Sunday, October 18, 2009
I consider myself a sports fan. I casually watch sports without religiously following any one team or sport except for the Lakers. But admittedly, on average I only watch about 70% of regular season Laker games, allowing myself to miss weekend night games and some of the unexciting match-ups (e.g., Pacers, Grizzlies, Bobcats). Sure, come late-May every Laker fan is "die hard", but that's expected. But I digress...
I believe it was during the 2008 NBA Finals when I first heard the chant. Or it might have started earlier. A part of me wants to say it started during the Finals Series against the Pistons a few years back, but I may be mistaken for the equally irritating "DE-TROIT BASKETBALLL!"chant. Most recently this infamous chant has been adopted by Phillies fans against the Dodgers in the NLCS. Regardless of its origin, it always seems to get under my skin. In unison, a steady roar fills the arena and shakes the very foundation of the playing field or the basketball court. "Beat L.A.! Beat L.A.! Beat L.A.!"
Every time I think of fans cheering this I envision a shabbily dressed "bro", with his backwards cap, gripping his Bud Light and pumping his fist into the air. He's fueled by the sexual frustration that he has built up all year long dividing his time between Sports Center and Facebook stalking his no-longer-attainable random hook-ups from high school. He grew up in a sleepy northeast or midwest town half an hour outside of Philly, Boston, Chicago or Detroit and used to dream about moving to sunny LA. He won't admit it, but he shed a tear on the last episode of the OC. and never misses an episode of Entourage. He secretly still hopes that one day he'll actually be able to make the big move West he has always dreamed about. But for now, he'll have to make due as he climbs the corporate ladder at Bank of America (which oddly enough he treats like the Boiler Room and where he works as a teller Monday through Friday, sporting a gelled up fauxhawk and obnoxiously bright shirt and tie combinations).
It's in the mid 80s in LA in mid October and he's in a winter coat, walking to the bar to watch his team play the Dodgers or the Lakers. Now his buzz from Happy Hour is wearing off and the only emotion that pierces through the insecurity that plauges his everyday life is pure rage. It's so unfair. His team is losing, despite being heavily favored in this match-up, it's so sunny in LA it could be noon in July and the dude who his girlfriend left him for last month bares a striking resemblance to Luke Walton. It's hard to believe the game is being aired live when he peers out the window to see street lights glistening off the wet asphalt.
At this point he doesn't even care who wins. The only thing he wants to see is LA lose. "Beat LA! Beat LA! Beat LA!"
As much as it irks me to hear fans screaming this with conviction, a part of me loves it.