Watching Jeff DaVanon

Watching Jeff DaVanon

A weblog devoted to #55 of the Anaheim Angels, Jeff DaVanon. How is he doing? Is he getting his due respect yet? Let's watch and see...

Monday, March 07, 2005

Roses and things that smell

I'm in the mood for additional procrastination today, and I wanted to make a post about something I've ignored up till this point. Everyone's favorite unwinable argument: the team name.

I'm all for the Angels calling themselves whatever they want. Especially if it is going to help them bring in additional money, expand their market, and generally put them in a better position.

As far as I'm concerned, the term "LA" or "Los Angeles" is more relevant and useful as an area designation than as a city. "LA", to most people, encompasses everything south of Monterey that isn't San Diego. Wherever I've lived or work since moving here from Chicago is LA to the rest of the world and "not-LA" to me. I don't live in LA, I live in Hollywood, because I live in the area that can be called Hollywood, and because in my mind I prefer the idea of Hollywood to the idea of LA.

LA is a sucky city. When you bring people from other cities here, it makes no sense to them. We have a downtown area where no one goes unless forced to. We have public transportation that no one takes, because it doesn't go too many places (unless you take a bus). And the city was built over a mountain range, which is a stupid way to have a city. I understand the sort of gut-level disgust most of us feel when forced to be associated with LA.

But the rest of the world doesn't feel that way about LA. For them, LA is sun and palm trees, and movie stars, and Disneyland, and beaches, and all of that. I bring people to this city all the time, and have to constantly explain just how far away Disneyland is from Universal Studios.

From what I can tell, the only way Anaheim made it in as the city was because of the Disney affiliation. And if we aren't keeping the fairy-dusted uniforms, Mickey, and the rest of the Disneyosity of those days, why should we feel like we need to keep the name Anaheim?

Maybe I feel this way because I don't live in Orange County, so the choice to re-brand as an LA team makes me feel like less of an interloper.

I don't honestly know where the heck the New England Patriots actually play their home games. It could be in Vermont.

I'd probably pay less money to advertise with the Baltimore team than with the DC team. I know it is the same area, with the same people, but it just feels smaller.

Personally, I get it and I'm happy for the change. I can understand that it rubs some people the wrong way. I don't really understand the passion with which some protest the change. And I do mean protesting. But I'm not from Anaheim. I haven't spent decades as the forgettable younger sibling. And truth be told, I've written angry letters and held up signs in protest of some things that you'd probably find hysterical.

But something about the re-branding that Arte embarked on last year is really working. More tickets are being sold. The faces at the games have changed, there are more families, and more diversity in the stands next to me now. I like the new look of the team and the new look of the fans.

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