I am fascinated by the bitter athletic rivalry at UCSB between students originating from northern and southern California. I’m bewildered by the number of times I’ve heard the bashing, profanity and utter disrespect for the opposing regions.

Please, stop the Barry-bashing and the free throw jokes about Shaq. It’s time to move on.

Why are we so divided? It’s not like we’re genetically, ethnically or politically separated. As far as I’m concerned, we need to put the immaturity behind us and stop the categorization. In a place of higher learning, we should be responsible enough to understand and appreciate another’s beliefs yet stand tall and be true to one’s own convictions. I am leading the campaign against this injustice. Progress will only come if we can be strong enough to accept. We should bury the hatchet.

Sure thing! I’ll sign my John Hancock right after the Lakers murder the Kings and hand them the most devastating and humiliating ass-whooping that a team can take in a four-game sweep.

While I may have masked my patriotism for my beloved Los Angeles sports clubs, I am only lashing out in response to those easily riled northern California fans.

Step back and take a look at the big picture. SoCal-ers don’t care about anything that goes on in San Francisco.

We’re too busy commuting on the 405 and the 101 to our favorite designer clothing stores or surfing havens to care in the very least about a childish rivalry with people who claim to live in our state. Don’t point the finger at us for this rivalry; we don’t give a damn about our teams until we win. I am ashamed to admit it, but the words Los Angeles and professional sports go hand-in-hand with bandwagon. We jump on and off that train faster than the pace of the departing footsteps from ARCO Arena on a Saturday afternoon.

Here’s a good example. Midway through the current NBA season, the Los Angeles Clippers ran an advertisement proclaiming, “We have the best fans in the NBA.” Now, I’m from SoCal and I don’t know a single Clippers fan. Are these people liable for false advertisements? The truth of the matter is that the fans in attendance at the Staples Center during Clippers games had the fortune of getting the box seats from some rich but athletically disinterested car dealer. You be the judge.

So you see, we SoCal-ers don’t know enough or care enough about our own teams to start smack with NorCal sports nuts.

Let’s start with a clean slate. At the end of this year’s NBA playoffs, right after the Los Angeles Lakers have won their third straight NBA title, we will begin to salvage our relationship. Bandwagon season will be over in Los Angeles. It’ll be a perfect time for negotiations.

Just make sure an armistice is signed before September when NorCal-ers’ orange and black blood begins to boil after Bonds goes 0-14 in the playoffs.