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How Much Do You Hate 'Em?

The idea for this delightful topic, perfect for a weekend in the dog days of August, was given to me by our newest friend, Sherman Alexie, who instantly raised both the level of writing and class around here to unprecedented heights by gracing us with his literary minstrelsy.  (See this for details.)  One of the strong points in his introduction to Blazersedge and Blazer fandom was how much he despised the L*kers.  So I figured, why should just the professional, heavens-gifted writers have the fun?

The thread this weekend is for you to explore how much and why you hate the L.A. team whose name shall not be fully mentioned here.  Give us background, anecdotes, whatever you wish.  Let it loose.  The only reminder is that site rules, especially those governing profanity and d*sguised profanity, remain in effect.  (With the usual exception of L*kers, of course.)

For the noble hearts among us who would wonder why we need to air such things, who would say that a more genteel aura should prevail, who would urge respect for the game and the opponents it brings us...I would say I agree with you approximately 96.55% of the time.  Not coincidentally that equates to the fraction 28/29.  This is the exception.

I suppose for me it dates back to the earliest days of my fandom.  We handled the L*kers on the way to our championship but soon after we suffered regular pummeling at the hands of the Showtime group.  Looking back that was only natural, but at the time it stung.  Still these were but the birth pangs.  The coals were lit but the forge was unmanned.  The image of Magic Johnson hurling that orange globe irretrievably skyward, draining the last seconds of the 1991 Western Conference Finals before our anguished eyes, was the bellows-puff which made the coals white hot.  Even so, the true forging of rock-hard antipathy arrived with Shaquille O'Neal.  Before donning the purple and gold, indeed even in his first years as a L*ker, he was the NBA equivalent of an erectile dysfunction commerical.  The equipment was there, but it wasn't producing anything exciting.  All of a sudden Jordan retires, then the Spurs win a championship, and the NBA ratings go down.  Lo and behold, Shaq and the L*kers become ready-made championship material behind the constant swinging of his pork chop forearm.  The instant the refs started swallowing their whistles and letting him throw that thing in the lane against all comers the rest of the league was doomed.  That's not to say L.A. wasn't a great team.  In 2001 they were legitimately awesome...the best team in the league by far.  But they won three rings, not one.  (The last, as it's coming out now, was apparently in controversial fashion.)  Much has been made lately of Shaq getting old, but that's only half the story.  The the very nanosecond the officials started calling that forearm an offensive foul he became a much more pedestrian player...a force still, but not the world-wrecker he once was allowed to be.

Those years sealed the deal for me.  In no way, shape, or form will I root for that team, nor in any way tolerate its presence in my psyche except for those times when we face each other on the court.  I have refused to discuss the stories emanating out of L.A., refused to participate in the ratings soap-operas that swirl around the franchise, refused the (mostly unwarranted) national obsession with them no matter how many hits a Kobe Bryant post may have generated for this site.  I preview their games, watch them, write a recap, and that's it.  (It goes without saying that when we do face each other every single fiber of my being screams out for the Blazers to beat them.)  If they come up on sports talk radio, I turn it off.  Heck, I even rooted for Jerry Buss to lose his shirt the season he was on High Stakes Poker.   If it weren't for the generally excellent work of Kurt and company over at  ForumBlueandGold I doubt I could find one thing I could remark on without having to suppress my gag reflex.

That's where I am anyway.  It's your turn.  If you are tempted to play peacenik (or respectnik) this is just not your weekend.  Go out and enjoy the weather, scan through the fanposts, compile a TominHawaii 365-day quote calendar, or go party at Sophia's MySpace page.  This thread is for those who despise L.A. in their heart of hearts to find solace and company. swearing.

Remember also that maybe, just maybe, after a decade of Oden/Roy/Aldridge they'll hate us just as bad.

--Dave (