Our long national nightmare is finally over, the Angels are most likely going to drop the "of Anaheim" from the end of their name. I never thought I'd see this day.
Wait, actually I did. This was Arte Moreno's plan all along. He intentionally gave his team a stupid name just to satisfy a legal requirement knowing full well that he'd eventually negotiate his way out of that requirement so that he could name the team the Los Angeles Angels and make no mention of piddly ol' Anaheim at all. Despite this being an inevitability, this forthcoming change has many up in arms.
But before we tackle all the outrage, OUTRAGE I TELL YOU, let's take a moment and just realize that "Los Angeles of Anaheim" was a truly, horribly stupid name. Like, it was the absolute worst. Nobody liked it but Angels fans felt obligated to defend it. Once it is gone, we will no longer have to deal with tired corny jokes like "Los Angeles Angels of Disneyland" or "Los Angeles Angels of Suck." So very hilarious. The eradication of the "of Anaheim" era is something to rejoice, no matter how you feel about what the team's name should be. This is a win for everyone.
Now, as for that whole sticky Los Angeles or Anaheim situation, this is where it turns into a loss for everyone.
For the pro-Los Angeles crowd this is a victory but a hollow one. Yes, the Angels get to keep their allegedly national media-friendly name, but there will always be that nagging reminder that Anaheim is not in Los Angeles nor is it particularly close. Essentially, you are supporting geographic ignorance. The ironic part of it all is that if not for the "Los Angeles of Anaheim" name, a large chunk of America's population would have never realized that LA and Anaheim are so separate. Seriously, I've lived all over this country and everyone thinks San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco are all right next door to each other. This is why nobody cared that the LA Rams played in Anaheim back in the day because nobody realized what the difference was. Moreno unwittingly undermined his own grand plan by pointing out to everyone just how ignorant they had been for decades.
This is where the pro-Anaheim fans should take solace in the face of this crushing blow to their hometown's national notoriety. While the name of their precious city has been stripped from the team's name, everyone has now been made fully aware of where the Angels truly reside. Now people are more informed than ever of where the Angels are located, so it really is an improvement over the 36 previous years of the team's existence where Anaheim was also not in the team name.
What was that? Oh, right. I almost forgot that Anaheim was never part of the team name until 1997 when it was renamed to Anaheim Angels. And just like Moreno's name change, the adoption of the Anaheim moniker was all about marketing as the Disney Corporation made the change in some bizarre effort to bring attention to Anaheim and thus Disney itself. So if we are really honest with ourselves, this Anaheim-ectomy isn't exactly sullying a long, storied tradition for a franchise that has changed its preferred name more often than Diddy (or is it P. Diddy or Puffy? I can never remember).
If anything, all this griping over the team name makes the fanbase look bad. The New York Giants and Jets don't even play in New York state, yet there is nary a peep made about it. Even then, these complaints, valid though they might be, are completely hollow. As fervent in their team and hometown pride as the detractors are, the attendance numbers show quite clearly that locals are not turning their back on the team because of this name nonsense.
Instead of reigniting the holy war over the inclusion of Anaheim, we'd all be much better off just letting it be and taking solace in the fact that the stupid name just got a little bit less stupid.