You may like hockey just enough to watch but if your team isn’t it, it’s hard to care. The battle for the Stanley Cup commences tonight as the New Jersey Devils and Los Angeles Kings square off for sports greatest prize: Lord Stanley’s Cup. The Colorado Avalanche were never in it. You have to make the playoffs to have a chance and they didn’t even catch a whiff. And since the Avs may be years from competing for the Cup ever again, you’re still going to have to root for someone. So here’s the way to decide who to root for when you just don’t care.
Enemies of the Avalanche
The Devils play in the other conference, and were gracious enough to cough up a glorious game seven in Denver to the Avs, solidifying the team’s second Cup win. The Kings were a pesky playoff nemesis around the same time and while they provided some epic battles while the Avs were busy being one of the league’s best, they’ve been a thorn in their side ever since. The Kings play the Avs more during the season and they probably helped send the team packing this year. And you never want to see a team from a nearby division win it all. Ever.
New Jersey is the butt of a thousand jokes and LA is a magical wonderland so this, on the surface, seems easy. But New Jersey –outside of what you know from the Sopranos- is surprisingly beautiful and not the pollution filled wasteland we were all led to believe. LA is a decaying hellhole with problems that will make you love Denver enough to kiss the ground where the Occupy Stink Street “port-a-potty” was located. And, if New Jersey is good enough for Bruce Springsteen, shouldn’t it be good enough for you?
Sure, any fan from the east coast deserves their own special wing in Hell, but Devils fans are passionate about their team and have won the Cup enough to know what they’re talking about. LA fans, on the other hand, have their own section in the dictionary under “bandwagon assholes.” LA fans are some of the worst human beings on the planet. Not because of their sports knowledge, but because of the fact that you’ll have to see Justin Timberlake’s weasly mug on the glass for every Kings home game for the next two weeks. Unbearable assholes is an understatement and it’s a shame they’ve been rewarded with a good team, playing for the greatest trophy in sports. I wish nothing but pain and embarrassment on these jackoffs and compared to them, New Jerseyites seem like goddamned Rhodes Scholars.
I’m not sure what the Kings wear. Sometimes it’s a black and white, sometimes it’s purple, and sometimes they use the old school crown. Do they even wear the NWA era logo anymore? I can’t keep track. If they stuck to one, like the plain black and white, I may be in. But because they can’t decide and I’m haunted by Justin Timberlake’s baboon nose, I gotta go with the Devils’ simple and understated black and red.
Jonathan Quick is probably going to share a hot tub with Justin Timberlake and Kenny Chesney after the first game in LA so let’s turn our attention to Martin Brodeur. Brodeur owns the record for most career regular season wins, regular season shutouts, playoff shutouts, over time wins and the list goes on. Securing victory in this year’s Stanley Cup, means he closes in on another milestone: his fourth Cup win. He wouldn’t just cement his place in NHL history with a victory, he’d slam the door shut on the monument to his career. He’s one of the greatest and will hopefully go out in style in a couple of weeks. Kenny Chesney will weep into his Zima.
So there you have it. I’ve been reduced to root for a team from New Jersey because I don’t want the jerks from LA to have one moment of joy. I do want Brodeur to get another Cup, because I believe excellence should be rewarded: not flopping onto the bandwagon en masse. And unless you’re a celebrity who’s looking to get hired on to the cast of Battleship 2, you too should be rooting for the New Jersey Devils.
Prediction: Devils in 6