The Peterson Principle 6/23/10

This is what some Laker "Fans" call a celebration

I remembered the day my sixth grade basketball team at Rio Hondo elementary won the championship. We had to go through a death march to get it done knocking off beasts like Gidley, Durfee and Cherrylee. There was nothing sweeter than walking into Durfee’s house and walking out with a victory.

We were all exhausted when the season ended but what a thrill it was to know that we had captured the hardware. And back in the day, the hardware was cool because each and every one of us received a trophy with our names engraved on them.  

Our fans, mostly our parents, were equally excited and were in a mood to celebrate.

How would we celebrate this momentous occasion? Maybe a trip down to a pizza joint or a barbecue would work. Or we could find a pool and have a swim party. Maybe a trip to a Dodger game would suffice.

No of course not. None of those things would quench our thirsts for a true celebration. Instead we did what every championship team does to celebrate. We trashed the place. Our parents, (fans), fired rocks though the windows of our school and lit a trash can on fire. A couple of proud dads turned over a car on a nearby street and threw a parking block though a neighbor’s car windshield.

We weren’t finished yet- not by a long shot. One giddy mom took a can of spray paint to the playground. She sprayed graffiti all over the swings and slide before finishing up with the handball courts.

She wrote “Rio Hondo Rules!” all over the windows of the class rooms and “Durfee Stinks!” in bright red paint all over the bathroom doors. Wow what a fantastic time! What an awesome celebration!

One of the kid’s uncles put the finishing touches on the raucous party by torching a school bus. Whew! This was so cool.

All celebrations are supposed to be this way. I mean, isn’t this the way to have a good time when something great happens. I remember hurling a bottle though a police car window the night I graduated from high school and wrecking a local restaurant to celebrate my brother’s graduation.

When my wife graduated from college we really lived it up. I was so proud as my wife and I danced around a burning pile of textbooks after throwing rocks and breaking bottles on the campus.

Winning championships in church leagues was the best. Watching our fans roam around the church grounds vandalizing everything in sight was an absolute blast. There’s nothing that quite says “championship celebration” like breaking church pews and burning a pulpit.

I’m sure you have numerous stories too. Didn’t your fans go on search and destroy missions when you won the Little League crown? Weren’t high school football league titles traditionally celebrated by fans setting fires in the neighborhood and vandalizing local businesses?

Before you start flooding my inbox with e-mails telling me what a moron I am or calling the local police department to have me investigated I can assure that none of these things ever happened. It felt ridiculous even writing such absurd things.

Who would celebrate like this? Well apparently Laker fans do. It happened again last Thursday night when the Lakers won the NBA championship by beating the Celtics.

They did the exact same things that I described. They vandalized store front windows, threw rocks and bottles and even burned a taxi cab.

It’s happened every year this decade that the Lakers have won the title beginning in 2000. Despite a heavy police presence, a few idiots still managed to ruin another championship for the city.

The worst part is these “fans” would be hard pressed to tell you who Happy Hairston was.  

Most business owners near Staples Center are now hoping the Lakers never win again. Yeah we Love LA! Try telling that to the Taxi Cab owner or the restaurant owners.

Sure, I love the Lakers. I can’t say I love LA.

That’s my principle.

Tim can be reached at

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