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Hometown Fans Give Their Opponent a Thrashing

June 26, 2000

Howard Rosenberg's Friday column on the Los Angeles Lakers' NBA championship win and the gush of media adulation that accompanied it generated more than 70 letters and e-mails. Two out of three writers suggested Rosenberg might want to consider life outside of Los Angeles. Many letters, due to language, were unprintable, but here is a sampling:

*

Lighten up, Mr. Rosenberg. Many of us simple people just aren't all as separatists and "objective" as you. And, come on, it's hometown sports journalism that happens to be on TV.

Really, now. Rooting for the opposing team just because your hometown is rooting for them? You're such a free-thinker, Mr. Rosenberg, you're really just too much. . . . Of course, you don't have to be a Lakers fan (who cares, really?). But why bother to write another smart-aleck, petty article?

STEVE HUMPHREY

Reseda

You, Sir, are a joke.

In a city that has been through tons this past decade, this Laker championship was something to celebrate. Something to bask in. Something that brought everyone together. Granted, the scene outside Staples Center following the Laker win on Monday was an outrage. There was no excuse for that kind of behavior. But you want to crack on the media for being joyful in the rest of the celebrations?

This past decade, the city of Los Angeles has been through the Rodney King verdict and the rioting that followed, the Northridge earthquake, the loss of two National Football League teams, numerous fires and floods and the whole O.J. Simpson saga. What would you like the wonderful television media that we have in Los Angeles to do when they finally get something exciting to cover? Be ho-hum? Would you please excuse the media for being hysterical?

Do you enjoy being in a city marred by disaster that L.A. has witnessed the last 10 years? Or are you just another East Coast clown out here just for the weather?

Here's hoping for a Laker dynasty, baby. And a Dodger one as well. Jim Hill, you are still the best reporter, in my opinion. Fred Roggin, Michelle Bonner, you're awesome as well. Let's pour it on so folks like Howard Rosenberg can keep up the bitching. I love LA!

JIM GWYNN

Baldwin Hills

Thanks for voicing just another disturbing opinion about the city and its inhabitants. God forbid Los Angeles rallies around one of its sports teams. I have been a citizen of Los Angeles for years and a devoted Laker fan for my entire life. Only recently have I left Los Angeles for that City by the Bay, and now understand how important it is for Angelenos to endorse something good about L.A.

It's refreshing to see newscasters (even though Fred Roggin and Bill Weir don't know anything) spread joy and positive remarks about something that Los Angeles contains.

SCOTT SILVERMAN

San Francisco

Let me get this straight. Your panties are in a ruffle because a city's media is excited about its basketball team winning the NBA championship? A city that has seen the ravages of earthquakes, fires, and floods and whose newscasts routinely lead with death and despair? A city that, despite all this, has persevered and maintained its sense of pride and passion?

You're an idiot.

Through all the sadness and confusion that so often mars the city of Los Angeles--where I was proudly born and raised--the one constant that has, over the years, brought its too-often polarized community together has been its sports teams--namely the Lakers and the Dodgers.

You ask the question, "On what stone tablet is it written that reporters should become home-team groupies?" So I ask you: Where is it written that they should not?

The city of Los Angeles, its citizens (yes, members of the media included) and Laker fans all over the world once again have something to feel good about--and feel good they should! Let us relish it!

GREG WADE

San Diego

It seems to me that you don't like the Lakers simply because the sportscasters in the area have become or act like fans themselves during this wonderful event for the city and the L.A. Lakers.

Yes, there are many people who are on the bandwagon, and, yes, that is irritating because I have been a fan since 1985. They detract from the real fans. Never once did I jump off the wagon, so to speak.

However, what you described in your article would have been happening in Indiana as well. The fans would have gone crazy and destroyed property and the local media there would have been more like fans than reporters. To label L.A. as this unusual city that does things that other parts of the U.S. don't do is completely crazy and ignorant.

OLGA KOWAITER

Glendale

Has it ever occurred to you that perhaps your "dribbling" sportscasters are actually giving "lowly" readers, who are also fans, like myself the human side of the story, a chance to vicariously experience how it is to actually be close and talk to these stars who otherwise are way out of reach?

You can go ahead with your "adversarial relationship" and Laker hating ways. . . . Just don't rain on our parade!

ANTOLINA ROTH

Los Angeles

Geez, Howard, what a jerk you are!

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