On Athletics Nation, we have an acronym called "NRAF", which refers to a "Non-Resident A's Fan". I'd hope that by living in the Bay Area, I would be close enough to the Kings that I could follow their every game well and not feel removed from the action (an NRKF if you will), yet I continue to be amazed by how two hours' drive off I-80 and Highway 101 makes it seem like Sacramento is in another state altogether.
Rather than rant in a circular argument about local Kings TV and Radio coverage (slim to none), a scene from Thursday could channel my annoyances...
I'm not one for planning for holidays well in advance. I don't have a Halloween costume. So Thursday afternoon, I zipped over to a local mall and tried to find anything that could meet the minimum criteria - hats, shirts, an all-in-one package... didn't care. After finding none of the stores had anything useful, I stopped at a "Pro Shop" which sold jerseys, caps, and all manner of sports gear. Aha! I could go as a Kings player or fan and keep the jersey for when I made a trip over to Arco!
But it wasn't to be. See... they had plenty of Kings jerseys in purple and black - on the wall, in the racks... but they were all, without exception, for Chris Webber and Peja Stojakovic. Hmm... now would I look like a "with it" Kings fan if I were to show up as Chris Webber or Peja? Didn't think so. The store didn't even have any Cal Bears gear, which made zero sense, so I took off.
Now you might be thinking, of course there's no Kings stuff, you Bay Area living, wheat grass sipping, quasi-hippie! You're in Golden State Warriors country! But that's silly talk. If Sacramento is a big league town and can host an NBA squad, there's no good reason I can't hear 1140 AM on most nights, or have some channel that shows me the Kings, given my proximity.
Yet when they do play, I'm more likely refreshing Yahoo! sports and trying to picture just how Artest made that shot or Shareef pulled down a board. While the Internet is a great source of facts, photos, stats and quotes, it's no replacement for solid local coverage - and no replacement for the locals knowing who is actually on the Kings these days... C-Webb and Peja need not apply.