I call 2010 my Sports Black Hole.
The amount of sports I watched decreased significantly last year but you know what? Having a sports black hole in 2010 is just fine by me. This way, I don’t have to acknowledge the 2010 World Series champions. That helps me sleep at night.
Simultaneously starting a new job and planning a wedding forced me into a black hole on several different levels (and nearly killed me, but that’s not what we’re here to talk about today). In 2011, despite being blissfully free of decisions about napkins and invitations, I may enter a sports black hole by choice.
The reason is simple: I’m a Los Angeles sports fan.
Sure, having terrible teams over several eons stinks (I’m looking at you, Cleveland) and from that perspective, Los Angeles fans don’t have much to complain about. But, I’m having a hard time thinking of a worse sports city right now than Los Angeles, as far as momentum or enthusiasm.
The Lakers advanced to the second round of the playoffs, but were embarrassed by the Dallas Mavericks. Worst of all, they were embarrassing in how they handled losing. That Game 4 loss against the Mavericks reminded me of when my mom had to explain to me that losing comes with playing sports and win or lose, you have to be respectful. However, I was 9-years-old playing for an AYSO team called the “Pink Rockets” when I got that lecture. Throwing temper tantrums at that age is slightly more understandable.
I’m not a Laker fan that has a meltdown if they don’t win the title. The Lakers are always in the conversation and as a sports fan, you really can’t ask for much more than that. You can’t win every year, and the fact that the Lakers have been in the NBA Finals about half the time is remarkable. When the team gets knocked out of the playoffs, it would be nice to feel good about supporting them. It certainly did not this week.
Speaking of painful, let’s talk about the Dodgers too.
The ownership situation with Frank McCourt—and whatever happens to resolve it—will haunt the organization for years to come. One of baseball’s most historic franchises can’t even pay its players.
The good Dodger fans—which is 98% of us—are forced to realize that two idiots brutally beat a Giants fan in the name of our team. More than a month later, Bryan Stow remains in a coma. Instead of McCourt stepping up and taking care of Stow’s medical bills as he absolutely should have, the fans and many other kind-hearted people picked up the slack to raise money and help Stow’s family cover costs. The only thing that motivated McCourt to care about this and other glaring issues was simple: the Dodgers’ ticket sales plummeted.
On top of that, the team will be lucky to finish around .500 this season, and that would be truly incredible given the circumstances. Dodger Stadium feels empty, and not just because the seats are empty. I guess the soul of the place got sucked into my sports black hole too. Same as hopes for an NFL team in the near future.
A black hole is an object whose gravity is so strong, not even light can escape it. I think that’s where I’d like to put my L.A. sports fandom until further notice.