Sunday, March 18, 2007

Weekend Conversation: Angels Billboards, Everywhere! Begs the Question, Do You Care?

Driving around the city of Los Angeles around March the last two years, one can’t help but notice more red around town. On billboards and bus stop posters, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim seem to have canvassed the city with their logo and players. Two years ago it was “Angels Baseball”, last year it was close ups of some of their more prominent players, and this year, it’s just a simple “A” with the halo around it.

This year the Angels hit the town even earlier than the Dodgers’ outdoor campaign, and it’s a noticeable sight. You can’t help but notice the red, and you can’t help notice the lack of blue. Arte Moreno, whose financial and business empire was built on outdoor advertising, certainly has grabbed a first-mover advantage this spring.

And I have to say, even as a lifelong Dodger fan, it’s pretty cool. I don’t mind the Angels’ billboards over in our Dodgers territory, and I think Los Angeles is a big enough city to handle two teams. And though all this advertising won’t change my allegiances (nor will it compel me to make the hour-long hump down behind the Orange Curtain to Anaheim), I appreciate the team’s efforts to expand its fan base.

in the other two American cities with two teams, New York and Chicago, the cities have made its people choose sides. Yankees or Mets, but not both. White Sox or Cubs, but not both.

But I think Los Angeles can have both. We support the Lakers and the Clippers, and even though the Lakers are indisputably the big dog, it’s fine to support both. I feel the same way about the Dodgers and their six world championships being the big team, and the Angels with its one championship being the little guy. In 2002, I was fortunate enough to be at the three-home-run game of Adam Kennedy in the ALCS (which knocked out the Twins), and I have to say it made for pretty compelling theater and was a blast of a game. (And after all, I have the Angels to thank for keeping the hated Giants from winning the 2002 World Series.)

I’ll always be a Dodger fan over an Angel fan. Period. But I’d support the Angels in the AL—-and I don’t think I’m cheating on the Dodgers to do so. And even though I have a “Los Angeles Dodgers of Los Angeles” t-shirt, I’m cool with the Angels grabbing the Los Angeles name as well. Can’t we all get along? I think we can.

What do you think?


Robert said...

I think there's a reason you turn red when you're embarrassed. ;D

Seriously, though, it used to be that there were individual players I liked over there, but not so much the team. Now that Disney doesn't own as much of them, they're less outright evil (kind of like the Ducks), but that Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim noise is just stupid.

Orel said...

I wish Arte Moreno owned the Dodgers.

Steve Sax said...

If Arte Moreno owned the Dodgers, he would make back the lost profit on lower beer prices through greater volume. At least, for me.

But just think of the havoc an Olmedo Saenz Pavilion would wreak upon Orange County! Yikes.

ernest said...

I am a lifetime Dodgers fan, but have resided behind the Orange Curtain for most of my life. So, I understand what your saying. Like you, I could never change allegiances, but I do go to a game from time to time in Anaheim.

I even went to several World Series games against the hated Giants. In fact, I went to 4 games hoping that my mojo would cause the Giants some grief. BTW, the Angels won every game I attended and Game 6 ranks as one of the top 10 games I have ever seen.

I hate the Giants!

Burt Hooten said...

What about the Bay Area? Though I burn with anger that the Giants have the temerity to exist, I've never really worked up enough interest in them to learn whether their fans are required to hate the As. Or whether Athletics Supporters (tee hee) are expected to hate the Giants. Anyone know?

Steve Sax said...

After having lived in the Bay Area for four years, I didn't notice any Giants-A's animosity. Both teams have their own fan bases and you can find billboards for either team on both sides of the bay.

The Giants have the nicer ballpark (that is, before the Fremont A's of Oakland debuts). But the A's have the world championship banners (something the SF Giants don't have).