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East Coast VS West Coast: NHL Edition
For as long as anyone can remember, there has always been one rivalry unlike any other. Whether in music, sports, anything, it has been the East coast & the West coast. One or the other. From Tupac & Biggie, to the Lakers & Celtics, it has been one of the funnest rivalries there has ever been. In the hockey world, whether you're from LA, Chicago, Anaheim or Boston, there is one thing that is commonly shared between fans... Their passion for their teams. Every year since organized hockey has been played in the United States, the winner of the Stanley Cup Finals throws a parade to share the trophy and the victory with it's diehard fans who have stuck with them all season long. People drink, cheer, scream just as they have all year long cheering their cities team to victory.
In 2013, the Chicago Blackhawks had the honor of holding a parade for their faithful fans after a hard earned championship against the Boston Bruins. What took place at the parade will forever be remembered as the perfect example of what EVERY championship parade should look like. It was reported that over 2 million people came out to Grand Park and surrounded the parade route to support their team. People going crazy, hardly any room for the floats holding the players to drive the route. People skipping work, ditching school, packing the streets of Chicago to create a scene that looks similar to that of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off". Millions, literally millions of people out on the streets, pumped out of their minds that their city has just won a championship and are now the best team in the NHL. Check the video below just to catch a little glimpse of it.
Fast forward a year now, the scene is similar but just across the Country. The Los Angeles Kings just won the Stanley Cup Finals against the New York Rangers in dramatic fashion. NBC reported it was the most watched Stanley Cup Finals in history, having viewers all over interested to see who would win this match up. The Kings won the series on their home ice in game 5 when Alec Martinez scored the game winner in double overtime. The place went crazy, the picture perfect way to end a series and hoist the cup in front of your home fans. What took place the following week was something a little bit disappointing. An estimated 17,000 people showed up to support their team as they drove around the city to celebrate with their fans. Now don't get me wrong, 17,000 people is A LOT of people. I would be psyched out of my mind to have 17,000 people show up to support me. In the hockey world however, it is a little bit embarrassing.
Where was everybody? Where were all of these "die-hard" Kings fans who supported them all season long? Does it have anything to do with being in LA and the heart of Hollywood? Maybe there was something more important going on that day? If you ask me, hockey in general means more to people back East. In LA, they expect every team in every sport to be good. They don't know any different. Back East, they also expect their teams to be good, but they go through the ups and downs with them. They live and die by their teams. Few things are more satisfying in life to watch your team struggle, go through rough patches only to see them conquer those, get out of those ruts and become champions. As a fan, what is more rewarding than that?
When all is said and done, both teams were fantastic. There is no arguing that they were the best teams in the league each year that they won. The fans, however, is the topic that should be argued. If LA wins the cup this next year, the fans better show up and act like they give a damn about their team. If the cup takes a trip back East this spring, there's no doubt the fans will party like nobodies business. I can't wait to see it.