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Dustin Penner

Watching YOUR…Los Angeles Kings: The Power of JUJU

Since the Kings have begun their playoff run, I have contributed to every single game they have won by providing my unique form of support…my juju.
Juju is what I define as the fan’s ability to impact games. Active fans of every sport can identify with what I am talking about. That feeling that if you just wear the right clothes and follow the correct routine, you can impact the team in a positive way. You can call it superstition, or stupidity, but you know what I call it.
I have been a believer in the power of juju for years. I started out watching Bruins and Lakers games on TV finding that if I sat in a particular spot on the couch, teams were more likely to win. The science behind these beliefs is inexact but based on personal experience; juju is a very real and powerful tool for any professional sports team.
It may be the longing to belong to a team or the desire to put my own energy into a game, but following the tenants of juju closely makes me feel more engaged with the game on TV and tied to any successes or failures. Just as a good fan should.


What I wear: Old school Kings Sweater. I say old school because right after I invested in this jersey (the most expensive piece of sports paraphernalia I own) the Kings decided to switch to their smooth new black and white jerseys. I will also match the jersey with a pair of old basketball shorts (dark blue Nikes to be precise).  
Where I sit: My 55 inch LED flatscreen is surrounded by three couches aligned in a U-formation. I have found that sitting on the far right seat of the middle couch has been incredibly beneficial for the Kings fore-check.

Who is with me: I have been joined by my brother (Little Que-Ese) lying on the white couch to my left for 11 of the 12 Kings victories. He also has his own Juju (particularly how he places the blanket and which blanket he uses) and I respect the intensity he brings to watching the Kings.
Big and Little Que-Ese Starting Their  Unique Juju Stylings Early On
So to run a little experiment on how effective my juju has been during this recent NHL playoff run by the Kings, I went cold turkey. I didn’t follow any of the habits I had developed over the previous 11 wins and hoped the Kings would be good enough to win the Western Conference on their own.
I watched the Los Angeles Kings duke it out in a nail-biter with the Phoenix Coyotes ALONE. Little Que-Ese (LQ-E) has started summer school classes and has wrongfully prioritized mastering organic chemistry over helping carry our Kings to the Stanley Cup.
So I was alone on my couch when the following timeline took place:
1st Period

4:20 –  Taylor Pyatt tips-in the first Coyotes goal. I am not too nervous. I am wearing sweatpants and a white v-neck undershirt. I figure without LQ-E there, my juju will be useless even if I am wearing the appropriate gear.
11:13 – Anze Kopitar scores the equalizer. I am feeling a tad better but after the period I text friend of Mambino, Dangerous Dave “Fuck me, we look like shit.”
The period ends and I am still wearing my same outfit and *gulp* sitting on the white couch that runs the length of the front of my house. That’s right, not only am I missing my partner in juju AND not wearing my Kings gear, I am on the wrong couch. What happens next only confirms how close I came to costing the Kings a victory.
2nd Period
6:23 – Marc-Antione Pouliot scores a backhanded goal with an assist from “that punk Klesla” (TM pending). Kings look more aggressive to start the period but the Yotes are really bringing pressure in the neutral zone.