Let’s All Root-Root-Root for the Home Team

dodgers

I did not realize how badly I want an NFL team to call my own until I went to a Los Angeles Dodgers game in Dodgers Stadium Saturday night.  Not that I’m a big Dodgers fan, having grown up in Chicago going to Cubs and White Sox games (yes, both, due to a “mixed marriage”).  Our family was united only in their contempt for the Brooklyn Dodgers and those “damn Yankees.”  Nor am I a big baseball fan anyway, as you know.  The pace of the game is too sloooooow; there’s not enough scoring or dramatic plays; the uniforms aren’t tight enough!

What grabbed me about the Los Angeles Dodgers game is that it was HERE, in LOS ANGELES, 25 minutes away from my house!  Whenever I go to my closest NFL game in—oh, yeah—San Diego, it’s an ordeal!  A full road trip—2   hours down the freeway, persuading a friend to come with me, and finding a place to stay if it’s a night game!  It’s a 2-day extravaganza!

Saturday night, we went to dinner at 5 at Philippe’s, the Original Home of the French Dip Sandwich for 103 years, with lots of other people wearing Dodger Blue.  We were in our HOME TOWN, going to a HOME TOWN game of our HOME TOWN team.  We were in our seats, behind the Dodger dugout, at 6—in time for the National Anthem.  Tommy Lasorda was seated a few rows in front of us (our seat neighbors told us it was his “regular” seat) and people came up to him casually, to get their caps signed, or their baseballs, and snap a photo with him.  No big mob, just an intermittent stream of LOCAL fans, doing their thing.  And Tommy looked happy to do his.  We all sang “Take Me Out” during the 7th-inning stretch, and suddenly, I was 9 years old again, happily belonging to a city and its team.  At one point, we all did “the wave” throughout the Stadium, and I felt elation!  At one point, late in the game, the big electronic sign announced the Washington Nationals had beaten the St. Louis Cardinals, which was important (somehow—too complicated for me) for the Dodgers hopes of making the Wild Card spot in the Playoffs, and everyone cheered loud and long.  We all knew this was important, and we reacte
So how far away are we from having an NFL Stadium and an NFL team here in L.A?  I am happy to report that on that very Saturday that I was at Dodger Field, the papers announced the city of L.A. is “now one giant step closer to the return of the NFL, after what is now a 17-year absence.  Friday’s L.A. City Council session ended with the overwhelming approval of 12 votes to 0 in favor of AEG’s proposal to build a state-of-the art mud as one giant body—Los Angeles, our home.

So how far away are we from having an NFL Stadium and an NFL team here in L.A? I am happy to report that on that very Saturday that I was at Dodger Field, the papers announced the city of L.A. is “now one giant step closer to the return of the NFL, after what is now a 17-year absence. Friday’s L.A. City Council session ended with an overwhelming approval of 12 votes to 0 in favor of AEG’s proposal to build a state-of-the art multi-purpose stadium, aimed at attracting an NFL team.”  Well!  It’s about time.  And not even soon.  If all goes well, Farmer’s Field, as it is called, could open in time for the 2017 season. Meanwhile, I will satisfy my home town fan needs at NBA games.

The very best part for me on Saturday was at the end of the game, after the Dodgers had won, the music started playing Randy Newman’s “I Love L.A.” The words were flashing on the giant board, and everybody SANG!!  “From the South Bay—to the Valley, From the West Side to the East Side, Everybody’s very happy—‘Caus
And ya know what?  Those uniforms aren’t so bad . . .you can still tell those guys are “built.”  Fun.e the sun is shining all the time—Looks like another perfect day—I love L.A.—We Love It!”  I swear, I was choked up.  All of us “natives” chanting our anthem:  “Century Boulevard (We love it)—Victory Boulevard (We love it)—Santa Monica Boulevard (We love it)—Sixth Street (We love it, we love it).”  All these little streets and towns, strung together by the freeways, and it’s all OURS, with the sun shining all the time . . .

And ya know what? Those uniforms aren’t so bad. . . you can still tell those guys are “build.” Fun.

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