SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Thursday, January 20, 2005

The Most Compelling Sports Story in L.A.

Now that the USC Trojans have won their second national championship in football in a row, L.A. is a pretty dull sports town. UCLA basketball, you say? Well, the Bruins' hoops dynasties under John Wooden are a long time gone. USC hoops? Kind of like playing team handball in Manhattan. The Lakers? Shaq, you recall, was traded in the off-season, the team has four small forwards, and their two guard, a guy named Kobe, hurt his ankle. The Clippers? Outside of the fact that Billy Crystal has discovered them and two Dookies are starring for them, they still haven't been able to get over the hump. Baseball season is still far enough away, and there is no ice hockey.

So what's left? Outside of trying to solve the burglaries that have plagued Bel Air, Beverly Hills and Pacific Palisades (you can read about this saga in Vanity Fair), there aren't many spectator sports.

Except, perhaps, this one.

Not, exactly, reminiscent of the great rivalries in sports history. No showdowns between the Larry Bird Celtics and the Magic Johnson Lakers. No Joe Morgan hitting a home run on the last weekend of the season at Candlestick to deprive the Dodgers of a playoff spot. No Vince Ferragamo trying to quarterback the Rams over the Steelers in the Super Bowl.

None of that. After all, why play something on a field or a rink or on a court when you can go a few rounds in court?

About a name, no less.

The irony, to me, is that the team behind the Orange Curtain in the now hot O.C. is trying to claim the name of the big city to the north, a city that most Orange County residents would prefer not to have much to do with. After all, that's why they moved to behind the Orange Curtain in the first place. And the city to the north, for its part, rather than see it sphere of influence expand, doesn't think it's fair that the county to the south wants to claim its name.

Great legal battle?

Hardly.

Slow sports time?

Probably.

Memo to the Angels and the Dodgers: Get to the playoffs, then pop off.

Because most people really don't care about where you're from.

They only care whether you can play.

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