When all else fails
Desperate Kings using sex to sell tickets
Posted: Monday February 12, 2007 2:58PM; Updated: Monday February 12, 2007 10:56PM
I don't know how they did it -- but the Los Angeles Kings have become a bigger joke than the Philadelphia Flyers. That's like having a bigger head than Barry Bonds -- it's supposed to be impossible.
Rest assured, the Flyers still have a worse record. Hell, there were football teams with more wins than the Flyers. But the Kings are not just the second worst team in hockey, they're also a bunch of girls.
That is what a recent ad campaign makes me think, anyway. If you drive around L.A., you will see many billboards that simply say "Kings Hockey" with a picture of an attractive blonde in a Kings uniform. The good news is that it's Los Angeles, so you can look at the billboard at three miles an hour.
I have nothing against a hot blonde. Hey, I spent much of my high school years hoping I could have something against a hot blonde. Anyway, my point is not that hot blondes are bad. They just shouldn't embody Kings hockey.
The idea must be to attract fans by selling sex, something that beer commercials and the LPGA have done for years. But this is not what the Kings need right now. Yes, Elisha Cuthbert is a Kings fan -- but that's the only thing hot and blonde about the team. My apologies to Rob Blake.
Right now the Kings are an embarrassment. After spending the first half of last season dominating the league, they dropped from first right out of playoff contention. This season, they were never in it. They're actually 2-0-3 in their past five games. Which is impressive, because that seven points is as many points as they earned all of January.
The phrase "Kings Hockey" is already a misnomer, since they haven't been playing much of it this year. With the second-worst record in the league, and a road record worse than the Flyers, the Kings are atrocious. And I'm a Kings fan.
This is a team that has never won a Stanley Cup. A team that has lost three of its last four first-round playoff series. A team that has been swept in a playoff series eight times. A team that willingly wears purple. They came into this season with problems, and it's only getting worse.
Michael Cammalleri is out with a muscle strain. Rumors have Brent Sopol going to the Lightning. And even Cuthbert's boyfriend Sean Avery is a Ranger now. So what's supposed to get me to a Kings game? A hot blonde chick? Hardly. They're everywhere in L.A. I don't need to pay $20 to hope I see one in between penalty shots.
I'm not sure what the Kings should advertise instead. Perhaps their family pack, which actually allows you to go to a game with your family for under $100. Maybe their current non-losing streak (though that will end before the glue dries). But certainly not a random hot chick.
How about this -- a billboard with a picture of Wayne Gretzky above the phrase, "Hey, we couldn't win a cup with him, either."
Maybe I'm being too harsh. Maybe I am just a frustrated Kings fan mad at the team for playing so poorly. Maybe a model really does embody Kings hockey. After all, she probably can't skate, takes forever to shoot, and her head is as empty as the Staples Center during a game.
Steve Hofstetter is a nationally touring comedian whose column appears every Monday on SI.com. See him take jabs at more teams at minuteorso.com