Now Is The Time, Because It’s a Commercial — Be Right Back
Los Angeles is a city of ten million souls, each of them living and working and playing and every once in a while just desperately wanting to kick off their shoes and unbuckled their belts and plant themselves in front of the TV and watch local professional athletes play with their balls.
But, in a twin failure of civic responsibility and market exploitation, they can’t. There are no local professional athletes playing right now. With baseball over and basketball in danger of having its entire season cancelled and football long gone, there’s nothing to…
OK, yeah, I guess there’s hockey. But, come on. It’s hockey. You might was well say, “There’s soccer.”
(Little known fact: Hockey was invented when confused Canadian’s tried to play soccer.)
In a city of legendary (if not always legendarily successful) sports teams, hockey has always played a weak fourth-string to the Dodgers and the Lakers and whichever football team has happened to stop in for a few years. (Even without a football team in town, hockey is still fourth-string; they leave the third spot empty in case the Chargers show up.) The Kings haven’t grabbed any sort of attention since Wayne Gretzky was in town. The last notable thing the Kings did was unveil the Gretzky staute in front of Staples Center.
But they clearly sense that with the big boys bankrupt or locked out or just plan gone, it’s hockey’s time. In fact, the team’s slogan for the season — popping up on billboards all over the city — is “The Time Is Now.” They tactfully omit the “Because What Else Are You Going to Watch? Soccer?”
The billboards also emphasize individual players, apparently on the theory that some drive time glances are the only thing that separate shaggy-haired white guys on skates from Kobe-level recognition. And it’s a dandy plan, if you don’t actually look at the names on the Kings roster.
Dotted around Los Angeles, high on wall-sized billboards, the team proudly declares:
In my house, saying “It’s Brown Time” means something totally different.