It is tough to be an Angels fan right now.
Reasons? Take your pick! How about a payroll that Scrooge McDuck’s money bin would be hard pressed to keep up with? Maybe you prefer the acute and nagging injuries peppering the roster? Perhaps you prefer to observe the long term contracts to aging players and ticking clocks on your favorite young bucks? Or maybe you’re just a SoCal fan sick of hearing Los Doyers tear it up with Yasiel Puig snagging the “SoCal Darling: spotlight away from Mike Trout. Whatever the reason, you’re likely justified. There’s no shortage of excuses to give for a less-than-enthusiastic fan base at this time of year.
Just remember: It could always be worse.
You could be a fan of the Oakland Raiders. Think about being amongst THAT prestigious group. Bad Angels fans just show up in the 4th inning. Bad Raiders fans have criminal records and Darth Vader helmets that haven’t been washed since Al Davis was alive. It should never be verified, but one can imagine the smell is not unlike a cross between rotten bacon and burning Triscuits. Good Raider fans know the history of the team and the “commitment to excellence”. Bad Raider fans want to be on television and start fights, not necessarily in that order.
You could be a Chicago Cubs fan. Oh, the poor Cubs! Making fun of the Cubs has become so cliche, they’re even a joke in Adam Sandler movies. The city has its wonders for certain. Millenium Park, Navy Pier, the Mag Mile, and Chicago signature pizza and hotdogs are all hallmarks of what is truly one of the United States’ greatest cities. For all of the highlights that the city is known for, the Cubs are the un-smiling child in the family photograph. The “Curse of the Goat” has plagued the Cubbies for longer than many fans have been alive, the only possible chance to break it foiled by the infamous Steve Bartman. Having Bourjos on the DL is an easily accepted alternative to a legacy of sadness.
You could be a Miami Heat fan… or a Laker fan… or a San Antonio Spurs fan (I don’t know, it’s hard to keep up with the NBA bandwagon these days. Let’s just stick with the Heat since they’re on top of the heap right now). It’s difficult to follow a team when you don’t know any of the players besides LeBron James and he’s going to be a free agent next season. The only player on the team you “love” is going to be hitting the road for greener pastures and you’ll be left in the lurch with no one except Chris Bosh and his velociraptor-like neck to keep you warm. Albert Pujols shaky knees are far preferable fate.
Rooting for the Angels may be painful right now, but it’s far from the worse. Sports teams everywhere go through dark times (the Browns, the Pirates, the Jaguars, the Astros, and the Sacramento Kings can all vouch for this). In these situations, you may not wear your fandom on your sleeves, but watching a game at a bar isn’t out of the question. You may not be inclined to wear your jersey in public, but don’t be so quick to scrape that vinyl decal off your car or toss your favorite lucky cap. You’re certainly not showing your Josh Hamilton autographed ball, but don’t give it to the kids at The Sandlot just yet. Never forget: This too shall pass.
And if it doesn’t, we can always invest in Darth Vader helmets and start buying Febreeze by the case.