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Magic Is Right: Dodgers Aren’t Hurt One Bit By SportsNet LA Impasse

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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In order for the organization to truly bleed, it’s not enough for fans to be angry. It’s not enough for them to spew daily rants on sports radio and social media. It’s not enough for them to write vicious emails to Mark Walter, Stan Kasten, Magic and maybe even poor Vin Scully.

The Dodgers will feel their pain, but none of their own. As palpable as that fury may be, it actually prevents the team from experiencing the truly biggest threats.

Indifference, then abandonment.

The Dodgers’ brand won’t lose one iota of strength until fans shift from “being livid” to “no longer caring about the team.” And I truly mean stop caring. As in, “not a lick.”

We’re talking about the day when missing Clayton Kershaw’s brilliance no longer fazes fans in the slightest. The day where a spectacular (or spectacularly boneheaded) play from Yasiel Puig is met with a genuine shoulder shrug. The day when fans truly no longer give a crap about the Dodgers, because they’ve washed their hands of the entire organization and won’t ever look back.

And no matter how this moment feels now, we are a long way from that point. A loooooooooooooong way.

In truth, such a fate is damn near impossible for a franchise among the strongest in sports, much less baseball. The Dodgers are on par with the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Steelers and a select few other franchises that set the bar for generational, institutional loyalty among fans.

I grew up in St. Louis rooting for the Cardinals, so I know how certain teams can truly shape the fabric and identity of a city, and even create a way of life. Stories and memories get passed down from grandfather to father to son, taking on a meaning bigger than the team itself.

Donning Dodger blue is a rite of passage for millions in L.A., and that’s not falling to wayside anytime soon, even as the organization does fans dirty.

Yes, there will inevitably be some “son or daughter of Dodger fans” kids who’ll spend a couple of years watching the Angels as a fallback, fall in love with Mike Trout, and adopt the Halos in the process. But that population represents a drop in the bucket for a franchise with so many worldwide fans.

In the meantime, far more kids will ride out the storm along with their parents and remain in the fold once TV normalcy resumes. (As for the notion of grown adults who’ve spent decades rooting for the Dodgers “switching” to the Angels or another team in protest… please. That would feel more embarrassing than vengeful.)

Yes, there are fans who’ve grown accustomed to filling time normally spent watching Dodger baseball with alternate TV options or brand new activities, which could seem dangerous in a city never been short on ways to entertain its citizens. Except it’s not really dangerous, because these aren’t habits truly changed, but rather sidelined out of necessity.

Fans have adopted Plan B because they have to, not because they want to. There’s a huge difference, and until that shift feels apparent, this is nothing more than a temporary exercise in killing time.

CONTINUE READING: What Dodgers Fans Can Do

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