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Fair-weather fandom an easy win

Don't Take Me Seriously

Posted: June 8, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: June 8, 2012 2:00 a.m.

My friends, I have joined the parade, jumped on the bandwagon and swallowed at least a spoonful of the Kool-Aid. I now call myself a “Kings fan” – you know, for the next few days, anyway.

Yes, I hereby and openly admit I am a fair-weather fan.

As I did once in the past, I again root heartily for the Los Angeles Kings in the hockey playoffs ... the same way I do for the Ducks, Lakers, Dodgers, Angels, Galaxy and Chivas USA (those last two are soccer, by the way) whenever they make it that far.

Now, the Clippers I just feel sorry for. The Raiders — well, I’m glad they’re gone despite the fact they left us without a pro football team. What’s up with that, anyway?

But, getting back to the point, not only do I expose myself as a multisport opportunist and bandwagon hopper, I am proud of it. I believe being such shows great intelligence and efficiency.

Consider ....

The Dodgers play, like, 160 games this regular season. Who could possibly have that much free time to watch live or televised sporting events? I mean, even Vin Scully is pulling back these days.

(And, please, no hate emails. I totally admire the Vinster and I’m glad he’s still part of the show. I kid because I love.)

Aside from the time commitment, and even though the Boys in Blue ticket prices are low compared to some other sports teams around town, when you figure in the gas it takes to get there, the cost of parking and the pricey face-stuffing that any sports-game attendance requires, you practically need to have a job at Dodger Stadium to attend games there regularly.

Similarly, the Lakers have some 40 games in the regular season, ticket prices for home games at Staples Center can be “cost-prohibitive,” to say the least, and don’t even think about buying a beer there.

Likewise, the Kings have 40-some games and also play their home games at Staples.

So considering the incredible time and financial commitments required, you basically have to be unemployed and independently wealthy to be a “true” fan of a professional sports team in Los Angeles.

And that’s before the playoffs. Unless you are a multimillionaire, buying into the playoffs at the last minute is insane. I saw on the TV news that people were buying scalped tickets to Wednesday’s Kings game for, like, $1,400 each — and these tickets weren’t even real!

And we haven’t even discussed traffic.

The few regular season games I have attended in recent years for any professional sports teams have found me bounding for the parking lot, pushing old ladies and small children out of the way, the minute the course of the game was clear.

Everyone knows that if you beat the crowd out of the venue, you beat the traffic. Just don’t trip on your run out because you will be trampled.

And the traffic for playoff games is many times worse.

I mean, traffic costs time and time is money, right? And stress from traffic also takes a tremendous toll on bodies and personal relationships.

In this, I am the personification of an L.A. fan. I mean, if you look up the derogatory meaning of “L.A. fan” in the dictionary, you will see my picture ... taken by a red-light camera as I run an intersection trying to get away from Dodger Stadium at the end of the seventh inning.

Nope, my playoff commitment to any sports team is a television commitment. And that does not include pay-per-view. If the ads I ignore don’t pay for the game to be televised, I play with my flea circus instead.

But you ask me, “Jim, buddy, as a playoff-only fan, how involved can you really be with any team? How could the results mean much to you?”

The truth is, I can become a devoted and wholeheartedly enthusiastic fan of any team in short order. I mean, I can do it for any random team when I turn on any sporting event on television.

I just choose the underdog and, instantly, I have full motivation and an ax to grind.

“Kill those lousy ... What are they called again?”

You see, this is the true genius of the fair-weather fan. Sports were made up to absorb the emotional investment we would otherwise place in war.

And with apologies to those true fans who would tar and feather me for saying so, any sporting event is just a will-o’-the-wisp — and meaningless in the overall scheme of things. So I invest my emotions wisely and temporarily, and live to invest again.

Oh, and it saves on drywall repairs, too.

Go, Kings!

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