Wednesday, October 21, 2009

this is our town

dodger stadium


To be completely honest, I never took the LA Dodgers seriously until after I moved six hours away from the area and craved a connection to my hometown of seventeen years. Growing up, Dodger games were family affairs and I played the typical role of disaffected child among fanatical adults. I was never into sports (both watching and playing) and chose to work on developing other interests that required less effort. By the time I reached my teens, Dodger games were a complete bore to me and I'd swiftly refuse any offer to go upon being asked since I felt I had better things to do. It just wasn't my thing, you know? I was into music and fashion and felt I had no time or desire to get into sports, much less baseball.

I can't deny that I felt somewhat homesick when I left Southern California. I mean, I can't imagine moving back down there since I love the Bay Area so much, but there's just something that I can't help but miss about being an Angeleno, including the inevitable attachment and pride you feel when you collectively root for your home team. At some point I actually started looking for Dodger games to watch, but without Southern Californian TV programming the only games I could watch were against the Oakland A's or SF Giants. At first I only watched casually; losses were no big deal and I was too busy with other things to keep up with the season. I was slowly warming up to the idea, though, when I realized that, hey, baseball is actually really entertaining. When you truly get into it, you're sucked in: nothing else but the game matters during those nine innings.

So I became a Dodger fan for real this time, sans family and regional pressure. I watched as many games as I could on TV and reviewed the highlights online whenever I couldn't. I put my faith in the team I was raised to love and learned how to truly care for them on my own without any outside pressure. I began to understand the fanaticism behind baseball. It's not just a blind attachment to a sport; it's a genuine relationship with a team in whom you invest an unconditional love and feeling of trust that's second to none.

Why am I blogging about this right now? I never actually realized any of the above until this week when I asked myself why I was putting myself through so much stress worrying about the Dodgers advancing to the World Series after last year's crushing defeat. Why force myself into terrible moods when things don't go the right way? Because I love having something to believe in; a team I can invest my hopes and dreams into and wish for the best. When times are tough, trust me, they're tough. I'm seriously crying right now after this loss because there were so many mistakes that could have easily been avoided, like Game 4's Dodger lead turned walk off hit for the Phillies.

Likewise, the highs are amazing to experience, i.e. Game 2 of the NLDS when the Dodgers won in the bottom of the 9th with two outs and I found myself jumping around like an idiot screaming in delight. I just can't explain this sense of euphoria in words... but it's so extraordinary that I just keep coming back. The lows are nothing compared to this: if we have to wait another year for a World Series, well then bring it on. Loney, Kemp, and Ethier: this team is YOURS now. Your timelines with the Dodgers have paralleled my own: you debuted and blossomed when I started to learn what it meant to rally behind a team. I am proud to call myself a Dodger fan despite the wins and losses and will always be supporting you through thick and thin, so let's start looking at next year, yeah? These past two years have taught us so much and even though we still have some growing up to do, we'll do it together. I'll never stop believin'! Love, Annabel.

Sorry, comments disabled for this one, since this is mainly for me.