21 Reasons You Know You’re a Sports Fan From Los Angeles
You Know You're an LA Sports Fan When...
There are a lot of people out there who like to believe they’re serious Los Angeles sports fans. Do you really have what it takes to meet the criteria necessary to earn that designation, though, or are you just a wannabe who wishes they knew what being a true LA fan was really about?
Were you there when the Los Angeles Lakers faced serious adversity during the mid-2000s? Or how about when the Anaheim Ducks were nothing more than a silly expansion team that no one took seriously? Are you one of those Los Angeles Clippers fans who has dealt with year after year of watching their team suffer from devastating bouts of mediocrity?
It takes much more than a few years’ worth of half-hearted fandom to consider yourself a true LA sports fan. You can’t just claim to have witnessed the Lakers’ two-peat in 2009-2010. Or have been there when the Los Angeles Kings beat the odds and won the 2012 Stanley Cup. You need to know who players like Devon George, Troy Glaus and Elton Brand are to earn this coveted honor.
While Los Angeles may still lack an NFL team, it’s a city rich in sports history. In the second-biggest media market in the United States, it’s hard not to create waves throughout the sports world. Whether or not you have a claim to that history, though, is up to you and your knowledge on what has happened over the years in the glorious city they call Los Angeles.
Here are 21 things that will confirm you’re a true LA sports fan.
21. You know there were three current NFL teams to play in LA
That’s right, folks. It wasn’t just the Raiders and Rams who spent time in the city of angels. In their first year in the league, the Chargers were actually located in Los Angeles. While it obviously didn’t last long – they packed their bags for San Diego the next year – only real LA fans know that there was a third NFL team to call this place home.
20. You were sad when the King Fish retired
Even if you’re a fan of the Dodgers, you know you felt like shedding a tear when Tim Salmon (aka King Fish) decided to hang it up in 2006. A 15-year veteran with the Angels, Salmon was a huge part of their rise to relevance in the 2000s and one of the most beloved players in Los Angeles. There aren’t many athletes who have impacted a city like he did.
19. You know the answer to “Why are the Lakers called the Lakers?”
Before the Lakers were the Los Angeles Lakers, they were actually the Minneapolis Lakers. In 1960, then-owner Bob Short decided to leave the Land of Lakes and take his team west, landing in the city of angels. Hence, the nickname that doesn’t seem to fit the locale. But you knew that already, didn’t you?
18. You know who Lisa Leslie is
While the majority of the sports world could care less about what’s going on in the WNBA, there is one name that stands out among the rest. Leslie, one of the greatest girls to ever play in the WNBA, was a star for the Los Angeles Sparks. She’s also known for being the first girl to ever dunk on a regulation-height hoop.
17. You miss the Los Angeles Avengers
Since 1994, Los Angeles has been without an NFL team. For a small chunk of time, though, fans desperate for a taste of professional football found salvation in the Avengers, LA’s Arena Football League team. They have since been disbanded, but it’s hard to believe the new LA Kiss will have anything on California’s favorite AFL team.
16. You know what “Off the floor, on the board” means
In what was almost the Ducks’ first Stanley Cup victory, Anaheim was dealt what appeared to be a crippling blow. Paul Kariya was bulldozed by Scott Stevens and lay motionless on the ice for some time. Instead of bowing out, though, Kariya returned to the ice and netted a dramatic slapshot that helped send the series to seven games. Even though the Ducks ended up losing to the New Jersey Devils, Kariya displayed the toughness and determination that has personified LA sports for so long.
15. You still refer to them as the Anaheim Angels
What were they thinking when they decided that the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim was the way to go? The team either needs to cut off the Anaheim or go back to the Anaheim Angels, but just about everyone would agree that the latter is the best option.
14. You know where you were when Robert Horry hit “the shot”
Even though he went to the dark side by signing with the San Antonio Spurs after his time with the Lakers, Horry will always be remembered for his heroics during the 2002 NBA Western Conference Finals. Nailing one of the most clutch shots in NBA history, he helped propel the Lakers to their third Championship in a row while etching his name in the book of Lakers legends.
13. You wish you could bleed blue like Tommy Lasorda
If there’s one person that’s synonymous with Dodgers baseball, it’s Lasorda. He spent 21 years as the manager of the Dodgers, leading them to two World Series wins and helping them stay atop the MLB hierarchy. Even if you’re an Angels fan, it’s hard not to respect him for the impact he had on the Dodgers. Lasorda bleeds blue in the biggest of ways.
12. It’s acceptable to like just about any NFL team
While supporting the Chargers, 49ers or Raiders is your best bet, it’s understandable to root for any NFL team – apart from a certain squad in Texas. With no team in LA and little hope for the city of angels ever finding itself a new franchise, you’re free to pick whatever team fits your fancy. We don’t discriminate in LA if you’re a fan of a not-so-local NFL team.
11. The Mighty Ducks is more than just a movie to you
The Ducks might have gotten their nickname from the 1992 movie “The Mighty Ducks,” but they’ve spent their two decades in the NHL proving that their more than just a gimmicky name. Despite some early struggles after entering the league, the Ducks came away with their first Stanley Cup in 2007 and have since become an annual contender. To LA fans, it’s more than just a movie.
10. You know that Clippers vs Lakers wasn’t always a rivalry
Prior to the Clippers actually being a relevant NBA team, there was no rivalry. It was fairly clear – and still is – that LA is the Lakers’ town. But there wasn’t even a question prior to the addition of Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. Before then, the Clippers were just LA’s forgotten team. If you need a better example, think of an ugly stepchild who is banished to the basement to avoid further embarrassment.
9. Being a Boston Celtics fan is a sin in your eyes
If you are an LA fan, you absolutely abhor the Celtics – no ifs, ands or buts about it. They’ve been rivals to the Lakers since the early days of the NBA, and the blood boils every time the two teams battle. Even if you’re a Clippers fan (weirdo), you can’t help but laugh at the Celtics after stealing their head coach and watching them fall apart.
8. The voice of Vin Scully is music to your ears
When you hear Scully’s voice come across the radio or serenade you through the television, you know Dodgers baseball is under way. His legendary voice is unmistakable, and is the very essence of Dodgers baseball. He’s the longest tenured announcer in the MLB, and continues to provide the sultry sound that blue bloods expect when watching their favorite baseball team.
7. Angels vs Dodgers: You love one, hate the other
Better known as the Freeway Series, these two clubs butt heads every year to prove who deserves the crown as LA’s best baseball team. No matter who you are, there’s no sitting on the fence with this rivalry. You either love the Angels and hate the Dodgers, or love the Dodgers and hate the Angels. If you like both teams, you clearly aren’t an LA sports fan and need to reconsider your life.
6. You were a fan of the Los Angeles Kings before 2012
In 2012, the Kings won the NHL Stanley Cup. In 2012, Kings “fans” came out of the woodworks to show their support for their “favorite” hockey team. For those of you serious hockey fans out there who don’t fit into the bandwagon category, you knew about this team well before 2012 and didn’t have a tag hanging off of your Jonathan Quick jersey while watching them hoist the trophy.
5. You wish Phil Jackson was back coaching the Lakers
Plain and simple, the guy wins rings. He has won more rings during his career than he has fingers to put them on, and got five of them during his time as the head coach of the Lakers. The team flirted with the idea of bringing him back last season, but made the totally logical decision to go with Mike D’Antoni instead. We all know how that turned out. If only they had met his demands and brought him back, Dwight Howard might still be playing in LA.
4. You can’t stand Dallas Cowboys fans
There’s just something about their arrogance that doesn’t resonate well with LA natives. They’re like the Raiders fans of Texas, except their favorite team has actually enjoyed a considerable amount of success – and they love to rub it in your face.
3. Kobe Bryant is the greatest of all time, and you know it
Who cares how many more championships or MVPs Michael Jordan had? Bryant is the greatest player to ever step foot on a basketball court, and his time with the Lakers is more than enough to prove that. Bryant has become a God to LA fans, and neither Jordan nor LeBron James will ever dethrone him in their minds.
2. Chick Hearn will always hold a place in your heart
The legendary voice of the Lakers, Hearn’s death was a tragedy felt all over LA. Fans flocked from everywhere to mourn the loss of one of the greatest broadcasters in history. If you’re a true LA sports fan, just thinking about Hearn should bring a tear to your eye. By the way, does anyone have a tissue?
1. You still have faith that the NFL will return to LA
We all got our hopes up a couple of years ago when rumors began to swirl that pieces were in place for a current franchise to make the move. Since, the idea has lost a lot of steam, but hopes are still high in LA that a team will come to SoCal eventually. It just makes sense to have a team of the most popular sport in America in one of the biggest markets in the world, right?