Los Angeles Kings fans filing into Saturday’s home opener against, coincidentally(?), Nashville were treated to a pleasant surprise: a big, blank space where, previously, a banner celebrating Taylor Swift’s 16 sold-out concerts had been displayed. Kings fans are hopeful that this will reverse the franchise’s fortunes, as if it’s Swift’s fault the team hasn’t won instead of that they’re old and shitty.
The banner’s still there, just covered up:
The banner was raised in the summer of 2015 after Swift set the arena record for sold-out performances. Swift has not played the building since then, which feels sort of rude, but more importantly, the Kings have been dogcrap. Since winning Cups in 2012 and 2014, L.A. is 1-8 in playoff games, and finished dead last in the West last season.
The Kings beat the Predators 7-4 last night, their first game shielded from the malignant gaze of the banner.
Staples Center president Lee Zeidman told the Los Angeles Times that the decision to cover Swift’s banner was solely the Kings’. (The Clippers already cover the banner when they play, along with the Lakers’ and Sparks’ banners.) Zeidman also said the arena has no plans to take down the banner.
I’m sympathetic to Kings fans here. I’m a Rangers and Knicks fan, so it’s always a bit depressing to go to a game and look up to the rafters to relive my teams’ recent glories like “Billy Joel Most Consecutive Performances” and “Billy Joel Most Lifetime Performances.”