Two States of Mind Clash In Golden State Series
Undated (AP) _ Northern Californians love to hate Southern Californians, and Southern Californians love not to care.
So this year’s Golden State World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Oakland A’s rekindles a rivalry that has already split families and fueled stereotypes of oh-so-laid-back southerners and fogged-in northerners.
SoCal has the sun, sand, surf punks and a serious attitude problem. NorCal has the giant redwoods, mighty rivers and a lot of folks who haven’t heard the ’60s are over.
Chronically cerebral Northern Californians get defensive about being lumped together with airheads and sun-worshipping movie stars. Tired of being misunderstood by the rest of the nation, they suffer from a severe superiority complex. How else can you rationalize living in fog when there’s year-round sun and fun to be had just 500 miles south?
Angelenos, on the other hand, are known not only for getting all the attention but for having too much fun to notice.
″They hate us because we took their water,″ said L.A. office worker Ray Wiles, referring to the arid South’s triumph over the North in the early part of the century, when it won the right to import water from the North, water that transformed desert into paradise.
″Why should we hate them? We have everything,″ Wiles said. ″We’ve got the weather. We’ve got the beaches. We’ve got the Dodgers.″
″They laugh at us as the blond, surfer airheads,″ adds Steve Stoller, a 24-year-old job-hunting Angeleno. ″We look at them as liberals from the ’60s.″
The feelings of animosity are shared. On Thursday, several hundred Oakland fans, some dressed head-to-toe in A’s green and gold, gathered to send their team south with a party.
″Us folks up north don’t like L.A.,″ said Philip Franklin of Oakland, as he led the crowd in chants. ″They don’t like us. They not only want our water ... they want all the baseball glory and we can’t just let them have any of it.″
Of course, water isn’t the only issue. More than a few Oakland residents still hold a grudge against Los Angeles for stealing their beloved Oakland Raiders - now known locally as the Oakland Traitors - in a 1982 National Football League realignment.
A’s fan Deborah Hurtado summed it up neatly: ″We’re the best part of California, and we’re going to prove it.″
Although blue-collar Oakland lives in the shadow of San Francisco, the spiritual and cultural hub across the Bay, the ″other″ city is a fitting home for a World Series team that dominates the diamond through sheer arm- bashing brawn. Fans from all over Northern California root for the mighty A’s.
San Francisco Giants fanatics are crossing the league line in droves to root against their National League rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Giants Dugout, a San Francisco boutique dedicated to baseball memorabilia, is stocked full of A’s souvenirs, but not a single Dodgers logo.
Famed San Francisco trial attorney lawyer Melvin Belli said he’s been an A’s fan ″since the Dodgers got so bad.″
″We’re all looking for the A’s up here,″ Belli said. ″They’re just too good. They’ve got great stars and I think they’re really going to put ’em away.″
San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos has teamed up with Oakland Mayor Lionel Wilson to pull for the A’s.
And in a grudging gesture of Northern generosity, many A’s fans are predicting that the Athletics will win the Series in five games.
″We’ll give ’em a chance to win one,″ said Elizabeth Miller of Berkeley. ″It would dampen their spirits too much if (the A’s) did them like they did the Red Sox.″
The A’s trounced Boston in four games to sweep the American League’s Championship Series, while the Dodgers needed seven games to dispatch the New York Mets.