Confessions of an HH spy.
This is the story of an A's fan who decided to go undercover as an Angels fan at Halo Heaven in order to understand the psychology of our much maligned neighbors in red. The whole idea started as a protest against the Rev's custom of banning A's fans who dared to swell the meager roles of HH hits, myself included. If Todd or Joel - or whatever his real name is - could step in like a self-ordained Fullerton Mussolini (insert name of your favorite dictator, domestic or otherwise) and erase all statements that he didn't agree with, then the rules of the blogosphere could be thrown out the window. I decided that I would devote the rest of my life to creating a false login identity so devious and so carefully crafted that not even the world's greatest trollhound could tell me from yeswecan or cupie. But then something strange happened: I realized that Angels fans are real people, just like us, and deserve our respect.Naaahhh!! Who am I kidding?
But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me start from the beginning. I first visited that very red site after having spent a lot of time here at AN, and having checked into Lookout Landing from time to time. While of course we all agree that we are funny, intelligent, and often happily strange and disturbing people who all happen to be rooting for the correct team, it turns out that the M's fans at LL are at least as funny and intelligent as we - they just root for the wrong team. Surfing over to HH is a different thing altogether: my first impression was that the site was being run by a descendant of Jim Jones, someone who serves his congregation a very saccharine cherry koolaid that has been mostly drained of the good feeling you get from AN or LL. Statistics be damned, the site seems to say, we (the Angels) have an enormous payroll and we aren't afraid to practice simian video terrorism (SVT) when we want to start a rally. Oh, yeah: and our huge payroll entitles us to expect all kinds of unreasonable things from our players. (And have I mentioned how red the site is?)
There were a few ANers intelligently disagreeing with things that were said on the site. Then I noticed that a certain BleacherDave (of AN fame) was banned for engaging in outlandishly trollish dialogue such as this:BleacherDave: Hi, mom!
angelsrallymom: Hi, son!
BleacherDave: What's for dinner, mom?
angelsrallymom: Meatloaf and mashed potatos!
BleacherDave: Sounds great! See you after the game!
Disturbed by BD's sudden disappearance, I was compelled to try my hand on the site. I first posted on HH with fairly accurate predictions about the Yankers win over the Angels from a short while back; I predicted the Angels would score 4 runs off of 9 hits, and the Yankers would score 12 runs off of 18 hits. The only one on the site who appreciated my accuracy was a poster named BleacherDavid, whose very cleverly modified login didn't trick me (or the Rev, as it turned out). I underestimated the Angels offense by a few runs and hits, but I only overestimated the Yankers' totals by 1 in each category. I logged in under that name I use here, and other than my relatively accurate prediction, I made one other comment: that the Yankers would like what the Colonel (Saunders) was serving up. Again, quite accurate (despite the tone of bitter glee): they gorged themselves on his original recipe meatballs and his extra crispy rookie arm that day.
Like an amateur, I bragged about my accuracy on AN, and well, you can guess the consequence: LAXile had been banned from the hallowed halls of halo heaven. Whoopdy-shit, you might be tempted to say. In any case, my new login would be even less ambiguous: I became ilovethelosangelesangelesangels, again announcing the fact on AN.This persona was too over-the-top, as I tried to kill them with scarcely masked sarcasm. I said things like: "I'm not gonna let a grumpy grumpmeister ruin this halo smile! No, sir!" This time all my previous comments were erased and I was unable to post new ones.That was when it hit me: I would play it straight; I would use terms like "Choakland" and befriend the fine people of the OC in order to get inside their heads. I crafted the login name rodcarew4ever, which wasn't that hard to do, as I really used to love watching Rod play for the Angels back in the day. I made one slip by predicting the Angels would lose that day's game, a mistake which provoked one HHer to call me a troll, and prompted the Rev to interrogate me. "How long have you been an Angels' fan?" he asked. The trap was set; the bait was taken; the game was afoot. But there was a problem: I couldn't physically stomach pretending to not love the A's. I felt both the pure bliss of having penetrated the red curtain, but also the uncleanliness that comes from even feigning to root for the wrong team.
So this is my confession. I know many of you will think what I did was wrong. It's possible that the Rev will cite this diary and go on a rant about what idiots A's fans are. I accept all of the blame for this. To be honest, I don't appreciate trolls either, and I do appreciate the fact that there are no Angels fans trolling about AN (or very few). But I felt that the Rev's totalitarian attitude was a bit much. His facist attitude contrasts so starkly with Blez's Marcus Aureliusian approach: measured, just, and rational.
Being myself a Bay Area transplant to the South, I came equipped with the standard anti-LA (and OC) attitudes that many of us from Northern California have. Some of them were proven wrong, while others were confirmed. I know some good people who are Angels fans. I know some idiots who are A's fans. I also know that HH has fewer posters than AN, and thus represents a smaller sample size of Angels fans than this site does for A's fans. In other words, what we sometimes perceive to be the stupidity or anti-stat, anti-fun, anti-intelligent feeling on HH (and among Angels fans in general) is in large part a product of intangibles, including, most obviously, our own position as A's fans. Nor do I buy the argument that to even mention HH or the Rev is to fall into his trap: to provoke ANers to visit HH. It's sometimes interesting and useful and just plain fun to see what those freaks in red are doing over there. The only hits I care about are those had by our boys in green and gold.
So in the spirit of a spirited rivalry, I offer this bit of "Intentionally Unaltered Movie Dialogue":Rev: Did you gamble?
Rev: Did you win?
Rev: What did you win?