from too many $15 beers.
OVERTIME – THE TUFFICULT TWEET TAKEDOWN
Tuff’s 3 periods are in the bank, but I’m afraid we’re not done in regulation.
It’s time for overtime, featuring the Tufficult Tweet Takedown, a recurring segment where I’ll plant my foot firmly in the rhetorical buttocks of a tweet I, ah, disagree with.
Our first ever lucky recipient of The Tufficult Tweet Takedown goes to San Jose Sharks fan @AimeeRNqt:
4 things you for sure can get in LA.. Smog, traffic, 4.79 a gallon gas, and asshole @LAKings fans. All horrible
— Aimee (@AimeeRNqt) August 21, 2013
I can’t help but agree, Aimee. In fact, it was just this morning, as I sat on the 405 in bumper-to-bumper traffic, that I had a moment of instantly crippling panic. Was I really on the 405? The smog was so dense that I couldn’t make out any of the freeway signs, their plastic reflectors long ago corroded away by the noxious fumes and billowing brown clouds of gunk. The squawking of the vultures and ravens circling ominously overhead eerily meshed with the incessant sound of children coughing furiously, their innocent lungs blackening from the environmental scourge.
After the initial rush of fearing I wasn’t even going in the right direction (so disoriented from the shrouding, blanketed smog clouds was I), I experienced a bitter comedown that left me depressed over my deteriorating financial state.
You see, I had already sold my Xbox and prized Roman Cechmanek jersey (with small mustard stain), and diligently scraped every last nickel, dime, and golden Sacagawea out of my commemorative 2002 All Star Game mug. And STILL, I only had enough money left to supply my car with ONE thimble’s worth of incredibly rare, liquefied dinosaur fossils from the Middle East.
Or maybe it wasn’t like that at all.
Maybe I was driving to work with the top down, enjoying our year-round amazing weather as the sun shone down at me and a light, cool breeze crisply floated through my car. A gorgeous cloud formation lanced the horizon near the ocean, crystal clear and miles away.
Maybe it admittedly took me 40 minutes to traverse the 405 to get to work today. Maybe I passed no less than four Tesla Model S cars on the road, reminding me of the impending and wonderful shift to zero emission vehicles that LA’s environment will quickly benefit from. And maybe it was such a beautiful day that I enjoyed my chance in the morning to feel the breeze, sip my coffee, and educate myself by listening to an investing and personal finance podcast. Maybe that podcast inspired me to tweak my portfolio and make a couple hundred bucks profit that day, easily subsidizing the relatively paltry gas bill incurred by my clean and efficient hybrid electric vehicle. Speaking of which, Los Angeles has been the No. 1 market for hybrid electric vehicles since as far back as 2009. Of course, a few years of hybrid cars hitting the roads aren’t everything, but — HEY, what the Fukufuji?! Check out this 2013 index of San Jose’s air quality (90%) compared with Los Angeles’ air quality (94.6%). Maybe that’s not smog you’re seeing, Aimee, but some SAP on your glasses.
And finally, maybe, just maybe… there are good fans and bad fans in EVERY fanbase, including your own.
Oh, and enjoy #TheNextWave of rotting corpse odor emanating from the Sharks’ failed core guys.
-King Tufficult (@KingTufficult)