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Root root root for the away team

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(The inspiration for today.)

The Dodgers-Giants rivalry outdates the majority of the people at Dodger Stadium on any given day, and its importance is proven by the fact that they raise the price of tickets when the Dodgers play at AT&T-SBC-Pac Bell-telecommunications merger conglomerate Park. The low point in this rivalry was that night back in 2003 when (while leaving the park) we heard that a Dodger-fan-turned-Giants-fan was shot and killed in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium. A tragic reminder that this is just a game after all. Murders aside, I've seen dozens of fights between Dodger fans and their rivals and attended a number of Dodger away games to face the away fan music myself. Given that I have survived with only minor injury, I provide the LAist reader with a guide to leaving the opposing team's stadium in one piece.

-It is generally acceptable to wear the baseball cap of the opposing team, unless you are sitting in the bleacher seats in which case one should wear one of those free caps with 1-800-MATTRESS printed on the back that was acquired at cap day because there is a 75% chance that someone will rip that hat right off your noggin and set it on fire. If attending a game without your trusty rally cap is simply unthinkable (and I empathize), I would suggest sitting in a section with a price of >$20 per seat. The probability of someone destroying your property is inversely proportional to the price of the seat, and a sacrifice must be made. Your choice.

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-After your (away) team hits a 3 run homer in the top of the 9th to take the lead, do not stand up on your seat, wiggle your ass and shout "kiss this Shea Stadium!" This will generally cause a great deal of chaos and result in food remnants thrown in your general direction. I wisely speak from past experience.

Angels fans shaking their asses at Dodger Stadium:

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Wearing Giants orange to Dodger Stadium and slapping enthusiastic high fives every time the Giants' pitcher throws a strike: also not recommended.

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-It is a good idea to avoid mockery of the fans of the home team while in their stadium. You don't walk into someone's home and insult their mother and you certainly don't walk into someone's stadium and start talking smack. Things like flipping off everyone in your section or shaking your floppy and poorly contained boobs at the home fans will result in endless torment and raises the possibility that you will leave the game soaked in beer and popcorn - the ballpark version of being tarred and feathered (see below, or the you tube video, same fans).

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-Bonus secret advice: If you are the gambling type, stand out near the foul pole at Dodger Stadium and cheer for your away team just enough to cause a little disturbance. If you can escape without being beaten, generally security will escort you to a different section (usually an upgrade) and ask you to try not to rile up the Dodger fans. This is a little bit Gandhi and a little bit manipulative but I know Padres fans who were moved to seats just behind home plate for this exact reason.

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-Try not to wear t-shirts that say derogatory things about the home team. Like your mother always said, if you don't have something nice to say, don't say it at all. This is a good time to implement that bit of advice.

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-Do not, I repeat DO NOT EVER bring cigars to a game to celebrate a post-season sweep of the Dodgers on their own field. You would think common sense would dictate here, but these Mets fans prove otherwise.

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-Note: protective factors such as showing T&A and/or children work on average 75% of the time and should be used sparingly. Sure, showing a lot of skin can distract the home fans from their bitterness for a short while, but this tactic is only successful for about 1-2 innings. Then it's a free-for-all, and high heels are not all that stable. Printing dyslexic profanity on t-shirts and using your kid as a beer shield is bordering on something I am mandated to report to child protective services.

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-If you are going to go all out and wear your opposing team cap, jersey and track suit, don't be a naive idealistic moron. People are going to yell at you. People will throw peanuts at your head. Expect it. Accept it. Peanuts don't hurt all that bad, at least the ones at Pac Bell/SBC/AT&T Park (again, I speak from experience). Man up. Take one for your team. Show those whiny homers that you can take it like a real fan. While I don't know if I'd be willing to give my life for my country, I am certainly ready to give up my dignity for the dodgers.

That being said, I have mixed feelings about the fights in the stands. They tend to block my view of the game (because everyone stands up to watch), but they also excite the non-baseball fans in the stadium and wake them up a bit so that they actually bother to look up at the scoreboard to see who's winning. What I have noticed is a decrease in the number of fights in the all-you-can-eat pavilion despite bringing beer back to the bleachers, which makes me think that they're onto something after all.

All photos taken by me