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A Sad Day For Journalism…And For Us All

LOS ANGELES — The Rocky Mountain News (RMN) in Denver, Colorado, ceased operations on Friday, ending a nearly 150-year tradition of covering the news in Denver, throughout Colorado, the nation and the world—their first edition was published on April 23, 1859.

The disastrous state of our economy and the increasingly rapid decline of newspapers across the United States led to shuttering of the paper.

Why mention this on a blog covering the Los Angeles Kings? Two reasons… Read more of this post

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Indulge Me For A Few Moments

LOS ANGELES — I hope you will indulge me for a few minutes as I get a bit personal here.

Way back in the late 1980’s, well before the Internet was known as the Internet, I wrote my first recap of a Los Angeles Kings game.

That was a little over twenty years ago and it was nothing close to a solid piece of journalism. The “story” was written and posted on the long-defunct GEnie online service, once owned and operated by General Electric, back in the days of electronic bulletin boards and 2400 baud dial-up modems (thankfully, I never had to use a 300 baud modem).

Back then, just for fun, I was writing up my observations of each game along with detailed descriptions of each scoring play. My game reports had a fairly decent following and eventually found their way onto the National VideoTex Network online service (also defunct long ago).

About the same time, Kings fan Stan Willis, who was in Long Beach, California at the time, was running an e-mail list (often, but inaccurately, referred to as a “listserve”) devoted to the Kings and in between all the messages from subscribers discussing the team, just as you would find today on message boards on the World Wide Web, Willis posted detailed statistics that were hard to find in those days.

I joined up and started posting my game reports to the list and they were a pretty big hit. Eventually, the list grew and moved to another server at Stanford University, courtesy of then-Stanford undergraduate Nelson Lu. After he graduated, Chuq Von Rospach gave the list a home on his servers at plaidworks.com.

It was during this period that I began to polish up my act, so to speak, working to view the Kings as objectively as possible and reflect that in my writing, trying to adhere to the same standards that any journalist would and my writing benefitted from it. Read more of this post

From The Archives: Staples Center: Who, What And Where, Past, Present And Future

COMMENTARY/ANALYSIS: The following is a portion of an op-ed and analysis piece I wrote back on October 20, 1999, when Staples Center first opened. It was originally published on the Online Kingdom and is being re-published here as a response to what looked an awful lot like a paid infomercial advertising LA Live, the huge entertainment/retail complex directly across from Staples Center that was built on top of a couple of former Staples Center parking lots. This promo piece aired on Sunday night, January 11, 2009, following the UCLA vs. USC basketball game on FSN Prime Ticket.

During the program, Tim Leiweke, President/CEO of the Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns the Los Angeles Kings, Staples Center and LA Live, said that through the building of LA Live (and Staples Center, since the land LA Live was built on was acquired and razed as part of the building of Staples Center), AEG turned a decaying part of Downtown Los Angeles that was filled with liquor stores and other run-down businesses into the thriving entertainment area that it is today.

Leiweke would not be wrong about that and I am not saying that AEG should be demonized for their development efforts in Downtown Los Angeles. But ever since the construction of Staples Center and throughout the creation of LA Live, there has been virtually no recognition of the sacrifices made by those who were forced out of the area.

This story was published during all the gushing, ooh-ing and ahh-ing about the opening of the then-brand new arena to provide some balance. It is being re-published now in that very same spirit.


MONTEREY PARK, CA — After 31 seasons at the Great Western Forum, the Los Angeles Kings will play their first-ever game on Wednesday at the brand-spanking new Staples Center, their 1999-2000 home opener against the Boston Bruins.

Before this potentially spectacular night could take place, it took a couple of years worth of negotiations, political wrangling, lots of wheeling and dealing, eighteen months of record-breaking construction by hundreds of workers and $375 million from owners Philip Anschutz and Ed Roski, Jr., along with various corporations such as Staples and Fox, to get the new arena built in Downtown Los Angeles next to the Los Angeles Convention Center.

The new arena is a state-of-the-art facility, one where Kings fans (along with fans of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers) will be able enjoy the game more than at the aging Forum, along with more choices for food and refreshments, among all the other amenities never before seen here in the Los Angeles area.

In order to bring this new facility to Los Angeles sports fans, a lot of people had to make tremendous sacrifices. We have heard a lot about the nearly endless work put in by Staples Center officials as well as the long hours put in by construction workers who toiled until near midnight, six days a week, in order to complete construction in time for them to open the new building last weekend.

There have been numerous articles and stories in the local broadcast and print media about how incredible Staples Center is and how the new arena could be the catalyst to revitalizing the economy in Downtown Los Angeles. Most of these stories glow and gush about the new arena.

This article is very different. In this article, we will examine who and what was at the Staples Center site prior to construction. Read more of this post

Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket Backpedals on Rinkside View

LOS ANGELES — Watch out! If Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket (FSW/PT) executives backpedal any faster, they could run someone over while breaking the world land speed record.

Indeed, in response to the tremendous outcry and what appears to be pressure from the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks, FSW/PT executives Tom Feuer and Steve Simpson were in serious damage control mode on Wednesday and Thursday, stating that they will be “fixing” the rinkside view broadcasts, starting with the Kings vs. Ducks high definition telecast on Sunday, November 16. Read more of this post

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