LA Kings vs. San Jose Sharks
1:00 PST, Fox Sports West & Bay Area
Last game of the season
I'm a Dodger fan born and bred. Dodger Stadium is like a church to me and baseball is its sermon, which is appropriate because I tend to fall asleep to both. I grew up listening to Vin Scully and Don Drysdale, then just Vin, and I've used baseball to kind of fill the void the Kings leave in my life every summer since I was 7 years old. But being a Dodger fan doesn't necessarily mean that I hate the Angels. The Angels play in a different league, have their own players, and are pretty much isolated from my baseball world. And yet, I still don't like them. I don't cheer for them when the Dodgers inevitably fuck up during the playoffs, I don't follow them during the season, and, truth be told, I usually lean Oakland A's when the season starts to wind down. I don't know why I don't like the Angels; it would seem logical to cheer for both Southern California teams equally since they never play one another, but I can't. There's just something about the Angels that I don't like. I went to the Angels game last night in search of what that "something" was.
First off, Angel Stadium is exactly what you'd expect a major stadium in Orange County to be like. Panda Express in the aisles, California Pizza Kitchen offered up and down the rows, but if you want a hot dog? Get up to the nosebleeds, Plebeian, and grab your bag of peanuts while you're up there too. It's strange. The stadium itself is pretty nice, although without all the panache that makes Dodger Stadium so great, and the beer was "cheap" for a stadium.
But the people. Oh god, the people. There are generally two types of people from Orange County: Brody & Heidi. Brody wears a flat-brimmed baseball cap low around his eyes, cocked slightly to the side, has a thin shadow of beard around his giant jaw that he obviously maintains to look like he doesn't maintain it, and some sort of t-shirt with shit everywhere but the center of the shirt. Heidi is wearing an Angels jersey, a red bandanna/scrunchie/headband (because it's a baseball game so you should dress sporty, you see?), and is permanently attached to her phone. Taking pictures of yourself during the game? Check. Using her phone to find shit in her purse while complaining that her purse is too big? Check. Texting while talking at the same time? Oh you better believe that's a check. It's insane. It's like they came off an assembly line. They generally congregate/spawn up around the Budweiser Patio, which was fascinating to me: people pay $30 to get seats for a game, then go up to a bar and watch the game on television. Hilarious.
The game itself was pretty boring (obviously), as the Angels scored in two spurts in the 2nd and the 7th but were otherwise pretty quiet. I did two things to bide my time: drink and make fun of Red Sox fans. Red Sox fans look like British people and are generally disgusting human beings. I mean, say what you want about Angels fans, but at least they're attractive. Red Sox fans looked like mole people, all pasty and white, and were obnoxious and douche baggy up to the point where it looked like their team was going to lose. I always love the dynamic between a hometown crowd and a large foreign invader when the home team wins; the hometown crowd is always merciless to the foreign invaders on their way out, to the point where I think they're going to shave the the heads of the women in town square and execute the men. As a Californian, I did enjoy seeing the Bostonians go home disappointed. I mean, they probably went home to Glendale or Pasadena because they desperately wanted to leave their Massachusetts hellhole for glorious California, but last night they were the enemy and I wanted them to feel pain.
(There was also a cool moment before the game honoring Nick Adenhart. I think people take losing athletes so hard is because they look so invincible out on their field of play. Adenhart had just pitched 6 scoreless innings against his team's biggest rival in front of 40,000+ people; how can something like a car accident kill a man like that? It sucks.)
I didn't figure out the dynamic between the Dodgers and Angels last night, but I think I got close. Dodger fans don't really like the Angels because they are 1) better than the Dodgers most years and 2) they generally have a rivalry with Orange County in most everything else. To me, all Angels fans are just Ducks fans wearing red, so why should I support that team? Orange County and LA don't like each other, Orange County because they're jealous and LA because of The Hills and Laguna Beach, and that hate lingers over the Dodger/Angel "rivalry." Right now there's an uneasy truce that'll last as long as they are teams like the Red Sox, the Cubs or the Mets, but shit'll explode if the Dodgers and the Angels meet in the World Series. And hey, maybe this is the year.
I don't like the Sharks but I'll be OK if they win tonight. The Kings are sitting in 5th place right now in terms of draft lottery position and can clinch that spot with a loss tonight. That's important because, as we all know, only the top 5 teams have a chance at winning the #1 overall pick. I mean, it's only like 8%, but it's still better than 0%. I'm also cheering for a Ducks loss and a Blues win tonight to make the first second Battle of California happen, because then I can sit back and watch two enemies devour one another. Delicious.
Prediction: Kings win, of course. They finish 6th and then they win the draft lottery. I use my tears as lubricant as I masturbate to a picture of John Tavares.
(I'm out 'til Tuesday because I'll be in Mexico, then I'll be out forever because I'm going to get thrown in an acid bath, so read up on the important teams left here at BoC and I'll be back for the draft lottery. Riveting.)