Have you ever been to a pro league victory parade? Is it worth going?

Well, as luck would have it, the L.A. Kings have won the Stanley Cup. Although I have never paid attention to the NHL, even I know it’s a pretty big deal here. The Kings fans I’ve known over the years tend to be, well, fanatical to a greater extent than those of the Dodgers or the Lakers, for instance. In companies I’ve worked at, it’s been the Kings fans who played hockey themselves in organized leagues (this is L.A., remember) and it’s they who have larger than life posters of Wayne Gretsky and Luc Robitaille on their office walls.

So, next Thursday afternoon is the victory parade in downtown L.A. I have never been to one of these events, and in the past, fighting my way through the traffic and then having to pay exorbitant amounts for parking would have been a dealbreaker. But today there’s a better option since we’ve now got a train that comes almost reasonably close to my house and goes straight to Staples Center–in fact, they named the Metro station there after Chick Hearn. So I’m thinking this might be kind of interesting, and since I’m free that day, what have I got to lose?

Would you go if you were here? Is there anything in particular I should watch for, and watch out for?

I have been to three - St. Louis Rams (which isn’t “my” team so I didn’t really care) and the Cardinals in 2006 and 2011 (which is “my” team and which was awesome). So yeah, if you like the Kings I’d say to go.

Advice-wise, just figure out the route they’re taking and see if you can figure out where you’ll get the best views. Watch for the Cup, obviously, if it’ll be there, and snap some pics of your favorite players. I liked chatting up folks around me about their favorite memories from the season/playoffs or favorite players or whatever. Everybody’s in a great mood so it’s generally a good time.

When the Pittsburgh Steelers won their last Super Bowl, I had jury duty during the victory parade. I caught a bus to town because I didn’t feel like driving and paying $30 for parking. Completely forgot there was a parade until I got downtown.

Um, I guess it was okay. There sure was a lot of people there, every sidewalk along the parade route was jammed with people, and the police were constantly kicking people off of newspaper boxes, trash cans, etc. I think there was some sort of speeches or something at the end of the parade but I didn’t get to see that. Put it this way, I’m glad they gave us an extra long lunch so we could see it, but If I hadn’t had my civic responsibility I would have stayed home. Athletes riding in cars waving at people? Ehhhhh.

The Red Wings have pulled in well over 1 million people(nearly 1 1/2, I think) at their parades and my answer is…no, it’s crazy crowded.

Unless you have kids who want to get a chance to see the team, skip it.

Crowds on foot I can handle, but I go out of my way to avoid crowds on the road. Normally, I wouldn’t be interested in this because I’m not much of a sports fan in any case. But this is significant for L.A., and would probably provide good material for my blog, which is about any and all things L.A. From reading today’s sports section of the Times, I gather the significance of this event to the locals is somewhere between the Red Sox winning the Series (which has happened) and the Cubs doing the same (which has not happened since you could buy cocaine and heroin OTC at the drugstore).

OTOH one way I do not do well in crowds of pedestrians is that I’m not very tall.

I can’t imagine that the Cup wouldn’t be there, and getting a pic of it so it’s recognizably in L.A. would definitely be the “money shot” as it were. This Cup gets around quite a bit; five or six years ago at my then employer–a major pay TV provider–there was some sort of NHL-related event going on at which a couple of the coworkers I mentioned in the OP got themselves photographed standing next to the Cup.

Unfortunately, my camera went to a two-color effect for all the important shots. This happened after I set it to “auto”. You’d think that with a 12-megapixel camera, when you set it to auto and you’re outside in daylight, you’d get full color. But in case anyone’s interested, here are some of my pictures, such as they are:

Link I

(Next three shots are taken from video clips, and suffer some loss in quality–including, unfortunately, the loss of color)

Link II

Hoisting the Cup

Numerous news items have mentioned how most the team members themselves were snapping pictures of the crowd; it’s obviously as big a deal for them as it was for us.

Inadvertently, I achieved an interesting effect with this next shot, taken of the crowd before the motorcade passed through, and before I lost color. As one usually does in these situations, I was holding the camera at arms’ length overhead. In the light I couldn’t really see the screen well enough to aim properly, so I must pointed the camera too high. I seem to have gotten the tops of people’s heads a couple of blocks down the street, but somehow the resulting shot looks as if I had shinnied up a light pole or something.

“Overhead” shot.

I went to the Grey Cup parade when the Alouettes won their second-in-a-row. I happened to be in the area anyways, and it was rather cool to see the Cup and the players I’ve been watching on TV all season (never made it to a live game). Got a smile and wave from Étienne Boulay, which made me happy, because he’s hawt. I wouldn’t have driven into the city for it, but I live here anyways and am often in an area close to the Montreal Parade route.

A significant factor in my deciding to go was that I didn’t need to drive, but, as it turned out, I had such a good time I think I wouldn’t have minded driving. I wish I’d gotten a picture of the platforms in the 7th Street subway station, which were swarming with people dressed in Kings attire. I kept having to remind myself, “this is L.A…the car city…”

Well, I’d drive thousands of miles for a Habs Stanley Cup parade, but for the Grey Cup, I’m not quite as crazy about the sport and going to a parade if transit is available is reasonable to me, but I wouldn’t go out of my way too much for it. I actually live in the city and can walk to the parade route in about 20-30 minutes anyways, so it’s more theoretical anyways!

nm, i was too late!