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A Kings fan's need for the Stanley Cup

Eric Nusbaum, a staffer at The Classical website, tries to explain why he flew down from Seattle for Wednesday's first chance ever for his Los Angeles Kings to skate the Stanley Cup. For survivors of the team's four decades of wandering in the weeds of the hockey world, the "palpability of the wanting" was everywhere inside Staples Center. "The Cup was in the goddamn building and so were we," he writes. "The glorious moment of unblemished triumph was upon us." Excerpt:

I talk about my Stanley Cup experience in part because I can’t quite get over the fact that I’ve even had a Stanley Cup experience. After all, in many ways, Game Four was just like every other Kings game I’ve been to at Staples Center: same Kiss Cam, same dumb trivia contest for free parking at the airport, same jumbotron race between different flavors of Lemonheads candy. Same Pat Sajak. Frank the usher was there to greet us at our aisle like he has been ever since my dad bought season tickets years ago. Even the result, a frustrating and middling 2-1 defeat, felt familiar. But then again, nothing was quite familiar. Outside, it was still daytime when the puck dropped at little after 5:00 p.m. L.A. Live was packed with people wearing black and white. Somebody had outfitted the Magic Johnson and Oscar De La Hoya statues with Kings home jerseys....The parking lot that we normally pay $10 for had a sign up that said $50, and another sign below it that said LOT FULL....

The rally towel in my hands became like a child’s blanket. I hugged it and wrung it and twisted it, but never thought to wave it. GO KINGS GO chants were abandoned in favor of WE WANT THE CUP, WE WANT THE CUP. The words themselves had a koan-like quality. The way it felt to scream them, and the way they sounded in chorus, were more powerful than any actual meaning. WE WANT THE CUP, we shouted, more intense and focused and sincere with each syllable. And I did want it.

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