Mercury Insurance and the LA Kings teamed up during the 2017-2018 NHL season to give back to fans with the ultimate piece of memorabilia: life-size player bobbleheads. This hat trick of a giveaway featured fan favorites Kyle Clifford, Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli. Mercury had the chance to catch up with the lucky winners – Matt Baraghimian, Joe Mendoza and Patricia Larouche – to capture their reactions about their new acquisitions.
MERCURY: What thoughts were going through your head when you entered the Mercury Insurance, LA Kings Life-Size Bobblehead Sweepstakes?
Matt Baraghimian (Kyle Clifford winner): Kyle Clifford has been my favorite player for years. I view the way he plays hockey as an inspiration on how I should live life. When I saw Clifford’s bobblehead on the television, I immediately called my dad and said, “Did you see that bobblehead? Yeah that was Clifford, I’m gonna enter.”
Joe Mendoza (Tanner Pearson winner): I remember thinking to myself, “This would be such a funny and cool piece of memorabilia to say you own.” I knew the odds would probably be pretty crazy, but I thought it would be one heck of a conversation piece.
Patricia Larouche (Tyler Toffoli winner): I thought to myself, “This would be crazy if I won!” But then I thought, ‘I never win anything, so what are the odds?’
MERCURY: What was your reaction when you found out you were one of three winners of the sweepstakes?
Matt: When I won, I was in shock. I immediately called my dad and mom. My mom is an interior decorator so when I told her I started out with, “Sorry mom. Something happened, and now you might want to consider redecorating the house” to try and freak her out.
Joe: Utter disbelief. After reading through the email, I was overcome with joy. I texted five of my friends to let them know.
Patricia: I thought I won a blow-up bobblehead and when the Mercury representative told me, “Oh no, this is not a blow-up bobblehead – this is a REAL life-sized bobblehead,” I was in shock! I had to go back to the website to check and still just couldn’t believe it! I never win anything and of all things, I win the world’s largest bobblehead of my favorite hockey player!
MERCURY: What was the response from your family and friends when you told them you’d won?
Matt: My family was shocked. I posted it online, and a family friend who is also is an LA Kings fan joked that now I just have to pay for shipping.
Joe: Not one of my friends or my girlfriend believed me. When I showed them a picture of the bobblehead, they still didn’t believe me, but once they see it in person, they’re going to flip out!
Patricia: I immediately told everyone I knew! When I tried explaining it to my son, he thought it was a life-sized cardboard cut-out of an LA Kings player and asked, “Can’t you just order those online, what’s so special about that?” When I showed him the real thing online, his jaw hit the floor and he said, “NO WAY YOU JUST WON THIS, can I have it?” I said, “NOPE” and laughed.
MERCURY: How do you anticipate welcoming your bobblehead into its new home?
Matt: My whole family told me to have it delivered when we all can be here. I just wanted to get it sooner rather than later, so I could finally be convinced I’m not dreaming.
Joe: My first thoughts, ‘Caution, this will rival my love for my kids, so I will treat it like so.’ Just kidding. I was extremely excited to bring it home.
Patricia: I invited all of my closest friends and family over (huge LA Kings fans like myself), and we all waited for it to arrive. GKG!
MERCURY: If you could take your bobblehead with you anywhere, where would it be?
Matt: I would love to take it to LA Kings Day to have Kyle sign it (along with my #13 jersey), wheeling it in on a dolly would be awesome. Bringing it on a plane would be entertaining too, so if I were to take it on vacation it would be worth it just to see people’s reaction. Mostly, I’d like to have it come with me to a LA Kings game with both of us having 13 on our backs.
Joe: I would take it to Honda Center for an LA Kings vs. Ducks game!
Patricia: If I could, I would take it EVERYWHERE!! I wouldn’t mind parking it in front of the Honda Center, just to taunt those pesky DUCKS!
MERCURY: Where will you end up keeping the bobblehead?
Matt: Ideally, I’d like it in my room but don’t think there’s space. My dad (jokingly) suggested that we put it looking out the window. Halloween is huge in our neighborhood, with thousands of kids showing up, so I’m sure Kyle will be part of next year’s set.
Joe: My girlfriend may not agree (eventually she will learn to love it), but I will be keeping it in my living room – right next to my television, so I will have someone there to enjoy hockey games with!
Patricia: I will probably end up keeping it by the pool since it is almost always 72 degrees (Get it – wink, wink Bailey) out here in SoCal.
MERCURY: What makes you the greatest Kings fan EVER?
Matt: There are so many great fans out there. This whole experience is just awesome to me, and I feel so blessed to be a part of it.
Joe: Win, lose, or draw – supporting the team, no matter the outcome or season standings is a key ingredient to being one of the greatest LA Kings fans ever. You don’t need merchandise, jerseys or signed hockey sticks to remain loyal. My loyalty will always lie with the LA Kings! And now, I will have a giant bobblehead to help me show it!
Patricia: I have been an LA Kings fan for around 25 years now, going to as many games as possible and collecting memorabilia along the way. I even raised an LA Kings fan of my own! I guess above all else, I now own this huge Toffoli bobblehead … if that doesn’t say I’m the greatest LA Kings fan ever, I don’t know what does!
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