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More Than A Beam

Growing Up As A Kings Fan

By William EvansPublished 2 months ago 3 min read
More Than A Beam
Photo by Leo_Visions on Unsplash

Growing up in Sacramento, there was often a negative stigma attached to our city, perpetuated not just by outsiders, but also by some of the locals themselves. Sacramento was seen as a place to escape from, and a city overshadowed by its larger counterparts in the vast ocean of California.

Amidst this backdrop, the Kings emerged as a beacon of hope and pride for many Sacramentans, including myself. In a city where our identity was often questioned, the Kings provided an opportunity to feel a sense of belonging and unity. They didn’t just have to be a basketball team; they could be cultural ambassadors, showcasing the heart and soul of Sacramento to the world.

But as many of us from Sacramento know, we sucked. Like, really sucked. For a long time. Making the NBA Playoffs was a distant memory for those that could remember it, and a nonexistent memory for those too young, or not born yet.

For members on the older side of generation z like myself, I can’t remember the “glory days” of the early 2000’s. I was barely conscious. All I know of those days are the tales told by our ancestors (my mom and dad who are only fifty three). It wasn’t until last season when the Kings propelled themselves back into the playoffs, with a large purple laser beam to boost their marketing, that many people both from and not from our home started to say… “Sacramento”.

The team's struggles often mirrored the perception based challenges faced by our city. As they battled through seasons of disappointment and heartbreak, so did we, fighting against the self manifesting perception that Sacramento was nothing more than a forgettable stopover on the way to bigger and better places.

I myself would often fall into this trap. I would often parrot narratives such as “there’s not really anything to do in Sacramento”. But as I grew older, my perspective evolved. I began to see Sacramento for what it truly is. Sacramento is a city rich in culture, diversity, and community. A city full of trees, architecture, and art. I rediscovered my love for the place I called home, recognizing the beauty in both its physical attributes, and the warmth of its people.

With a team that is now competitive, and knows itself to be capable of great things, I can finally travel outside our city, go to a bar, and say “I’m a Kings fan, I’m from Sacramento”, and not feel like a loser for saying both.

So, as I cheer on my beloved Kings, I cheer for more than a friend and beer filled night, ending in victory. I lose my voice as a proud citizen of Sacramento, standing tall in the face of adversity, and proclaiming to the world that we are here, and we are wonderful. And as the Kings continue their endless crusade to prove our worth, I stand with them, grateful for the role they play in showcasing the true essence of Sacramento. A city brimming with pride, passion, and endless potential.

(I’d like to dedicate this article to, and say thank you to my friend Jake. Jake is a friend that I haven’t spoken to in years. He was a guy who I met my freshman year in college, the first time I truly left home for a prolonged period of time. He is the definition of a lifelong die hard fan, and his energy and love for the Kings was contagious. For the relatively short time that I would hang out with him in the dorms, he reminded me that Sacramento is filled with amazing and proud people. He would bring live streams of games to gatherings, and always let me watch with him. Although I was happy to be growing away from home, his presence brought a piece of home with him. Wherever you are, whatever you are up to now, I hope you are doing well. Light the beam amigo.)


About the Creator

William Evans

I'm a nerd who studied criminal justice in school, with a deep interest in political science. (I also like outer space, philosophy, sports, history, music, whiskey, reading, and literally everything ever)

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