Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Welcome Faker Fans

I love competition, I love passion, I love determination, rivalries, will power and all that good stuff that goes along with the pursuit of the ultimate success in athletics. I love sports.
These types of emotions are never better displayed than in any particular sport's tournament for a championship. Seeing a team or a player excel in high-drama and play like a champion is why we are fans. Being able to witness your favorite player hoist his or her index finger in the air with his last bit of strength, proving to the world that there is noone else who may rightfully lay claim to the number one, has got to be the most rewarding feelings in fandom. Although I have never seen any one of my favorite teams hoist a trophy or reach that plateau of champion amongst all, I have come close...and I have definitely been there for the dramatic ride from a season's infancy, into adolescence, adulthood and come oh-so-close to seeing my team wear the crown of kings.
It is impressive that a film has the ability to make viewers feel emotionally attached to characters and storylines in 2.5 hours. Can you imagine being able to capture the levels of emotion attached to following the dramatic story of a team unfold for 8 months?

Well, if you're from Los Angeles, imagining is the best you can do.

In my 25 years I have literally met one real Lakers fan. Someone who watches games prior to April. Someone who can actually name the starting five, not just "Kobe." I mean, there is a lot more that goes into being a "real fan", and I have to assume fan-status can be argued to death, but I think caring before playoffs start and knowing who is actually representing your team is a good place to start. You also see similar lame-ness with the Dodgers, whose fans are notorious for coming an hour late and leaving an hour early, and magically turning into Angels fans when it becomes convenient. Again, in my 25 years, Ive only met one real Dodgers fan.

So as I sit here watching the NBA playoffs - watching Kobe Bryant be more smug and assface-y than the year before, I can't help but think of the Los Angeles fans feigning real emotion. Like the person who never saw the nominated film and only pretended to care when the Oscars came around and lied to everyone that he had seen it just to be accepted and matter. Its sad in a way.

I guess thats the best you can do LA...faking it. And based on most of the people I've met, TV show The Hills, and the Paris Hilton sex tape, you're quite good at faking it.

But screw you. (not you JRands or Uncle Frank)


Lisa said...

Any blog that rips on LA is my favorite blog.


Gambill 101 said...

Ryan. Of course you only know onw real Dodger fan and one real Laker fan. You live in San Fran! If I lived somewhere else I'd only know one fan.
But now you can say you know 2 Laker fans. Dane and the other person you know. Oh and Monique's boyfriend Joe is a Laker fan, even though he's from Wisconsin.
And my Dad is totally a Dodger fan. So now you know 2 of them. And I know some people up north that also love the Dodgers and go to the A's and Giants games when they're playing there.
Personally, you know me, I'm not into sports. But hey sometimes I have to watch if Dane has it on. Hey come with us to a SC game next year. Now that is some FUN tailgating. I'm serious.

*RyRowe* said...

Please don't forget that I did spend two years living in San Diego. I know BroCal very well.

TheTOB said...

A few comments:

I think Angel fans are worse than Dodger fans. In general. Now, Angel fans do not show up late and leave early. I have now been to Dodger Stadium, and I have seen that phenomenon. It wasn't quite a mass exodus, but a lot of people DID leave after the 6th inning. Myself and my date included. The traffic looked like it'd be miserable. And I couldn't give two shits about a Dodgers/Rockies game, so I had no qualms leaving. I just wanted to check Dodger Stadium off of my "Stadiums" list.

Back to the Angels. As an Angel fan, it's been tough to follow the team for most of my life (having left Orange County at age 7 or 8). The internet has obviously made that a much easier process.

But, then and now, most Angel fans I know were not Angel fans (or at least, did not make this known) until the World Series run in 2002.

Most kids I knew growing up in OC were Dodger fans and would ask me why I liked the Aaaaaaaaangellllls. I'm sure those bros are all WOOOO VLADDDY!!! now. But I was all about Wally Joyner. And after that JT Snow and Jimmy Edmonds. Just bugs me.

Another thought. Interesting that you mention that you have never seen one of your teams win a title. Interesting because I had that thought while cutting some fruit in my kitchen just two days ago. Except the Angels. I thought, "Wow. If the Angels hadn't pulled that series out of their collective asshole, I would never be able to say that I've seen* one of my teams win a title."

*Being a fan of the Reds in 1990 because that was my little league team that year does not count.

Gambill 101 said...

Ryan! San Diego is not LA. They aren't Laker fans there or Dodger fans! You crazy mo fo.

Patrick said...

Yeah just imagine living around all of those douche bags 24/7.

Our company took us to one of the Dodger games and sat us in the "all you can eat" section. Unsurprisingly after the hotdogs were all out, people left - it was only the 5th Inning or so.

Or how about when the Clippers became LA's favorite team about 3 or 4 seasons ago? Malcom in the Middle must have been eating that shit up.

I think I only know 1 real Lakers fan who lives down here, and he even admits that he doesn't think the Lakers will win the championship this year but that they will be really good within the next few years, and I respect that - he knows what they are and what they are not and follows them enough to guess as to what the future of the team may hold AND even admits that the Pau Gasol trade was a steal and that if he believed in NBA conspiracy theories it would certainly seem like one to get Boston v LA in the championship series.

Long story short - one out of every person I know down here who claims to be a Lakers fan is.

Pathetic, Beldo.

TheTOB said...

Actually, sadly, I think the Lakers are gonna win the title this year. And in the coming years when Bynum is healthy? Yeesh.

Patrick said...

Yeah, that's what I said as well, but I definitely agreed with him about in the upcoming few years.

Ben said...

I’ve got to say that I’m pretty disappointed the Lakers blog post became a Northern California is better than Southern California debate.
I know you’ve lived through both and have good friends from both spots. I have also lived in both areas for an extended period of time so I feel qualified to speak on your “Bro-Cal” comments and so forth. In an over simplified comparison I would say that the majority of people in Southern California are trying too hard to be the same person, aka Bro-Cal. Where in the Bay Area people are trying equally as hard to pretend to be totally different than anyone else, aka hipster fucks. So in both situations you’ve got insecure people trying real hard to be someone they’re not… I really don’t see the difference. You’re going to have to admit at some point that you are the same as every other douche you meet in some ways and different in some ways. That’s part of life right?
So when I see a bunch of people who go to/watch Lakers games as “fans” because their team is good now it doesn’t piss me off. It’s the exact same as someone going to the next Vampire Weekend concert and claiming how they we’re listening to the band before they got popular. It’s all the fucking same, it’s all a social commentary, and it’s played out.
I guarantee the next time the Golden State Warriors are good there will be plenty of “old school” fans who come out of the wood works. Sports is an entertainment business and when the product put out on the floor/field is successful it is more entertaining and thus more people are going to watch.
Sasha still looks like a high school girl.
Signed a 2008 Lakers Fan

TheTOB said...

Seven drinks!

Justin Rands said...