As a fan of basketball, a protector of dignity and a former youth of Southern California, I feel it my duty to take a deeper look at the shortcomings and misconceptions thrown about in the article by Matt Faust, “Kings Fans Gotta Have More Cowbell” (Daily Nexus, May, 8, 2003).

I’d like to say to the author, I’m sorry that your team has been so bad for so many years and that only recently have you been able to cheer on your team with any sense of purpose – well, at least until the playoffs. But honestly do you really think that Sacramento is the only franchise in the NBA that has been bad? What about all the other teams like Denver, Washington and the fair-weathered Clippers that can’t win to save their lives? If any of these teams started to win, do you think the Nexus should track down some long-time fans just to get a history of what used to be and a feeling of empathy for others like them who have dealt with mediocrity in the past? Neither do I.

As far as Vlade Divac’s being perhaps the ugliest man alive, don’t forget about some of his cow-pie hurling teammates like Hedo Turkoglu, Doug Christie, Scott Pollard and Peja Stojakovic. Hey, maybe we can officially make the upgrade to perhaps the world’s ugliest team.

Just a quick comment about the Mickey Mouse statement: Just because Disney buys the team that you cheer for doesn’t mean you stop cheering for your team. Fans obviously don’t control ownership. That’s like being anti-American just because you disagree with the decisions made by Bush. If it is Disney that you have a problem with, write to Walt.

Let’s get down to this sudden emergence of Kings items that have “like a bolt of lightning” come down from Northern California with the Kings’ new winning ways. What do you think “bandwagon” means? Or have you just heard so many people say it about Lakers fans that you figured it would be “hella cool” to make a “SoCal” bandwagon comment. Did you ever stop for just a minute and think why these Lakers fans are so abundant? Do you think it might have something to do with the fact that we live in Southern California and our closest professional basketball teams are the Lakers and that other team with all that … potential. Whether a person grew up a Lakers fan or not, don’t you think that proximity, if nothing else at all, should give that person the right to support a team that represents that person’s geographic region?

I do.

Still the author chooses to stereotype bandwagoning as “the SoCal thing to do.” Sorry, we can’t help the simple fact that our teams win. Would it be better if we just stopped cheering for our teams to diminish this ugly bandwagon phenomenon? Every year around the start of playoffs, Kings fans come out like hibernating bears waking, talking about this finally being the year. After all the heartbreak I wish you the best of luck.

One final note to anyone from this mystical land known as NorCal. What the hell is the big deal with the rivalry between you and Southern California? Not SoCal! No one other than people from NorCal use the term SoCal. You guys made it up. When people ask us where we are from we tell them the city or county, not an area that covers one-third of the second largest state in the mainland U.S. There are NorCal stickers, NorCal shirts and even NorCal beanies. Don’t live here and claim there. If so-called NorCal is your thing then cool, go back. Try to get into Berkeley, settle for Sac State and cheer on your fans there. Your inadequacy with your hometown might stem from problems identifying with all these foreigners from down south once you arrived on the UCSB campus.

I want to make this clear. I don’t dislike people from Northern California, but I do have a problem with the ones who talk shit on Southern Californians and their sports teams just because of ignorance. I understand that with the Lakers struggling the Kings fans will be waking up, so just remember that the Kings have not beaten the Lakers in a playoff series, and the Lakers have won three consecutive championships. So please, have a little respect.

Cooper Briscoe is a senior psychology major.