VIEWING PARTIES NO LONGER A STAPLE SAFETY: ATTACK ON CELTICS FAN SPELLS END OF BIG-SCREEN BASHES.Byline: KEVIN MODESTI
Remember when L.A. sports fans were pitied far and wide as iced-tea-sipping dilettantes who lack the "passion" to properly paint our faces, cheer our opponents' neck injuries and throw rocks at uncooperative referees like the real aficionados back east?
Yeah, for some reason that was considered an insult.
Well, good news! Our reputation is saved. Now L.A. fans look like morons, too.
Monday morning, it was announced that Staples Center This article
* Its neutrality is disputed.
* It may contain original research or unverifiable claims.
* It does not cite any references or sources. will not be open for fans to watch tonight's Lakers-Celtics game from Boston on big TV screens, disappointing thousands of people who enjoyed such events earlier this month and the youth-oriented charities that reaped the proceeds. has multiple issues:
The decision follows a June 8 incident at Staples Center (maybe you saw the video on the always-uplifting YouTube) in which a fan in a Celtics green jersey appeared to be attacked by a mob and struck with a chair during the showing of NBA Finals The NBA Finals is the championship series of the National Basketball Association.
The team winning the Eastern Conference Finals earns one of the two berths in the championship round, with the other going to the team that wins the Western Conference Finals. Game 2 from Boston.
But the decision's roots go deeper than that sorry episode, to an earlier request from the LAPD 1. LAPD - Link Access Procedure on the D channel.
2. LAPD - Los Angeles Police Department. that Staples stop holding these so-called Home Court Advantage events because they require so much police presence -- about 130 officers June 8, counting horseback, motorcycle and foot patrol.
In Monday's announcement, Staples Center and the Lakers See Lake poets cited "concerns for resources needed to ensure the safety of fans throughout Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. on nights when the games would be played as well as potential financial burdens on various City departments."
The press release encouraged fans to "enjoy the upcoming games with friends and family and celebrate the (Lakers') championship run in a safe, responsible and respectful manner."
All in all, it doesn't paint a pretty picture for those who'd like to savor the camaraderie of a big, happy, cheering crowd in the region's basketball capitol.
Even before any of this happened, Staples had stopped showing Lakers playoff home games on giant screens outside the arena because of the potential for encouraging unruly crowds.
A few bad apples
Of course, L.A. fans' old, laid-back image was a compliment, whether or not the rest of the country realized it. True, most people here don't live and die with their teams. But mostly for good reasons: Many of us come from somewhere else (it's nice here). We have so many teams (two in most sports, unless it's zero). We have so many other ways to amuse a·muse
tr.v. a·mused, a·mus·ing, a·mus·es
1. To occupy in an agreeable, pleasing, or entertaining fashion.
Maybe our image began to change when the Raiders and their rougher crowds called the Coliseum Coliseum: see Colosseum. home.
Or maybe when the downtown "celebration" of the Lakers' 2000 championship produced news-video loops of burning automobiles.
Or maybe when it became less unusual to hear ugly chants and knee-jerk jeering (the Dodgers gave up a run! Booooo!) at Southern California Southern California, also colloquially known as SoCal, is the southern portion of the U.S. state of California. Centered on the cities of Los Angeles and San Diego, Southern California is home to nearly 24 million people and is the nation's second most populated region, events.
One theory: ESPN's misguided celebration of taunting, tough-guy fans in such places as Philadelphia and Boston has convinced fans here that that's the way to be.
Another theory: It's just a few bad apples who are spoiling our town's rep.
Yeah, but they're really bad apples.
Sending a message
Two days after the YouTubed brawl brawl
1. A noisy quarrel or fight.
2. A loud party.
3. A loud, roaring noise.
intr.v. brawled, brawl·ing, brawls
1. To quarrel or fight noisily.
2. -- one of several reported at Staples Center during Game 2 -- police arrested Armando Arthur Talamantes, 30, a Los Angeles County resident. Detective supervisor Marcella Winn said Talamantes had been overheard by undercover officers bragging about his role in the June 8 violence. The charges include assault with a deadly weapon Assault with a Deadly Weapon is the term used to describe the act of threatening to harm one or more people by using a weapon (usually a firearm). Here, assault must be differentiated from battery as they are often confused. Assault is threatening to use force. -- specifically, hurling hurling, outdoor ball and stick game similar to field hockey (see hockey, field). The national pastime of Ireland, it was played for many centuries before the Gaelic Athletic Association standardized the rules in 1884. that folding chair.
The chair-toss victim was not seriously hurt, Winn said.
The police want to send the message that it's safe to enjoy basketball at Staples Center, that those who come to make trouble will be stopped, that violence at sports events here is not on the rise.
"The YouTube thing upsets me because it kind of suggests people got away with something," said LAPD Deputy Chief Sergio Diaz, who was in charge of the officers at Staples Center on June 8. "Some people did get away with something. But we did arrest (the chair-thrower)."
Crowds of 5,200 and 8,000 paid $10-$15 to watch Games 1 and 2 at Staples. Proceeds went to the Los Angeles Lakers Youth Foundation and the Staples Center Foundation. Similar events in past seasons were reported to have raised $300,000 for the charities.
But not everyone had charity in mind.
Nor are fans elsewhere showing much charity toward L.A. fans, pointing to this evidence that we're just as bad as everywhere else.
Said a blogger at BostonsportZ.com: "The Lakers had a viewing party at the Staples Center ... and this one Celts The following pages provide lists of nations or people of Celtic origin, arranged by branch of Celtic ethnicity or language grouping:
adj. class·i·er, class·i·est Informal
Highly stylish; elegant.
classi·ness n. LA!"
Another blogger at the same Web site suggested that the NBA NBA
1. National Basketball Association
2. National Boxing Association
NBA (US) n abbr (= National Basketball Association) → Basketball-Dachverband (= would prefer a Celtics victory because "they would rather not have a championship immediately followed by a riot, like after the last few Laker lak·er
1. A fish, such as the lake trout, that lives in a lake.
2. A ship used on lakes. titles."
But the worst insult to L.A.'s reputation comes from L.A., where our Police Department and our landmark arena have decided a basketball event for charity isn't worth the potential trouble.
When people can't go to watch a ballgame because there aren't enough cops, you wonder what we're coming to.
When the Lakers battle the Celtics tonight in Boston, this June 5 scene won't be repeated at Staples Center. Safety concerns have brought to an end the big-screen viewing charity-benefit events in L.A.
Andy Holzman/Staff Photographer