LA Confidential: Why Los Angeles Should Be America’s Most Hated Sports Town

Posted: November 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

full_1295557625laeventcenter

With the Red Sox’s world championship triumph this week, there was a lot of commotion surrounding the success of the moderately small Northeast city’s sports teams. Yes, Boston has experienced a dramatic upswing in success since the dawn of the new millennium. However, anyone with the knowledge or the memory of the decades prior recalls nearly a century of dismay for these same New England fanatics. Other than the Celtics (17 titles), Boston did not experience success at a heightened level until 2001. The Bruins, with the help of superstars like Bobby Orr and Ray Bourque, showed glimpses of greatness. But, the Red Sox and Patriots, two of the most successful franchises in the past decade, were mired in mediocrity for generations. The Red Sox were cursed by The Great Bambino, the Patriots by poor ownership.

Of course, Boston fans will act like their success has been wide-ranging and everlasting. But, they are not the least-likable fan base. Nor is the city of Boston designated as America’s most hated sports town. Instead, that role should go out to the Golden Coast. That’s right, the City of Angels, Los Angeles is, by far, the least likable town in American sports. Below are just a few reasons why:

1. Success breeds contempt

As Boston fans have noticed over the past decade, rapid success leads to swift discontent among the unsuccessful. Yes, the Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots, and Bruins have combined for eight titles in the past 13 years. But, over the past century, Los Angeles has far dwarfed Boston when it comes to championships. The Lakers, with 16 championships, nearly match the Celtics’ success (17). The Dodgers won all six of their championships while the Red Sox were struggling just to make the postseason from 1955-1988. The Rams and Raiders, once among the stars of L.A., experienced much greater success than the Patriots from the 60s all the way to the early 1990s. Perhaps the only Los Angeles based team that didn’t dominate their Boston counterpart was the Kings. L.A.’s hockey team was blessed with Wayne Gretzky for a few seasons, and won their first championship in 2012.

2. Pathetically apathetic fanbase

Los Angeles likes to act like they’re some spectacular sports town. Whenever the topic of NFL expansion comes up, Los Angeles is the first town discussed. Yes, L.A. is the largest metropolitan area in the United States without a football franchise. That doesn’t mean that they deserve one. Los Angeles had two NFL teams over the past half-century, the Raiders and the Rams. Both franchises found more fruitful destinations in Oakland and St. Louis, respectively. When your town can’t provide more support than Oakland; you probably don’t deserve a second chance.

As for the other sports, L.A. fans are notoriously tardy to attend their team’s games. Dodgers Stadium has long been known to be filled by the fourth inning and empty by the seventh. Ditto goes for events at the Staples Center or at the Coliseum. “There’s just too much to do in southern California,” they say. Well, there’s a lot to do in New York City, as well. But, you don’t see Knicks and Jets fans heading for the exits at the start of the fourth quarter.

3. Financial flexibility

Boston and New York receive a lot of flak for their perceived financial dominance over the competition. But, in recent years, it has been Los Angeles that has flexed its monetary muscles during free agency. The Dodgers, with a fresh new ownership group that includes Magic Johnson (more on him later), have proven than no hurdle is too high for them to afford. First, it was the acquisitions of Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, Carl Crawford, Yasiel Puig, and Josh Beckett; then came the signing of Zack Greinke to the largest contract for a pitcher in league history at the time. This offseason, the Dodgers are reportedly interested in Yankees 2B Robinson Cano. But, it’s not just the Dodgers opening up their wallets. Their crosstown rivals, the Angels, have also broken the bank multiple times, signing Albert Pujols, CJ Wilson, and Josh Hamilton to lucrative contracts that have provided nothing but heartbreak to their apathetic fanbase.

It’s a good thing that Los Angeles fans have so much else to do, or maybe they’d care more that their ownership is tossing around money like a hibachi chef on Valentine’s Day (people go to hibachi on Valentine’s Day, right? It’s been awhile since I’ve had a date on February 14th).

Of course, the basketball teams are no better. The Lakers and even the Clippers have begun throwing around money in recent years. The former has been doing it for decades with the latter picking up the pace as the new millennium rolls on.

4. Annoying ownership

We get it, Magic. You beat AIDS and so everyone should love you. But, does that really excuse the fact that he’s a pompous windbag who thinks that he’s God’s gift to society because of his financial success (which, as South Park satirizes, directly led to his said beating of AIDS)? No, it doesn’t. Ervin Johnson has long been a public annoyance, and that only got worse when he became an owner of the Dodgers. Now, Johnson cannot limit his self-righteous preaching to the post game show on the NBA on ESPN. Instead, baseball fans are cursed with the daily ramblings of a former NBA superstar…I’d rather see Charles Barkley own a team than this guy.

As for the others, Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling was long known as a frugal and racist punk. He was forced to pay a fine of $2.73 million in 2005 due to racist and discriminatory rental practices towards Hispanics, blacks, and families with children…A regular Ebenezer Scrooge in L.A.

5. Public Figures at Games

This is my ultimate pet peeve. We get it, L.A. You’re home to a lot of celebrities, most of whom think that the world revolves around them. But, if I have to see Jack Nicholson’s hairy balls resting on a stretcher court side at another Lakers game, I’m going to projectile vomit. It gets worse by the year. When it was only guys like Nicholson (when one could actually stand to look at the man) and Bill Murray who received notoriety, it was fun and interesting. Now, it has become more about being seen at the game then actually seeing the game.

Too often, ESPN will cut away from coverage of the event itself to showcase Erin Andrews or another one of their blonde puppets interviewing Justin Bieber or Beyonce Knowles. Who cares about these processed “superstars?” If I wanted to see Beyonce shake her “jelly,” I’d turn on MTV. Ditto goes for the transvestite terror known solely as “Bieber.” I turned on the TV to watch a sporting event. Not a pop culture love fest. Yes, you see these same things in New York and even in Boston (even though in Beantown it is usually someone with some actual talent like Ben Affleck or Jon Hamm). But, nothing nearly as nauseating as you’ll find in southern California: The land of superficiality and fraud.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s