Sense of Place: The Western Kingdom

Jun 24, 2013

Haiku
I once was a star Then a woman stole
my heart Now I'm
broke and alone

Purple and gold. Two colors that in the American West represent not just a jersey but royalty, not just a franchise but a dynasty, and represent not just a town but a kingdom. That kingdom goes by the name of Los Angeles and in the heart of that kingdom is its crown jewel, the Staples Center which is home to the Los Angeles Lakers.


  This castle-like building is even equipped with statues of bronze that immortalize the greatest men to ever roam its halls, almost as if they are its eternal knights ready to defend its glory till the end of time. Staples Center in my mind is a place in the American West fit for a king.

The arena is significant in itself for its sheer size and magnitude but the most significant thing about it is what it represents. It represents the Hollywood mindset and the glitz and the glamour that is associated with Southern California. So many people are drawn to this city to become famous in front of the camera or singing into a microphone under the hot lights of an enormous stage. Well in sports there is no bigger name than the Lakers. Heck, the Lakers themselves have even been nicknamed “Showtime” throughout the years. Los Angeles is where people go to become famous and there is no sports franchise more famous in the history of the American West than the Lakers.

One of the greatest honors Staples Center has is that it is home to one of the most intense rivalries in all of sports. The Boston Celtics vs. The Los Angeles Lakers goes beyond what happens on the court. It has transformed itself into a no holds barred brawl between the East Coast and West Coast. It’s Boston against L.A., it’s the movie stars and singers against the blue collar workers, its bragging rights for the victors’ side of the map, and to so many fans this isn’t just a rivalry but a way of life.

I am one of those people and some may call me a sports fanatic or just flat out crazy but I know no other way. Those purple and gold colors rush through my veins and just seeing the Staples Center fills my chest with pride because I know that inside that building, hanging from the rafters, are 16 championship banners that wave there silently throughout the days and nights but still send a resounding message throughout the NBA: The Lakers are the heart of Western American sports. Staples Center may not mean something to everyone who lives in the American West, but to me personally it contributes greatly to the person I’ve grown to be today.

Biography: Taylor Brown

I don’t know if you can consider being born in Yuma “coming west.” It’s more of a tragic misstep by my parents. Out of all the places in the west to be born and I got stuck in Yuma; but I digress, I’m much more proud of where my family came from to end up in Yuma especially my great-grandfather who was from Boston. When I was younger he would tell me about how he and his other military buddies would go watch Red Sox games together and as he told me these stories my heart grew fond of this big city on the east coast although I had never been there. It may not have seemed like much at the time but it has had a major impact on my future plans. Right now I am studying at AWC to become a math teacher and the plan is to soon transfer to ASU to earn my degree. After that my dream is to become a teacher in Boston. I want nothing more than to grow my career and raise a family in that place that has had a hold on me ever since I was a little boy. Pretty big dreams for a western boy who has never lived anywhere besides Yuma if you ask me.

As for something unique about myself well I have an interesting life goal most people don’t know about or expect to hear. I plan to be the most tattooed person in my family when I get older and as of right now I have 7.The other thing people don’t expect to find out is that I’m trying to catch my mother who has 13. What can I say, like mother like son. I do however realize that tattoos may not be the most conducive idea when trying to become a teacher which is why all of mine can be covered by a dress shirt. That’s just a little bit about my life story, who I am, and who I plan to become.