Earning the top spot in L.A Weekly's "Surliest Neighborhoods in Los Angeles" has given San Pedrans a lot to talk about. Some took exception to the honor while the opposite reaction has been, "well, fuck yeah, we're surly!" That unique mix of attitude and civic pride was never more evident than at the season-opening SPHS football games in Morro Bay.
A friend's son is on the Junior Varsity squad, so I tagged along for the four-hour drive up the coast.
The first this we notice as we take our seats on the visitors' side is the sheer number of fans who trekked the more than 200 miles on a Friday. Not only were the requisite parents in attendance, but also some familiar faces who haven't missed a Pirate game in years. That famous Pedro Pride can't be dampened by distance.
The second thing we notice is that these ardent fans are immediately screaming, yelling, and trash-talking! The insults were flying and the language was saltier than the ocean that was just behind the football field! Not even the Bay's majestic Morro Rock, the field's beautiful backdrop, was safe. And one fan proudly proclaimed," we brought the ghetto to the ocean!" I was cringing.
On further thought I realized that this is how some of us in town show love for the team and the town. Over the years I've lived in several places, and beyond a doubt, our population has more pride for their hometown than any other place I've lived. Seriously, there have been fewer fans on the visitors' side of the Pedro field when the visiting team was less than 20 miles away!
So maybe there is something to be said for our surliness. Tough love is supposed to be a good thing, right? Pedro love can be really tough.
And by the way, I had to believe that this overflowing support and pride had its desired effect, both the JV and Varsity teams beat the Morro Bay Pirates (yes) 24-16 and 21-0 respectively.