Ok, this will be my last fanpost or reply to a post until at least 2 months into the season. I've posted twice already in the last couple of weeks, and I don't want to wear out my welcome or turn into Halodriftwood.
Disclaimer: I'm not the most sober right now as my wife went to bed and I spent a good couple hours talking to a friend back East who has cured me of a disease I feared I was catching. It seems I might only have a temporary ailment.
In my first post, I shared that I was worried I was becoming a fair-weather fan. Some of you identified, and some of you more ardent fans couldn't stomach the idea that it could ever happen. Once a fan, always a fan. I understood both positions. I accepted the phallic symbols thrust at me with stoic pride...or was it arrogance?
But I realized I've been on HH daily or reading and listening to anything I could find for hours and hours over the last couple weeks. Yeah, some fair-weather fan I am. The season hasn't even started and I'm already mainlining Angel fumes.
As the buzz from my single-malt scotch (Costco-bought, don't judge) set in, I called up a hardcore baseball fan friend I've not spoken to in over a year. After awkward small talk, I told him I wanted to talk about baseball. We used to spend each day at lunch stuffing our faces with chips and salsa, drinking a beer (ok, it was non-alcoholic), and talking baseball.
His first words were "You must not be happy with what Reagins did, eh?"
"So they do talk about Angels baseball back East after all?!?"
I told him I think I'm losing it for Angels baseball. I'm pissed now, I said...but in a couple months I might not even care. He chuckled. Silence. Then he told me to STFU.
I didn't realize single-malt scotch suspended in your throat could actually burn a hole through it. Or so it felt. Damn that Costco rotgut.
He spilled it out point-blank. He said I'm not a fair-weather Angel fan. I couldn't be. I was the most excited, giddy Angel/baseball fan he ever met!
"Even more so than Rex?"
"Yeah, well that was then. Things change. Life changes. I got other things to think about now, you know how it is..."
And the trifecta... Another STFU. I didn't realize time apart allowed for such pleasantries. Maybe I should try it with the wife?
"No you idiot. You're not a fair-weather Angel fan. You're just..."...a very insecure Angel fan.
Now it was my turn. STFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!
We used to play hockey together. I was usually one of the smaller guys on the team but I never played like it. I was indeed the Rambis of our teams. Sucked in every regard you could imagine, but made sure anyone going into the corner to dig out a puck thought so twice next time.
"I'm insecure?!?? How do you even begin to say..."
"Relaaaaaax. Not you as a person, but you as an Angel fan!"
After talking...and drinking...and talking some more, I realized he was right. He also said he thinks many Angel fans are also, at least based on his observations from reading the fansite(s) out here.
When we talk about maybe getting player X for Y years and Z dollars, everyone gets excited. Posts fly all around about how great it would be.
Then we lose out to another team and suddenly 1) the contract is too long and he'll suck at the end of it or 2) it was for too much money so it's awesome we didn't sign them or 3) [insert convenient excuse here]. Of course when we sign another player, despite being able to make the same arguments, we always find a way to justify why it was an incredible trade.
I pleaded that this happens with any fan base and he calmly said "Not even close." And then we talked more and I realized, I am indeed a very insecure Angel fan.
Maybe it's for the same reason I seem to rail on people when they say "Don't complain, don't you remember how it was in the 80's and 90's?!?" Yeah I do remember. And therein lies the very problem.
I never, ever, eveeeeeeeer want to go back to experiencing that again.
When watching Rev open (utterly destroy) the Naps bobblehead box, if I was a chick I'd probably have needed a tissue. Even if it was meant for dramatic purposes, it hit home.
Over the last 6-7 seasons besides last year, I realize I've NEVER been happier as a sports fan. All the years combined don't come close.
Between what happened at the end of the Disney regime and since Arte took over, I've wore my cap proudly (my wife gets upset when I don't wear it up here in LA because it's always easier for her to find me via the glowing red cap).
We had some incredible seasons. I spent 3-4 hours a DAY taking in Angel baseball.
I beamed with incredible pride when I'd turn on the radio and hear Torre and company saying they wish any other team but the Angels were coming to town.
They feared the Angels. THE ANGELS!
We had incredible leaders on the club, wonderful personalities, and unlike ever before, I was following my favorites to point of feeling like a stalker. Figgy did always refuse my batches of homemade ale. I probably should have mailed them instead of leaving them in his garage.
I want this to continue to be a premiere organization and I want the fans to expect nothing less. Real, honest to goodness trAdition(tm).
After the last couple of offseasons (sans the Wells trade), I was scared Arte might have realized it was fun trying to compete with the big boys for a few seasons, but financially it might be better to just run the team like any other business. Not to try and win at all costs. Maybe eventually turn into the Angels of old. Maybe even the Clippers.
We keep losing all the fan-favorite players and not replacing them. Who doesn't remember where they were when you heard about the Angels signing Vlad. I don't think I slept that night.
We lost Rory and Rex. They painted a picture in my mind that kept me sane through some really crappy times. They helped me escape.
Sorry if this was a ramble but I'm happy as hell to know I'm not a fair-weather fan. I'm just an insecure Angel fan who is scared we might go back to being irrelevant again.
I want to experience what it feels like to sit in the stands and feel them shake under my feet in the playoffs (I never felt that before until then).
I want to have people around me yelling and cheering so loud my cap flies off and half the time, I'm so caught up with the emotion of it all I don't even know what I'm yelling for!
I think I even yelled "Go Gretzky" once.
And I want my daughter to be able to grow up and experience everything I was blessed to experience over the last 6-7 seasons because until I experienced it, I could never imagined what it felt like.
Or that it was even possible.
Peace Hi from an insecure Angel fan.