Celebrations…

Second post that WordPress kept holding up…

So in my previous post I told the history of my devotion to my two favorite teams. Why does this matter? Well, the fact is that barely able to afford season seats for both my teams, traveling to see them was impossible. For the Kings it really didn’t matter they were mediocre at best. For the Galaxy it meant that I didn’t get to see them win two championships, whenever the MLS Cup final was in LA, the Galaxy weren’t there.

20120706-155144.jpg

In the last year that changed. In November I stood in the LA Riot Squad section singing and chanting, jumping and hugging as the Los Angeles Galaxy won the MLS Cup vs the Houston Dynamo at the Home Depot Center. It was amazing, and to be there to witness it, made it so much better. Having so many people there ready to enjoy the moment. I only wish my father could have been there to enjoy it with me. I still can’t believe it. As a fan that is the greatest experience you can have… unless…

Both your teams win. Eight months after I stood in the HDC cheering on the Galaxy, I was sitting in the Staples Center, silently, in complete disbelief. I was on the verge of witnessing the Los Angeles Kings win their very first Stanley Cup. And it was at home. And it was a thorough domination of a very worthy opponent. I still can’t believe what I saw.

20120706-155258.jpg

Being a fan can be a trying matter. Your very soul hurts when your team loses. People that aren’t fans don’t understand. You try and explain, but it’s futile, only another fan could possibly understand what you’re going through. For a long time I’ve been a fan of underdog teams, and disappointment was frequent enough to where I didn’t expect much. However, not only are my home teams like the Dodgers and Clippers good now, but my two most favorite teams are champions. The Galaxy which has gone to many finals only to lose and the Kings whose only final appearance was a lose and 19 years ago… they are champions. I can get over saying that… CHAMPIONS.

Advertisements

History…

So I tried posting these posts a while ago, but for some reason WordPress was fighting me. Now that it’s fixed I’ll be posting 3 times today to get these drafts out there ­čśŤ

For as long as I can remember I’ve been a sports fan. I’ve enjoyed playing and watching all sports. My dad would go nuts during the World Cup, and I beside him would emulate as best I could. Eventually I developed my own passion for teams. First through a sweet old couple whose kids had moved away and built their own families, but still had their 4 Dodgers season seats, they’d invite my sister and I after having met us at our church. It was great I was a baseball fan, but could not grasp team loyalty, I was only 5 after all. I started collecting baseball cards which is how I finally started understanding the way teams worked and all, this led me to follow the Angels (my first card was a Rod Carew).

The when I was 11 everything changed, I learned about city pride from my sister (she was 16), I would also learn about what became my favorite sport. I was in sixth grade, and my teacher dressed up for Halloween. She was dressed as a Los Angeles King, complete with a black eye and “missing” teeth. She showed us highlights of the Kings failed journey to the ’93 Stanley Cup. Ever since then I’ve been a hockey fan. The team wasn’t as good as it had been in ’93, but I was a follower, and would slowing learn how dedicated and desillusioned Kings fans were.

In 1994 my dad’s dream came true as the World Cup was finally in our backyard. Unfortunately, we could afford tickets, so we did not get to enjoy it they way we hoped, but the atmosphere just being near a stadum was insane. My dad told me how crazy it was to go to a home town team’s games in his native El Salvador, and I would imagine how it was, but never truly knew. Thanks to a requirement from FIFA, the US Soccer Federation had to create a US soccer league, in 1996 MLS was born. My father and I finally had a home team, except we couldn’t really go to the Rose Bowl, it was too expensive for us, and we had no car. As much as we both wanted to go we couldn’t.

20120706-152412.jpg

I graduated from high school in 2000 and immediately went into the working world, convinced that I would finally be able to afford the things I wanted. It didn’t go quite as planned. Minimum wage jobs didn’t quite get me there. However, by this time, both my dad and my sister had cars so I knew I was closer to enjoying my favorite teams. In 2003 the Galaxy would move to the Home Depot Center, and not wanting to miss this momentous occasion I bought partial season tickets.

I got Kings seats the same year, and after the 04-05 lockout I moved to the newly created Die Hard seats which lowered my ticket price and allowed me to upgrade to full season seats for the Galaxy. I met more dedicated Kings fans in that section than ever, and the next year at the Galaxy games I discovered the Riot Squad, the Galaxy Supporters group. These discoveries lead me to a new far more dedicated fanhood, which I’ve dragged my whole family through, lol.

Well…

I haven’t posted in a few months. I’ve been neglectful.

Anyway…

Born and raised in Los Angeles I have been privileged to have sports teams of all kinds locally. I have become a huge sports because of this, passionately sporting MOST LA teams (more of that in a second). As I stated in a previous post, the Los Angeles Galaxy won the MLS Cup, and I was incredibly happy and drunk at the time. Now the Los Angeles Kings are in the Stanley Cup Final, and if they win it, I’ll be happier, and much, much drunker (is that a word?). The Los Angeles Dodgers have the best record in baseball, and the Clippers… THE CLIPPERS… made the playoffs, holy crap. This has got to be the best year ever for my favorite teams.

20120526-105847.jpg

You’ll notice I’m not a Lakers fan, it’s the only LA team I don’t support. In my younger days having great pride in my city I supported all LA teams, but apparently Lakers fans feel you can’t support the Lakers AND the Clippers, so I told ’em all to fuck off and became fully devoted to the Clipper Nation. After suffering for so long there’s a bright future. The Clippers have good players, it seems they want to stick around (Chris, Blake… please sign extensions) and they showed a lot of potential. I really think they would still be playing if Chauncey Billups hadn’t been injured.

20120526-110049.jpg

Speaking of suffering… My beloved Kings. The team that stands with the Galaxy as my favorite above all others, are in the Stanley Cup Final. I became a fan last time they were in the Stanley Cup Final. It was the first time I saw hockey. My 6th grade teacher brought highlights of their Stanley Cup appearance to my class that fall, it was great. Now they’re back and I’m a season ticket holder. Thanks Mrs. Brunell.

Now if only the Rams would move back to LA…

Everything Hurts, and I Feel Great

Every inch of my body hurts.

I don’t recall exactly how I went about it, but the celebration last night almost killed me. The Los Angeles Galaxy are the 2011 Major League Soccer Champions, and I celebrated from the moment the whistle blew until hours I didn’t even know existed (did you know there’s a 5AM? Me neither). I hugged about a hundred people, high fived about a million. It was incredible. I don’t recall ever feeling so good.

Then this morning I got up for work. I don’t recall ever feeling so bad. Every part of my body was hurting. Every part of my body still hurts. It’s all worth it though. The celebration was memorable, and something I will always enjoy and cherish. The trophy up top will remain in LA, and belongs to my favorite team. Doesn’t get much better.

No pain, no gain.

My Super Sunday

I like football, both college and the NFL. Every year I throw a Super Bowl party with lots of booze after cooking some of my famous snacks and finger foods.

All that is fine and dandy, but it’s nothing I’m obsessed over or love (notice I used the word like up top?). No for me Super Sunday comes in November… and today is Super Sunday.

Today the Los Angeles Galaxy host the Houston Dynamo in MLS Cup. Soccer is my passion, I was brought up a soccer fan thanks to my father, even my mother would get into the games at times, depending who was playing. Being there with friends singing and chanting, drinking and eating, laughing and crying, it truly is the beautiful game. As a member of the Los Angeles Riot Squad, one of the Galaxy’s supporters’ groups, I have been at the epicenter of many of those joys and pains.

A few years ago there was a big uproar about how awesome it was that San Francisco Giants fans were a singing some song in unison, and that the stadium had an amazing atmosphere because of it… big whoop… that happens at soccer games┬áevery game, that’s why it’s so popular worldwide. Announcements and commercials have been airing all over the place and at other sporting events, and I hear people snicker: “No one cares.”, “Soccer sucks.”. Aside for the fact that those people have the vocabulary of a five year old, they are┬ácompletely┬áwrong. The 27,000 seat Home Depot Center had to expand it’s capacity TWICE for this game. The tickets sold out within in minutes after BOTH expansions. All this for a game “no one cares” about.

Soccer has grown rapidly in the United States since the founding of Major League Soccer. This past year the MLS became the 3rd ranked US league in average per game attendance, having passed the NBA. It’s TV rights deals have grown as well. Not too long after it’s found MLS was struggling and failing, the momentum from the US having hosted the ’94 World Cup was fading, as was the league. Why? Many believe it was because MLS tried to make itself American with shootouts, count down clocks, and trying to lure soccer moms and their kids. Luckily, MLS realized this wasn’t how other leagues survived. They started going after the hardcore fans, they changed the rules to match the rest of the world, and then the league grew. Now the championship game after the playoffs (the one thing that still remains “Americanized”) draws a huge turn out, now the stands are filled with the crazy rabid fans, rather than soccer moms… although there are a few soccer moms… and a few MILFs among them, haha. The hardcore fans with their team’s name tattooed on their body, those are the ones you want. They’re the ones that make the game exciting. They’re the ones that make it fun. Those are the one’s that will be there today. Those are the one’s that will cheer or cry, win or lose with their team.

Those are the ones we are.

I’m LA ’til I die
I’m LA ’til I die
I know I am, I’m sure I am
I’m LA ’til I die