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The Inside Track | T.J. SIMERS

Watching Kings Has Him Smacking His Lips

November 04, 2001|T.J. Simers

I paid $161 for the tickets, $15 for parking, $5 for a program, $28.35 for the turkey sandwich, pretzel, ice cream bar, nachos and soda for the wife--fortunately she had eaten dinner earlier--and then the Kings' game started.

No one scored in the first period.

I'm told the Kings scored a goal in the second period, but I was off buying a frozen margarita for the wife. Another $7.75, including tip, and I think she was having the time of her life.

Early in the third period there was a break in the action, and frankly I probably wouldn't have noticed, but everyone stopped skating and I remember waking up when the public address announcer ordered everyone to look at the screen on the overhead scoreboard--and play "Give 'em a kiss."

Now ordinarily I don't pay attention to such nonsense because I'm in the press box working hard on ways to make fun of USC, but trapped in the stands I found myself looking at the scoreboard with everyone else, and wondering where was this kiss-me scam 35 years ago when my only shot of ever locking lips with Carol Hart was having everyone in a sold-out arena screaming in unison that she had to do it.

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BY THE way, I recommend anyone who is having an affair or who finds themselves sitting next to Georgia Frontiere to head for the exits when start this "Give 'em a kiss" game.

Now when the first couple popped up on the scoreboard the other night, the twosome pecked, and everyone in Staples went wild. The camera found another man and a woman, they smooched and the crowd went wild.

I looked up, and that was my face on the screen next. No one was sitting on my right, so I turned to my wife, puckered up, and she went wild.

Twenty-nine years we've been married, and she's giving me a kiss on camera like it's a screen test with Richard Gere wearing a three-piece suit (she's mentioned those fantasies), and I'm thinking to myself I had no idea hockey games could be so exciting. In fact, I wonder if they sell hockey videos for home use.

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AS FOR THE Kings, and how they did the rest of the evening, let me just say I had a better night than they did.

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I USED UP part of my kids' inheritance to spend a hockey night at Staples because I was under the impression the Kings had signed a certified superstar in Jason Allison, who has now played in something like five or six games with L.A. and has yet to score a goal. I know my kids aren't very happy with the guy. The grocery store bagger also telephoned--I imagine to express his dismay at giving away the family fortune, but I didn't accept the collect call.

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I PASSED ON the USC football game Saturday, of course, because the Clippers were in town.

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CLIPPER COACH Alvin Gentry says city officials should start planning another championship parade for the Lakers.

"I think they are much better than last year," Gentry said. "I don't think there is a team in the league that can beat them in a seven-game series."

THE ANGELS have raised ticket prices, as if anyone needed another excuse not to go to their games.

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THREE MINUTES to go in the season for UCLA, trailing 20-14 to Washington State, and on Channel 9, sideline reporter Jim Watson checks in with a report on cheese. Obviously the guy is trying to get a job with Fox.

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THERE'S NOW no time left in the UCLA season, the Bruins failing to demonstrate what it takes to be a championship team, and a team that could have gone undefeated might have to explain three consecutive losses.

They'll like El Paso in the dead of winter.

Pretty soon I'll be skipping UCLA football games to watch the Clippers.

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I WENT to the Ducks' game Friday night, and for a while there, I thought I might be the only one in attendance. I used a press pass, because I couldn't afford to buy tickets for two hockey games in the same week/month/year.

Based on my vast experience now as a hockey spectator, the Ducks have more life than the Kings. I'll be eager to see how much they improve when I see them again next season.

*

IT'S TIME-CONSUMING, but I don't mind helping Gentry coach the Clippers, because frankly it's hard to keep track of so many talented, developing players, and Gentry has this bad habit of forgetting Corey Maggette.

"I can't play 10 guys," Gentry said, and when I suggested he has something against Maggette, making Maggette his 10th player, Gentry said that wasn't true.

Maggette was the 10th player to go into the game for the Clippers.

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THE CLIPPERS' Lamar Odom has to stop giving the eye to the officials as if they all have it in for him--refusing to make the call when he's fouled. Of course, it's obvious they do have it in for him.

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AN IMPROVING Michael Olowokandi and Quentin Richardson, along with the impressive addition of Elton Brand, make the Clippers even more exciting than they were a year ago when they put the best show on in town. Make sure if you go to a game you stop by Donald Sterling's seat in the front row and remind him he has promised to keep these guys together and pay the big bucks--make him squirm.

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HOW MANY people are hoping tonight's seventh game of the World Series comes down to the ninth inning, the Diamondbacks ahead by a run with Byung-Hyun Kim on the mound? Now that's my idea of an episode of "Survivor."

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TODAY'S LAST word comes in an e-mail from Trojan John:

"Don't you feel real stupid right now after writing about how good UCLA was going to be this season?"

Excuse me, but I was talking about the basketball team.

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T.J. Simers can be reached at t.j.simers@latimes.com.

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