|2009 - Dustin Brown
Time on Ice/Game: 19:15 Total (3rd amongst forwards), 3:10 PP (3rd), 1:25 SH (T-4th)
I think all dads have 10 jokes that they run through over and over over again. It makes sense: when you're younger you mostly hang out with your friends so you're constantly hearing and trying out new burns and jokes, but then you get a job where you're not allowed to make inappropriate jokes and then you get married and you can make inappropriate jokes but only if you don't want to have sex for a while (although since you're married you're probably not having sex anyway) and then you have kids so you can make inappropriate jokes but only if you want your kid to grow up a weirdo like Megalodon. Dads are busy and put upon so they don't really have time to think of good, solid jokes. Instead, they come up with 10 jokes that their two-year old enjoys and stick with them. And stick with them. And stick with them, even when their kids are grown up.
My dad has somewhere around 10 jokes. He yells, "When a Kelly gets up, everyone gets up!" when he wants us up in the morning (which at this point is like 4AM), he pretends he's going to leave our mom somewhere whenever she hops out of the car, he tells us to hit his hand and then pretends it's broken, he always puts his FUCKING FEET on you and then, when you complain, yells, "This is my house, boy!" He's done all of these things and they were all funny to me when I was a kid. (Well, not the pretending to leave my mom thing, that used to terrify me.) Then you turn 14 and your dad keeps doing all this stuff and you don't think it's funny; then you're 17 and you hate it and you think he's an idiot.
The funny thing is, your friends will think your dad is funny. I have had several friends comment on how my dad is "cool" or "funny," and I'm always flabbergasted. "My dad? The guy over there in the blue fleece and the yellow pants he bought and then called me to brag because they only cost $4?" That guy's not funny. It works the other way, too; I think my buddy Matt's dad is hilarious but Matt sure doesn't think so. Matt's dad's best dad joke comes every time his family crosses the Arizona border. The border guards always ask you if you have any food to declare and Matt's dad always replies, "Just these two nuts in the back!" That's funny to me, but Matt's heard it since he was 4 so it's not funny anymore to him. Or maybe I just think it's funny because I like the idea of Matt's dad saying that while Matt rages in the backseat. I think when it's your dad you're embarrassed that he's more Al Bundy than Atticus Finch, but it's when it's someone else's dad you don't have to worry about them embarrassing you and can simply look at them as regular people.
Dustin Brown is a dad, and I kinda get the feeling that Kings' fans are his children. Whenever I read other blogs or their comments I see remarks like, "Dustin Brown is so good," or, "Man I'd kill to have him on our team," and I think, "Really? That guy? The guy that always misses the net and flips himself into the boards?" I think we as Kings fans been around Brown for so long and have seen the 10 things he does* so many times that we're kind of numb to the good. Instead, we focus on the bad. Brown has gone from one of the most beloved players on the team to one of the most derided and I think it's simply because we're numb to his positives now. 3 years ago, we looked at Brown as a future hero of the team, a future captain and current 30-goal scorer. Now, we recognize that he is what he is. And we rebel against it. It's what teenagers do.
*The 10 Things Dustin Brown Does
1) Makes babies
4) Shoots really hard and inaccurately
5) Draws penalties
6) Goes offside
7) Opens his mouth slightly while covering his front teeth with his lip so you can't see he's missing his incisors
8) Stands in front of the net on the power play, doesn't do anything
9) Leads, I guess
10) Signs undervalued contracts
At some point, every boy grows up and learns to accept their fathers, probably because they realize that they've turned into him.** I hope the same thing will happen between Kings' fans and Brown. No matter how frustrating he can be at times, the fact is that he once again led the league in penalties drawn, he had the highest quality of competition among Kings regulars, and he once again scored over 20 goals. My dad is goofy but he also put food on the table and made it so I never had to worry about much; when you're older, you appreciate the latter more than the former. Dustin Brown is good, no matter how many times he misses the net. He won't be traded any time soon, he'll score 25 goals next season, and he'll probably make us cover our eyes in embarrassment at least once a game. That's what dads do.
**Me: Check it out, I just bought a reversible belt!
Everyone else: You're an idiot.
Me: Check it out, I just bought a reversible belt!
My dad: I own 3.