Hey, fellow Halo fanatics! I just wanted to make a fan post introducing myself to the rest of the site.
First off, I know I've actually been posting on here for the past 2-3 weeks, but I never really formally tried to get to know anyone here. One day, I just joined, then posted like I've been here the whole time.
Second off, I kind of want to make my presence somewhat known here because I plan to stay and keep posting for a while and hopefully provide something back to this site rather than the occasional comment/reply chock-full of dry humor (as fun as that might be).
Lastly, I want to feel involved and learn more about this team than I know now (history-wise, not so much).
So to say a few things about myself and how I started out as a fan of the Angels:
I'm a young un'. 20 years young to be exact. I grew up in Irvine, not too far from the Big A (and now currently in NYC for school). I have a lot of pride in Southern California. I miss it more than anything. I would take an In N' Out burger over any burger here in NYC (they average to be about 6-7 dollars for a cheeseburger. Robbery, I tell you). The Mexican food here is no comparison. When I talk about Wahoo's Fish Tacos people look at me like I'm talking about eating pure garbage. "Ugh, Fish Tacos? That's disgusting. Go Yankees! Screw the Sox! (some jibberish I can't understand)" Well, imaginary and incredibly stereotypical New Yorker, the closest thing you have to Mexican food are the overstuffed, overpriced burritos from Chipotle. End of discussion. And don't get me started about the weather or the drivers or the crazy drunk people (actually, I love it here in NYC because I like the activity and opportunities here, so I can't really complain. Also pizza).
However. Growing up, SoCal baseball or sports in general wasn't really popular. No mention of the 1995 Angels dropping-the-west-division debauchery. No 1996-1997 first playoff berth in the Ducks franchise. No mention of how the Angels win the World Series in 2002 or how the Ducks get a taste of glory in 2003 (damn Devils). Yet, I always considered myself a fan of those said teams. Sure I couldn't name a single player on any team I rooted for in the 90s (except Vlady Divac, yeah I know, Lakers fan. Guilty. It's only because he can smoke like 50 packs a day and still be the best player on the court), but I never really befriended anyone who was into sports, so it never happened.
I did play sports though. Did the Little League at the age of 8. Played 2nd base and proudly wore the Braves logo on my jersey. In fact, I was probably more of a Braves fan at that time than any other baseball team. I ended up dropping baseball, went to play basketball in junior high, then track in high school, followed by fencing. Yet, I could never get into watching sports. There wasn't a passion for any of the teams. Baseball seemed like a long game with nothing going. I couldn't understand the rules of football. Basketball seemed the same every game. Hockey was too violent.
And, in 2006, it was my friend who got me started. My friend's dad on occasion would get free tickets to an Angels game. Usually they would have enough to take the entire family, but sometimes they would have an extra. And I would tag along, hang out with my good buddy as he tells me all the great things about the players. How Chone Figgins was the league leader in steals. How Garrett Anderson was his favorite player because of his clutch HRs in 2002. How John Lackey, as a rookie, pitched beautifully in Game 7 to clinch the World Series. How Vladimir Guerrero's hit zone is the size of the catcher behind him (and then some). And slowly, I was getting to understand the fanaticism behind sports. But I wasn't quite a fan yet. I had no idea we missed the playoffs the end of that season. I could only remember those players being great and watching them play was enjoyable.
When I moved to NYC, I felt like I was surrounded by sports. So much paraphernalia, sports were the front page almost every week, people talked about it like it was their life. Whether it was the Yankees or the Mets or the Phillies, sports was almost unavoidable. And on occasion, I would meet that one guy who asks "so what team do you root for?" where I would reply, somewhat hesitantly, "The Angels". Then he'd rattle off player's names and statistics and expected outcomes and acronyms that sound like they would be the names of organizations trying to save the wildlife or get rid of hunger in Africa. And I would try to reply as best I could. I would reiterate the musings of my old friend from 3 years back, hoping I don't sound like a total idiot. I probably did. Soon after, I decided to stop trying to get the complexities of watching sports.
And it was in my second year of college, 2008, when, while browsing Japanese comics, I found some series that contained very stylized stories about football and baseball yet were full of information that delved in deep into the detailed aspects of both sports. I was hooked. I burned through the series having somewhat a decent knowledge about sports in general. When this all happened, it was the middle of Football season and my roommate (a huge Chargers fan) was telling me a few things about his team. So I decided to look at some box scores, maybe browse some players stats. And soon enough I was looking at highlights everyday, trying to keep up with players and teams and past Super Bowls. I don't know why I was so involved. Maybe it was because I actually understood what was going on in the sport. Why this person made that play and why this coach is switching out that player. Finally, when football season ended, I moved to hockey. I had a friend who had a subscription to NHL games (he's a huge Flyers fan), so I started to understand the sport and watch the Ducks slowly (and barely) make it to the playoffs. Soon I was calling myself a Ducks fan and cheered them on all the way to Game 7 where they got knocked out by the Red Wings (damn them) after upsetting the President Trophy winners one series before (even now I'm paying attention during the off-season and am pretty excited about the Ducks chances this year).
So once Hockey season ended, Baseball started and I told myself that I would find baseball too boring to watch every day, so I never tried to get into it. Yet, I would keep track of the standings to see how they were (mind you this was in June, so I was very disappointed in the Angels performance) probably because my friend from Philly was telling me how amazing they were and kept linking me to highlights and articles and whatnot. So one day (I think in July), I was bored, went to the MLB site, and clicked on the gameday and saw the Angels were down 0-4 at Baltimore only to come back to end the game 11-4. And starting then I began to pay attention. Watch the highlights of great pitchers duels while making sure I never missed an Angels game (on Gameday). And as the Angels were slowly getting the Western division lead in comeback fashion, I became more and more involved with keeping up with them. I still went about my day: working, sleeping, eating, but I would look always forward to seeing the next game. This trend started happening up until mid August when I decided that I needed to watch a game and got the MLB.tv package. Been happy with it ever since (which has only been like 3 weeks). Once I started to watch the games, I tried to look for a site where I can vocalize my passions for the Angels and stumbled upon Halos Heaven.
Although I have not experienced as much as the rest of you with all the ups and downs, I hope I can be considered an Angel fan.