Kings fans show support with tattoos
Kings fans are some of the most passionate in the league and one fan in particular has received quite an overwhelming amount of attention lately for his personal expression of passion for the team.
Meet Sean Heirigs.
He's the owner of House of Ink Tattoo shop in Venice Beach, a skilled tattoo artist of 20 years and a lifelong Kings fan.
In the excitement of run to the Cup, Sean publicly announced via twitter that if the Kings won it all, he would personally do Kings Stanley cup champion related tattoos for free.
The word spread like wildfire.
When I originally caught wind of this tattoo buzz, I took to twitter and curiously posed if anyone had received one of these tattoos. I had honestly only expected a few responses...this was far from the case.
(And a special thank you to all who responded and were so eager to be involved, I genuinely loved hearing your stories and seeing your tats).
With such an overwhelming response, I was more eager than ever to go check out what all this hype was about. So when fellow Ice Crew member Gabby mentioned she was going to get one of these tattoos I was eager to tag along and play the role of moral support as she embarked on her adventure to permanently mark her Kings pride.
Who would have guessed that hidden in the streets of Venice is a Kings fan mecca?
Upon arriving, it was easy to tell that this particular shop was an avid Kings supporter. A large banner hung outside above the main entrance reading, "GO KINGS GO." Once inside, the walls were filled with Kings paraphernalia including over a dozen autographed pucks, a team signed stick, player cards and a miniature cup appropriately displayed on the counter top.
"Seeing them hoist the Cup was the fifth best thing in my life. My three children, of course marrying my beautiful wife and then winning the Stanley Cup," Sean said. "I promised myself I wouldn't cry, but as soon as we walked outside of Staples Center, the tears just started pouring.
"I love tattooing, it's my life and tattooing Kings logos and the Stanley Cup brings the two passions together."
Although this was not Gabby's first time under the ink needle, she still had a bit of nervous excitement. Ultimately, I don't think I ended up being good moral support seeing as I got incredibly distracted by the intriguing conversation I struck up with another Kings fan, who just so happened to be waiting for his turn to add to his already impressive kings tattoo collection.
In less than 10 minutes, Gabby was officially marked. On her right hip read "Believe" in a small elegant font with a tiny "LA" dotting the "i."
"Believe was the motto for the team throughout the entire season," Gabby said. "It's a reminder to me to have belief in all things in life, to keep believing."
Her tattoo was one of the hundreds Sean has already completed and he said he still has a list of over 800 to go.
One fan was even 72 years old.
"I never thought the turnout would be so big, but there is a lot of passion in our fans," Sean said. "I will keep doing them until every Kings fan who wants one, has one."
Sports have always played a role in bringing people together, to be a part of something more. One of the primary reasons people enjoy sports so much is because they provide us with stories that inspire us and give us something to believe in.
So be like Gabby and continue to believe.
Or get a tattoo.