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Thursday, November 14, 2013

THE LONELY GARBER - An Away Day Guide to: Los Angeles Galaxy

The Artist Formerly Known as Home Depot Center 
As regular readers have come to know, The Yorkies is nothing if not a den of trusted, sober, hard-hitting journalistic integrity doubling as a destination where ground-breaking scholastic knowledge is shared amongst fellow intellectuals. Also: Gags about Collin Samuel's lunch.
Today we proudly bring you, the discerning Away Day supporter, the first in our off-season series "The Lonely Garber" - a highly factual-ish travel guide to some of Major League Soccer's most fabled destinations. Also: Columbus. Join us this off-season as we take you - the voyager that thirsts for new horizons, bold adventure and witnessing Toronto FC lose 3-0 away - across this rotund continent. The world is our oyster, let us shuck each other silly.

"The world is a book, those who do not travel read only one page." – St. Augustine
"Any place to get a nice bit of sausage sandwich 'round here?"
- The Yorkies
STUBHUB CENTRE - Carson, California
Nestled south of sprawling Metro Los Angeles lays the tranquil, fern-laden suburban expanse of Carson, California. This precocious burg was founded in 1978 and named after its inadvertent founding father, television personality Johnny Carson. Although Carson only visited the town once (accidentally passing through en route to Rancho Cucamonga) it was originally settled by guests who were bumped from "The Tonight Show" due to time constraints. Through disappointment over floundering careers and a car-service missing the back-flap of its L.A. road map, these pioneers/entertainment industry pariahs assembled to establish the mediocre town.
Modern-day Carson is a bustling satellite community with frequent transportation links to Los Angeles via limousines that are headed to work in Hollywood, the hitchhiker-sharing service ZipperCar and joy-riding dudes on fake "CHiPs" motorcycles. Local industry has grown incrementally but Carson is now a major hub for cue card technology, the laugh track sciences and Botox syringe disposal. The vain yet friendly local population is made up of an eclectic mixture of confused stuntmen, celebrity chimpanzees and hookers with hearts of gold.

Carson boasts many fine cultural and entertainment destinations to indulge in, both pre and post-match. Sites on every itinerary should include the grand seat of local government The Arsenio City Hall; the lush natural oasis of The Whitaker Forest - made up entirely of artificial houseplants from former talk show sets; the haunting museum dedicated to Quantum Leap Sciences - The Hall of Bakulas; and, of course, no visit to this mostly acceptable town is complete without sampling the fine musical stylings of The Doc Severinsen Philharmonic Orchestra now housed in local gymnasium - The Bruce Arena.

The Original Carson

Bernabeu, Wembley, San Siro... StubHub. Names instantly recognizable as football cathedrals. The ground formerly known as Home Depot Center - until Carson, California's controversial Anti-Screwdriver Bill of 2012 made the name illegal - is a fine 27,000 capacity facility. With a fan-base used to the Southern California lifestyle, StubHub Center is comprised of 93% private luxury suites while the remaining bleacher fans (or "normos") are herded through the famed "Gardener's Entrance" below the stadium.
The lush pitch is usually in immaculate condition due to a blend of Kentucky bluegrass, shredded $100 dollar bills and mink fur. To appease those in the suites, a crop duster is hired to fly over the bleachers prior to kick-off to spray the "normos" with the cologne "Instinct by David Beckham". Be sure not to leave StubHub without seeing the petrified avocado that Victoria Beckham once took a bite of and also the interactive Cobi Jones Virtual Dreadlockery.
Note: StubHub is currently loaned out on off-days to a charity team named Chivas USA as part of a community service plea after the infamous "Yalloping Incident".

While attendance for Galaxy matches is not quite as high as during the vaunted erotic male undergarment craze known as the "Beckham-Era", we would still recommend booking ahead. There are three ticket price levels at StubHub Center: Platinum, Diamond, and Cubic Zirconia. Tickets can be ordered through StubHub's online site or via famously well-endowed local midget scalper "Stub Chub". Matchday tickets are available via the box office and come with a complimentary autographed 8x11 picture of former mayor of Carson, the Honorable Edward McMahon and a Map to the Stars’ Homes.

"Two tickets to see Columbus AND Burt Reynolds' bungalow?"
Existing in the famously laid back lifestyle of SoCal does not lend Galaxy supporters to being considered violent or vociferous. The majority of crowds at Galaxy matches are made up of cougars who have yet to realize Beckham retired, the remaining cast of hit sit-com "Joey", various "Real Housewives" and Charo.
While usually a friendly crowd who welcome visiting supporters - and are openly curious as to which freeway you took to the match - do not let your guard down completely. Midday matches and wine spritzers have been known to spark harsh language such as "... dude!"
Watch for supporters group "The Galaxians" who dress as 1980's video game aliens and descend slowly and vertically from the upper level of StubHub Center while shirt cannons are shot towards them from below. Great fun for the whole family.

To paraphrase Little Caesars "When in Carson, do as the Carcinogens do". If you are expecting to sit down with a hot dog, popcorn and beer at a Galaxy match you may not be well pleased - in local parlance those items are "soooooo 1994". Stadium food is geared to the local market and is dominated by "superfoods" such as kale, goji berries, acai and anything in smoothie form. Beer vendors do however carry four types of ales for your libation - all of them are white wine spritzers.
For those who prefer to challenge their palette outside of the ground there are several options. Former Wimbledon footballer/actor Vinnie Jones is part-owner of local theme pub "Ye Olde BallGrabbers Inn" (we recommend the "Lox, Steak and Two Smoking Bagels" $12.99); there is a Burger King about a 20 minute walk away where Landon Donovan once used the washroom; and, a guy that sort-of looks like a hobo-version of Ruud Gullit sells what are perhaps chalupas at a local bus stop.

"Thank you for the StreetChalupa Senor NOT Ruud Gullit"
While LAX may be the most obvious choice for flights, the in-the-know traveller will fly from Toronto to Denver then connect into Aspen where you can sneak onto a private jet headed for Burbank's Bob Hope Airport. From there, we highly recommend slipping undetected out of the wheel well of the aircraft and sharing one of the many limos waiting outside the arrivals area. After dropping off Gilbert Gottfried at the Jay Leno studio and Bel Biv Devoe at the Arsenio Hall Show, simply put on a passable English accent and tell your driver you are famous soccer player Frank Lampard. Depending on LA Freeway traffic you should arrive at StubHub Center in 2-3 days.

The Yorkies wish you happy trails but are in no way responsible for your tourism choices nor any strains of disease contracted in transit. Unless you have a great trip - then tell everyone it was all us. Bon Voyage!


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