So now you know how to be cool and watch hockey, but you undoubtedly have a few questions about how to watch a game. First things first: yes, they have hockey in Southern California. Don't be a jerk. Second, here are a few inside tips an experienced hockey watcher like myself can give you. Hopefully we can get a few fellow hockey fans to give any inside tips they may have in the comments. Questions:
1. Where do I park?
As with all things in Southern California, parking is a bitch at hockey games. Everyone knows that one secret place that's a minute from the arena and yet is somehow free; a magical place, where they put air in your tires and little trees on your rearview mirror while you're inside. In reality, most of these places are 30 minutes away through downtown Los Angeles and getting your car back in good condition is a 50/50 proposition. In Los Angeles, I usually park at the LA Convention Center: it's extremely close, it's covered, and if you get there early to watch warm-ups it's usually only $15. Of course, you'd have to be a real loser to actually want to watch warm-ups! (*nervous laugh, pulls collar)
You can try the parking spaces that are a little farther away, of course, but I'm generally of the opinion that it's easier to pay $5 extra bucks than deal with the hassle of walking. That's the American way!
Parking at the Honda Center is better: it's generally cheaper, it's right off the 57 freeway, and you don't have to worry about all those pesky fans getting in the way! My favorite place to park at the Honda Center is... well actually, I can't tell you because it's not exactly legal. Find your own place to park! Anyway, parking at Honda is easy so don't worry about it too much.
Alright, now you're inside. Now, you need to get a reading of the people around you. The next question...
2. What are the fanbases like?
Anaheim fans: dumb and boisterous. LA fans: not quite as dumb but a thousand times more smug so it all balances out. Ducks fans are infuriating because they just don't seem to care. They go to the game, cheer when the Ducks score, shrug when they lose, then drive off in their raised trucks while holding their flat-brimmed hats with one hand (presumably). Their team makes the playoffs? Hey, cool. Their team misses the playoffs? Oh well, it's just a game. Care, dammit!
Kings fans are infuriating because they hold some weird sense of entitlement; they think that because they like a fringe sport and they've never won anything that they deserve a good team. I think they secretly like having a terrible team because then they get to complain some more. Now that the Kings are good... hell, they'll probably still complain. All fans are annoying but I think the most annoying are those that cheer for the same team as you.
1. Where do I get a ticket/drink?
Tickets: Stubhub, Ticketmaster
The Kings run a Thursday night special where if you're a college student (or look like a cherub and still have your college ID) then you can get in for like $10. Sit on the end that the home team shoots at twice; sitting on the end is better because you can see the play develop. Follow the centers on the team and learn who the top center and best defensive center are on each team to get an idea of what the coaches are trying to do. Pay attention and for God's sake, DON'T YELL, "SHOOT!!!" WHEN YOUR TEAM IS ON THE POWER PLAY. Jeez do I get tired of that.
Now, for the most important matter...
In Los Angeles:
If you see a goofy guy in a green shirt at Danny K's, punch him in the gut and tell him Rudy sent ya.