Leading Off: Sign Lady deserves ESPN’s fan recognition

Kings’ Sign Lady worthy

of ESPN fan HOF vote

She’s there, every game, every season.

Sleep Train Arena. Section 120, row C, seat 1.

From Reggie Theus to Isaiah Thomas. From Dick Motta to Michael Malone. From 17-win seasons to the Western Conference finals. Barbara Rust, better known as the Sign Lady, has seen it all as she has faithfully taken her seat since 1985 to cheer on the Kings.

The only thing able to keep Rust out of her seat is her battle with breast cancer, which forced her to miss the Kings’ home preseason games. But only 10 days after lumpectomy surgery, Rust and her husband, Niko, were back in their seats – her beloved Kings serving as the best medicine.

The Kings organization and players have rallied around Rust, offering her support and honoring her during the team’s Pink in the Paint breast cancer awareness night in October, though she was unable to attend. Her fellow fans, some of them her former kindergarten students, also have offered Rust their support.

Now it’s our turn to show how much we appreciate the Kings’ No. 1 fan.

Rust is one of 10 finalists from across the country for the 2013 ESPN Fan Hall of Fame. Most of the competition appears to be brashseekers. How fitting would it be for a fan who lets her signs do the talking to be among the three winners?

“If I am voted into the Fan Hall of Fame, it would be an honor I would share with all Kings fans around the world because I’m just representing the loyalty and passion of all of them,” Rust said.

Fans can vote three times a day at

– Victor Contreras

Today’s poll

What makes the Sign Lady special?

• Her supportive signs

• Season-ticket holder since 1985

• Going to games while fighting cancer

• All the above

To vote, go to

Monday’s poll results

Assuming Florida State reaches the BCS title game, which school deserves to play the Seminoles?

• Ohio State: 45%

• Auburn: 28%

• Alabama: 21%

• Missouri: 6%

Total votes: 152