When the New York Rangers were eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs last Friday night, it's understandable that not many New Yorkers would have a great deal of interest in the finals. But even this is ridiculous.
On Thursday evening, after Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final had already been played, with the Kings defeating the Devils 2-1, ABC-7 News in New York City had an interesting take on the series.
The station reported that, while the Devils did in fact eliminate the Rangers, it would instead be the New York Islanders that would advance to the Stanley Cup Final to face the Kings. This verbal snafu was bad enough without the accompanying large graphic, shown above, highlighting an Islanders vs. Kings playoff series.
Apparently, most television sports stations in California are having a hard time distinguishing between the Kings hockey team and the Sacramento Kings basketball team. Obviously, one is very good and one is very bad, but if you watch or listen to California sports reporters, your confusion as to which is which is understandable.
Several news affiliates in the California market have published stories about the Los Angeles Kings using logos and graphics from the Sacramento Kings.
It's gotten so bad that the Los Angeles Kings have put out a chart on their website, which you can find here, explaining exactly who they are, what they do and where they play. The graphic even goes to (humorously) great pains to distinguish between the sports of hockey and basketball, drawing sharp contrasts with the Sacramento Kings basketball team.
To me, there only seems one logical solution to this problem. It's obvious that nobody in the New York metro area cares about the New Jersey Devils. For all their success, they are what they'll always be: the step-child that nobody wants to talk about.
The Los Angeles Kings, on the other hand, are just a victim of the overburdened L.A. sports market. With the Lakers, Dodgers and Angels grabbing all the headlines, some confusion is understandable. Especially with a franchise, that before this year, hasn't been overly successful since a guy wearing No. 99 left.
The solution is simple: The New York Islanders should face the Sacramento Kings in a best-of-seven alternating series. Game 1 will be hockey, Game 2 basketball and so on. Maybe this will get some people in their respective cities to pay attention.
Or maybe not. Either way, though, it should be interesting to watch.