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L.A. Kings parade: 'There's no way ... I'd miss this'

June 14, 2012 |  1:36 pm

SchwagerCharles Schwager's customized Kings jersey is well known at Staples Center, where he's held season tickets since the arena opened.

The sweater doesn't have a name on the back but a message: "Cup B4 I Die."

Schwager, a 52-year-old accountant from Ventura, was wearing the shirt proudly Thursday as the Kings celebrated their first-ever Stanley Cup victory with a parade through downtown Los Angeles.

LIVE COVERAGE: L.A. Kings Stanley Cup victory parade

"There's no way on the face of God's green earth I'd miss this," said Schwager, who has held season tickets since 1981. "This is a culmination of years and years of waiting. It's an incredibly emotional feeling."

Schwager said the delirium inside Staples after Monday's win — "a mosh pit of joy" — has carried over all week.

"It's an unbelievable feeling," he said.

He watched the parade with an old friend, Alex Vari, from the corner of Figueroa Street and Wilshire Boulevard, and said he was thrilled to see the legions of fans, new and old.

"The one-day fans, the one-year fans, the one-decade fans — it doesn't matter to me," he said. "I consider myself the driver of the bandwagon."

PHOTO GALLERY: L.A. Kings parade | 360° view of the parade

The parade featured over a dozen trucks and buses carrying players, fans and team staff.

Near 9th Street, fans raced down the block to snap pictures of Anze Kopitar, the Kings' leading scorer, raise the Stanley Cup high over his head.

The celebration featured loud horns, children cheering on their parents' shoulders and raucous chants of "Go, Kings, go!"


Mayor Villaraigosa not riding in Kings parade

L.A. Kings parade: Stanley Cup draws fans young and old

L.A. Kings parade: Time for hockey team to shine, fan says

— Sam Allen along the parade route

Photo: Charles Schwager, a 52-year-old accountant from Ventura, brought his custom jersey to the Kings parade Thursday. Credit: Sam Allen / Los Angeles Times