TRH MEET THE PLAYERS RECAP: Traffic Up the WaZOO

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Hey everyone, The Royal Half here. The LA Kings held their annual “Meet The Players” event, where Season Ticket Holders get the chance to stand in lines and have awkward interactions with their favorite* LA Kings!

 Groups Meet A Player

 *except Group D

And apparently… this happened:

Since all of #TeamTRH was too cool busy to attend last night’s festivities… we asked former North America’s Next Top Blogger contestant, Brian Rowland, to recap the Meet the Players event for us. Take it away, Brian….

When my buddy Ryan offered me his tickets to the LA Kings’ annual “Meet the Players” event on Monday afternoon. I said, ”sure,”  figuring that it would be fun to interact with some of the players from my favorite hockey team. Plus, I might get a chance to meet a few prominent LA Kings bloggers. I mean, all of the big guns would be there, right?

Hmm…

OK…

I think I’m starting to see a pattern here…

Oh well, it should still be fun. At least it wouldn’t take that long to get there, right?

I left my home in Costa Mesa at around 5:15. The doors opened at 6:00. I realized that I would probably be a little late, but I had no idea how bad the traffic was going to be…
“Luckily,” the players were also running late.

They were even coming from a shorter distance than I was…

I actually got to the Zoo at approximately 7:00, which was half an hour before when the players were scheduled to start signing autographs.

After eating a free cheeseburger, my friend Jose and I decided to get into our respective player lines. His ticket was for Group C (Quick, Muzzin, Fraser and Mitchell) and mine was for Group A (Brown, Voynov, Stoll, Lewis ad Regehr). This is what I found at the end of my line:

You can’t tell from the picture, but it goes on for further than a
Moscow bread line immediately after the fall of communism.
It was LOOOOONG.

“It’s OK,” I told myself. “I’m here, so I might as well embrace it.”

There was a surprising amount of counterfeit jerseys
among the season ticket holder population.

Shortly after arriving, a golf cart carrying Jeff Carter, Dan Carcillo and Tyler Toffoli drove past us on the way to its autograph station. The players on board did not look happy. Great.

…This should be fun.

I decided to just embrace the experience.

…Then line started moving at snail-envious pace of roughly 10 feet for every five minutes that passed.

Meanwhile, my friend Jose starts sending me photos like this:


Nice!

And this:

 Things that I will probably never get to do: Wear a Stanley Cup Ring.

Clearly I chose the wrong group. Oh well.

After waiting in line for about an hour, we got the announcement that in order to help the lines move faster, the players will no longer pose for photos.

This was disappointing. I didn’t really care about autographs and had only come to take pictures. Plus, I was wearing my “Dustin Brown for President” shirt from The TRH Gift Shoppe. There went my grandiose plans to snap a picture with him and create a new advertisement for the Gift Shoppe. You missed out, TRH. My face is a money maker.

At this point, the family behind me with two little girls under the age of five decide to just leave. All the girls wanted was a photo with Dustin Brown. Now that it was no longer a possibility, there was no reason for them to stick around. I can’t possibly convey how sad it was in this medium.

After about another half hour, the people in our line were informed that we can go to Group E instead, if we want, as there is no line there.

This is the group that Jeff Carter is in.

As I knew that I was going to be writing about the event for TRH, I felt that it was my duty to go.

After waiting in line for about five minutes, I make it up to the table. Along with Carter, Toffoli,  Carcillo (yes, this was apparently by the gorilla habitat, but I didn’t see any) and Martinez were a part of this group. I came up to Toffoli and greeted him thusly:

Me: “Hey, Top Titty! How’s it going?”

Martinez and Carcillo immediately start laughing, but Toffoli just rolls his eyes and doesn’t say anything.

Me: “So, you don’t like that nickname?”

TT: “Huh? Oh you mean because of them?” (Motions to Carcillo and Martinez).

He then doesn’t say anything else and just starts to ignore me.

Clearly he is ready for the next person in line.

I move on to Carcillo and Martinez. This is the interaction that I had with Sir Alec while having him sign a jersey for Jose’s daughter:

Me: “Hey, thanks for doing this.”

AM: “No problem.”

Me: “We need to see you back in the line up. We win when you play!”

AM:

This was followed by Martinez blatantly ignoring me.

Yikes. That’s 0-for-2 in my attempts to connect with these guys.

Oh well, at least there’s still JMFC, the holy grail for The Half.

Trust me, even though this photo is horrible, he’s still beautiful.

Here is the interaction that I had with him:

Me: “Hey, thanks for doing this. So, what do you think about The Royal Half’s obsession with you?”

JC: “What?”

Me: “The Royal Half? Do you know what that is?”

JC: “No.”

Me (flustered): “Oh, OK. Well, you should look it up when you have a chance.”

He could have been lying, but from the way he reacted, I genuinely believe that he didn’t know about TRH.  I wish there was some way to visually represent how this made me feel.

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, Half, but maybe you can use this as motivation to make him aware of your existence.

(Insert Indiana Matt photoshop of TRH standing outside of Jeff Carter’s house holding up a boombox like John Cusack)

Having received enough depressing information for the evening, there was nothing left for me to do but leave. I met back up with Jose and we made the long, sad journey back to Orange County.
The Royal Half has been a Los Angeles Kings fan since 1988 and a Half-Season Ticket Holder since 2002. He has seen the following goaltenders play in person for the Los Angeles Kings… Kelly Hrudey, Grant Fuhr, Byron Dafoe, Jamie Storr, Stephane Fiset, Felix Potvin, Cristobal Huet, Roman Cechmanek, Mathieu Garon, Adam Hauser, Jason LaBarbera, Barry Brust, Sean Burke, Dan Cloutier, Yutaka Fukufuji, Jean-Sebastien Aubin, Erik Ersberg, Jonathan Bernier, Jonathan Quick, Ben Scrivens and Martin Jones.You can follow The Royal Half on Twitter @TheRoyalHalf.
  • Wendy Shannon

    My husband and 4yr old son had similar experience with Carter and Crew, except Martinez was pleasant to our son. Had better luck with Quick and his group. Really disappointing experience overall. We are die hard fans, followed them to London.