In some ways, a sporting event is like an old timey, fun timey melodrama. We have our heros, we have our villains and we, the fans, play our part as the audience by cheering the good guys and booing the bad guys. In true dramatic fashion, sports fans have written a robust history of wacky and off-the-wall traditions. From the Darth Vader Masks of the Oakland Raiders to tossing octopi on the ice for the Red Wings in Detroit, fan traditions and cheering sections are as varied as they are oddball. Recently, the Angels designated a new addition to the stadium.
The Trout Farm is the official cheering section for Mike Trout and sits in left field seats next to the bullpen, where Mike Trout often sets up shop on defense. Unlike previous fan-created cheering sections of MatsuiLand and ToriiTown in right field, the Trout Farm was set up by team management to help keep the excitement high for last season’s Rookie of the Year. During home games, the section comes alive with pounding thundersticks, waving cardboard cutouts of Trout’s face, and free team t-shirts. Indeed, if the whole stadium were as up for the game as the Trout farm, perhaps West Coast sports fans would not have the “lazy” stigma that fans in other locales seem to enjoy labelling us with.
While the Angels play has shown improvement as of late, fan enthusiasm remains somewhat low. Perhaps the key to unlocking the inner madness of fandom lies in the cheering section formula. At the Big A, there is a large swatch of landscaping near the rock pile in center field that provides golden opportunity for a new cheering section. It will require remodeling, of course, but after a few coils of barbed wire, a few makeshift trenches, and some strategically placed mortars to launch fireworks, you’ve got the Angels Firing Range where Howie Kendrick can fire at will with his HK-47 and Mark Trumbo can practice his pinpoint accuracy dropping Trumbombs on the few fans fortunate enough to gain access to this new cheering section. Complete the motif with a couple of T-shirt launchers and watch the outfield roar!