Originally written on Monkey with a Halo  |  Last updated 6/8/12

After waiting through what seems like a lifetime of “it’s still early in the season”, it looks like the Angels may finally be turning the corner and the bandwagon is in beginning to take on more passengers. When you think about it, the blind acceptance and party atmosphere of the bandwagon is kind of beautiful. It accepts all fans regardless of race, religion or creed. Given its complete lack of prejudice, the bandwagon may be considered one of the purest icons in sports

However, this will mark the second appearance of the Halos bandwagon this year. The signings of Pujols and Wilson brought more "tags-on" jerseys to the seats than ever before. Those same jerseys were conspicuously absent during Pujols homerun drought and the incubatory period of the bullpen. It can be said that the bandwagon is like a woman. You can leave her, but if you decide to come back, she's going to set some ground rules the second time around.

Here then are the FIVE conditions that will bar you from returning to the bandwagon.

5. If you ever put the words “Yankees” “Red Sox” and/or “Trade” in the same sentence.
No. That is the only word you need understand in this situation: No. You do NOT give those teams anything they may want. Even if the trade seems stacked in the Angels favor, you do not run the risk of giving them the upper hand. Unless you are descended from samurai and carry the old custom of “salt to the enemy” to maintain your family’s honor, this is a big no-no. You will be ejected to join one of the AL East bandwagons. Even if the Bronx boys offer Curtis Granderson for Vernon Wells, you ignore that garbage! (...Okay, MAYBE if that’s the trade offer, we consider it, but we’re not eating any of Vernon’s contract, period.)

4. If you asked about, looked up, or otherwise had a trade on the brain for an old member of the World Series team.
Glory days? Really? You want to pick up a name hoping that the nostalgia powers another playoff run? Hate to tell you this, but the past isn't as great as you remember it. Sure, it was a miracle team, but they weren't without flaws. Remember Frankie Rodriguez's unceremonious departure? Remember Scot Shields slow, sad slide after his surgery? Remember Chone Figgins production dropping drastically after going to Seattle? The past is the past, leave it be. You bring up any of that "Remember when..." crap, you’re getting tied to the back of the bandwagon and dragged down the 57.

3. You, at any time, wore an alternate color hat outside of the stadium.
Oh, how cute! You have an blue-and-white Angels hat! That TOTALLY isn't another SoCal team's colors. I'm sure those are just your favorite colors, right? You're totally not ashamed because your team's in a slump, you just want to rep your home state, right? Except for, you know, your hat has the Halos logo on it. You're not covert, you’re not “changing things up” and you’re not fooling anyone. The ONLY acceptable palette swap is straight black-and-white. If you've bought an alt-cap in an attempt to remain a fan, but hide the colors, we're hiding you. The bandwagon is red. We don't need Tim Gunn tweeting about how our ensemble is too gauche after Memorial Day because you're too colorblind to buy a decent ballcap.

2. If you show up to the game after the 3rd inning and/or leave before the 8th.
Seriously? Save yourself the trouble and give everyone a little bit of extra elbow room in the seats. It’s a ballgame, and a damn fine one at that. You don’t have to make a fashionable appearance like it’s a high-end club. We’re not going to twist your arm to stay and support the team. You’re better off at the bar, or tailgating, or at home with your flatscreen, or wherever it is you prefer to watch the game. Live ball clearly isn’t your thing, and that’s fine. Just pick up your promotional giveaway and enjoy the game elsewhere. If you continue these token appearances for the sole purpose of taking pictures for your Facebook wall, we will welcome you briefly only to enjoy the face you make as you are shoved off the the side of the bandwagon (and yes, we will be tagging you in the video when we post it to Facebook).

1. If you considered getting rid of the Rally Monkey to take on a more "serious" team image.
Oh yeah, let’s get rid of the Rally Monkey. He’s too kiddy. He makes us look stupid. Let’s keep the 99cents store beach balls. Let’s keep the unaware people that are bored by a 1-run ballgame and try to start the wave. Let’s keep the groups of “dancing” children that look like they’d rather be anywhere else than on the big screen. Let’s keep putting gnomes, bobbleheads, and hula girls on the rock pile. But, let’s get rid of the Monkey. He’s clearly holding us back, right?
If you think the Rally Monkey needs to go, don’t even look at the bandwagon. We don’t want you to jinx it with your nonsense.

There are most definitely more conditions than these when taking a second trip on the bandwagon, but these are a few of the bigs. If you can manage to abide by them them, we can all enjoy the Angels ascension for as long as it lasts. Here’s hoping it goes all the way to the playoffs.

And if you have trouble sticking to them, word is there’s a hockey bandwagon in L.A. right now that’s got plenty of room.

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