My take on the Kings' exciting playoff win last night was really just a sequence of quick observations. Brian Kennedy, my seatmate in the press box who covered the game for Insidehockey.com, offers instead the deeper view of a lifelong student of the game who has authored books about the sport's cultural place, and is an academic — and who adds some actual analysis. I'll take a leap and assume that Kennedy, the newest contributor to Native Intelligence, is the only English professor in the press box — holder of a PhD in British literature, he teaches at Pasadena City College — though another seatmate, Gann Matsuda, blogs year-round about the Kings at Frozen Royalty and works in the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Sciences.
Kennedy's writing first came to my attention through his 2007 book "Growing Up Hockey," which creatively explores the game's hold in Canada and elsewhere. His academic specialties are the contemporary novel and post-colonial literature and theory, and he has published in both areas as well as in California studies. His book, "The People and Promise of California" (Pearson 2008, co-edited with Mona Field) is used in college classrooms. He is also the author most recently of "Living the Hockey Dream," (Folklore 2009) as well as essays in "Canada's Game: Hockey and Identity" (McGill-Queen's UP 2009) and "Now is the Winter: Thinking about Hockey." Check out his post at Native Intelligence, which delves into the story of these playoffs.