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2005 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Pre-Game ritual

We lost in extra innings, oh well.

Instead of rehashing it, let's talk about the game experience itself.

Prior to the game, they gave out the hardware, Frankie got the Setup man award, Finley and Erstad got their Gold Gloves, Vlad got his Silver Slugger and A.L. MVP.

The Angel Stadium pregame ritual seems to be intact, perhaps even a little sharpened.

So they announce the team's lineup with the instrumental version of Spirit in the Sky.

Then they present a rendition of The Star Spangled Banner.

It is almost always performed off-key and uninspirationally by American Idol rejects and, even worse, kids. If you are at all patriotic, it is a disgrace to have your National Anthem butchered, rendered blandola by Orange County's lamest, serenading your country down the river into apathy by off-key narcissim at its hayseed most gleaming.

After that, they have the video montage of the team's history with Calling All Angels playing along. The video clips this season are clearer and the variety of Angels from over the years is greater, and it is easier to spot who-is-who. They still mention nothing between the 1990 Langston/Witt combined no-hitter and the 2002 postseason, but it is a fantastic, if slightly sentimental and overwrought presentation. You get weepy and puffy the first few times this is put into play. You get angry at having to hear the Calling All Angels song for the fifty frickinth time late in the season. They do not appear to be playing it the seven times per game minimum that they did last season, but let's see if this lasts.

Then they play the Metallica song and the team takes the field.

The worst momentum-killer of the evening occurs a moment later when they stop everything to have some dopey contest-winning kid shout Play Ball over the microphone. Each game they have to explain what they are doing, introduce the kid and tell where he or she is from. Junior mishandles the microphone and always sounds like shit - our team just took the field and we get this total buzzkill.

After the ballgame, if they win they play:

If The House is a-Rockin', Don't Bother Knockin'

followed by the traditional Celebrate Good Times by Kool and the Gang.

If they lose, they play that long Allman Brothers instrumental song.

Did I miss anything?