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The Column

Kings vs. Sports Illustrated
2/20/07

Last week I wrote a column in Sports Illustrated making fun of the new billboard campaign that shows a hot girl and the phrase "Kings Hockey." I went as far as to suggest that the Kings should try to concentrate on winning before they put together another photo shoot.

Most of the letters I received were from fellow Kings fans, who also felt embarrassed by the ads (and the season). But a few of you, well, not so much.

It wasn't sports fans who missed my point. It was columnists. I can understand if it was only bloggers. I have long been under the impression that blogs take people who have nothing to say and give them nothing to write. But professional sports writers? Come on guys, a pre-requisite for writing a column ought to be literacy.

I admit, the timing of my column was ironic. My column printed the day that the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue hit newsstands. There's some humor to that, and some columnists saw it. But I wanted to respond to the few who were silly enough to actually be offended by the timing.

The premise of these columns was that I shouldn't mock the Kings for using sex to sell hockey games when Sports Illustrated does the same with their magazine. So as a public service, I'd like to explore the differences between the Kings and Sports Illustrated.

The Kings recently launched a billboard campaign featuring models wearing skimpy clothing.
Sports Illustrated recently launched its annual Swinsuit Issue, featuring models wearing skimpy clothing.
Similarity

The Kings are a hockey team.
Sports Illustrated is a magazine.
Difference

The Kings have won fewer than twenty hockey games this season.
Sports Illustrated has won fewer than twenty hockey games this season.
Similarity

Created in 1967, the Kings have never won a championship.
Created in 1954, Sports Illustrated was the first two time National Magazine Award for General Excellence winner in its category.
Difference

The Kings have the third worst defense in the league, only shutting out three teams thus far.
Sports Illustrated hasn't ever shut out a professional hockey team.
Similarity

LAKings.com is the top 100,000 most trafficked websites out there.
SportsIllustrated.com is in the top 50 most trafficked websites out there.
Difference

The Kings fanbase is mainly male.
Sports Illustrated's readers are mainly male.
Similarity

Despite the rest of the league setting attendance records, the Kings' average attendance is down about 5% from last year.
Sports Illustrated's reach is at an all-time high, with over 23 million readers every week.
Difference

When the Kings make a transaction, they're torn apart by bloggers who often have little to no knowledge of player personnel.
When I write a column for Sports Illustrated, I'm torn apart by bloggers who often have little to no knowledge of the shift key.
Similarity

The Kings traded Elisha Cuthbert's boyfriend, losing her star power.
Sports Illustrated ran a picture of Elisha Cuthbert with my column, using her star power.
Difference

The Kings are a laughing stock.
Sports Illustrated has humor columns.
Similarity

Many Kings players have had work done to their teeth.
Not all Sports Illustrated columnists are on the dental plan.
Difference

A large portion of people at a Kings game are celebrities and industry, and not really hockey fans.
A large portion of Sports Illustrated readers prefer basketball, baseball, and football, and are not really hockey fans.
Similarity

The Kings ought to concentrate on what they are doing right: their exciting young players, having a solid offense, and staying surprisingly affordable despite playing in one of the most expensive cities in the world.
Sports Illustrated is still a magazine.
Difference

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