J.K. Rowling writes about fantasy, about magical creatures in make-believe lands. She does this because, in the creative mind that gave us Harry Potter and so many other fascinating characters, there’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place.
It’s a wonder, then, she didn’t pen the tale of the Golden Knights in 2018.
The difference is there was nothing fictitious about their expansion journey, amazing and inspirational and unforgettable as it was.
Yes, even that life-sized chocolate statue of goalie Marc-Andre Fleury was made from the real stuff.
The Review-Journal has chosen the Golden Knights and their inaugural season as its Story of the Year. Each section of Sunday’s edition will highlight and chronicle specific instances, plots and achievements of the team, from the opening drop of a puck through a historic and improbable run to the Stanley Cup Final.
We will take you from the role the first major league professional sports franchise in Las Vegas played in response to one of the valley’s worst tragedies to the story of an owner whose unparalleled joy watching his team come so close to winning it all was suddenly, and tragically, silenced by the death of his son.
We will feature such areas as ticketing and merchandise, where the best watch parties emerged around town and how specific businesses put their culinary imprints on wins.
Which can only mean free doughnuts and chicken wings.
We will describe how T-Mobile Arena more than lived up to what folks might expect from a home sports venue in the Entertainment Capital of the World, how it became the town’s very own Hogwarts on game nights, only witchcraft and wizardry were replaced with elaborate pregame shows of on-ice actors flying from the rafters to engage in battle.
The best stories really have no beginning or end. They are unforeseeable and authentic, defined by random moments that move us.
That was the Golden Knights in 2018, and there wasn’t an ounce of fiction to their astonishing season.
It just seemed like a fantasy.