Ask any Los Angeles Kings fan and they’ll tell you the franchise fell under a curse after the Staples Center hung a Taylor Swift banner in the rafters. Ever since the Taylor Swift banner appeared alongside two banners commemorating the Kings’ Stanley Cup victories in 2012 and 2014, the jinxed LA Kings haven’t advanced out of the first round of the NHL playoffs.
Superstitious fans complained nonstop since the T-Swift banner unfurled during one of her concerts in August 2015. After four long seasons of torment, Kings officials finally took action to quell the Taylor Swift jinx. For the rest of the 2019-20 season, the Kings will cover up the Taylor Swift banner with a black cloth.
AEG, which owns the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, awarded Swift her own championship banner in 2015 to honor of her record-setting number of sold out concerts.
“We wanted to do something special for her,” said Staples president Lee Zeidman. “We’ve given her gifts here and there. We had given her every gift imaginable, every time she came to play in the building, but it was time to do something to really commemorate her.”
The Staples Center is the home to the LA Kings, LA Lakers, and LA Clippers. Staples will not permit the Kings to take the banner down, but the team figured out a viable solution by covering up Ms. Swift during all home games.
The Kings mascot, Bailey, dropped the news on social media. Kings fans rejoiced about finally ending the Taylor Swift jinx.
What is happening here?!?!?! pic.twitter.com/Erh5X2XPXb
— Bailey LA Kings (@BaileyLAKings) October 12, 2019
In the first home game with a covered Taylor Swift Banner, the Kings defeated Nashville Predators.
Taylor Swift Banner Curse: Real or Silly Schtick?
Los Angeles is a show business town. And in show biz, any publicity is good publicity.
So, is the Taylor Swift banner a legitimate curse? Or is it silly shtick by clever PR flacks manipulating a superstitious and oversensitive fan base? At this point, you can argue it’s a little of both.
Sports purists were upset that a pop star and non-athlete had a novelty banner hung from the rafters alongside Stanley Cup Champions banners that were earned through blood, sweat, and tears. In many traditionalist hockey circles, the Swift inclusion was completely irreverent. In the twisted minds of old school fans, the Kings’ postseason woes stemmed from a curse directly correlated to a Taylor Swift banner.
Other venues bestowed similar honors to performers and bands. After playing 13 consecutive concerts (and their 52nd overall) at Madison Square Garden in the summer of 2017, MSG officials awarded Phish with their own banner. The Phish banner currently hangs from the same rafters that include the 1994 New York Rangers Stanley Cup championship banner.
📷 by Rene Huemer pic.twitter.com/SivM6EZ1qw
— Phish (@phish) August 7, 2017
It will take another nine decades of a playoff drought before this silly Taylor Swift jinx evolves into a bona fide sporting curse like the Red Sox and Babe Ruth.
The cautious Kings didn’t want to take any chances with the upcoming season.
“The connection to our fans is our highest priority. Through our engagement, they have made it clear that the banner shouldn’t be part of their Kings game experience,” said Kings VP of marketing Michael Altieri. “We didn’t see an issue in covering it for our games. In fact [we] see it as an opportunity to show our fans that we hear them.”
The jury is still out on the Taylor Swift curse, but the LA Kings are 1-1 at home in Los Angeles since they began covering up her banner.
The Kings are a long shot to win the Stanley Cup. According to bookmakers at the Mirage Casino in Las Vegas, the Kings are 300/1 odds.