Friday, April 4, 2008

The First Series With The Blue Bloods

by Nick McCann

Trevor Hoffman is 2 for 3 in save opportunities so far in 2008. If Baseball is the game of failure, then that means he is the most recognizable figure on a team that exemplifies that notion perfectly, and he is doing better than okay. Besides, we all know that he will end up with 35-40 saves and he blow the entire season on national television again. We are Padre fans, and by now we should all know that the universe is easy to understand, and that it can be a dick.

Today is Friday, you probably have a job, and you definitely have shit to do. The Dodgers are coming to town tonight and they are bringing Dodger Nation with them; it is time to look in the mirror, come to grips with who you are, and hold your ground because this will be happening on the 5 South this afternoon:

The hardest thing for Padre fans to deal with when The Dodgers play at Petco Park is that they bring a nation of drunk idiots (see above), and transplants that live here now who enjoy exercising the bad ass image that they attained when they had The LA Raiders to root for. These people hold on to a pain caused by something that left them behind for Oakland. That would hurt anybody. They don’t know how to deal with their abandonment issues, so they act out to get attention.

It is easy to claim that people from LA need attention, but when it comes to their baseball team, they are by far the most unified fanbase in the division. The dynamics of the National League West are easy to understand. The Dodgers and the Giants hate each other more than any of the other teams, and more than any of the other teams hate each other. The prize is the NL West Title, but the Dodgers and Giants want each other to fail if they can’t have it.

The fact that I described the dynamics of the division from the Dodger perspective even though I am a Padre fan is very telling of where we fit in. In a lot of ways, the Padres position in the division is a lot like Screech’s position was in the dynamic between Slater, Zack, and Kelly on Saved By The Bell. Kelly was the prize, and Zack and Slater competed against each other to get her. Zack ultimately won Kelly, and Slater had to settle for the wild card, Jesse Spano (see the pill popping episode). Lisa Turtle, played by the stunning Lark Voorhies, was right up there with Tiffany Amber Theissen as far as pure beauty (watch Son and Law and Def Jam’s How to Be A Player on the same night), but within the context of the show, winning her was like winning the All-Star Game (something Zack managed to win only once. The episode where Lisa and Zack liked eachother seemed like it mattered within that episode, but it didn't matter enough to change the clearly defined reality of the show. Since it's introduction, The All-Star Game dictating the home field advantage in the World Series also hasn't mattered). Sure, Screech never won the All-Star Game, but he did win semi-foxy supernerd Violet, played by creator Aaron Spelling's daughter, Tori Spelling. This Screech victory was equivalent to the Royals getting two All-Stars in The All-Star Game in 2003. Screech never tried for Kelly, but that was because he was never perceived (clearly also by himself) to be a threat to the two other dominant male characters in the show. We all know that Screech wanted to get with Kelly, but we knew he never had a shot.

Although the Padres have managed to win the division, we have been forced to assume our Screech position because the rivalry between the Giants and Dodgers has more history. If Screech had some how managed to date Kelly, Slater would have been fine with Jesse, and Zack would have rebounded with Tori, and then gone off to be the male Madonna pop star that he was always supposed to be. Essentially, we are Screech whether we like it or not, and even when we win the division, most LA fans often seem congratulatory and civil. This is because if we win that means the Giants have not. They do this because they know it hurts us. They know this hurts us because they know us better than we know ourselves.

Aren’t sports analogies to Saved By The Bell fresh and new? Wait until we get to the trade deadline and I hit the The Wonder Years hard.

Aaron Spelling created another teenage show starring his daughter called Beverly Hills 90210. The protagonist on that show, Brandon Walsh, an all-American kid from Minnesota, moves to LA and is forced to adapt and function in a self-absorbed environment that he seems almost cartoonishly foreign to. The show was designed to show people how unique LA was while following Brandon and his family of outsiders’ journey down the rabbit hole. Later in the series, after the Walsh family had assimilated into the LA lifestyle, Valerie, a family friend played by Tiffany Amber Theissen, came to live with them and trouble ensued. Much like the Padres, Brandon was always the nice guy who everyone liked, but even he got the prize once and a while:

Wait, wasn’t Valerie from Minnesota like Brandon? Does that mean that the prize is always is in our grasp no matter what LA is or has to say about it? Aaron Spelling is surely laughing at us from beyond the grave. After all, only a Dodger fan would create two hit series for their daughter to star in about the city he called home.

Watch the first video again, and remember we play the Dodgers in LA in less than two weeks.


Liz said...

The caffeine pills episode changed my life.

Red said...

"I'm so excited. I'm so excited. I'm so...scared."

best episode ever

the Grub said...

I think it should be kept in mind, as maybe only Giants fans (Slater?) do, that the Giants fans (not necessarily the players) always hate the Dodgers with more passion than is ever reciprocated. Like Zack, the Dodgers never are overcome with the sort of LUST TO WIN that may have been Slater's weakness... Kelly stayed with Zack, where it was safe. Note:(my analogies may contain elements of a generational handicap)