Monday, October 14, 2013

My 2005 "Rita Moreno of Arte" parody that regretfully never took off

I tried.

I really tried.

If there's any one thing that I wanted millions of people to see, it was an article that I wrote in the Ontario Empoblog back on January 4, 2005.

One of my pet peeves is when something is named after a famous city, even though it's not located in that city. One example of this is in my own backyard - the "LA/Ontario International Airport." The airport received this hybrid name because, although it is located in the city of Ontario, the airport is actually owned by the city of Los Angeles.

As it turns out, there are a lot of people who are irritated about Los Angeles' control of the airport, but not because of the name. However, that's a story for another time.

The chief offender in this regard, however, is not airports, but sports teams. Many suburbs go out of their way to host a sports team, granting tax incentives and who knows what else. But at the end of the day, the suburb itself is virtually ignored as everyone talks about the so-called "Washington" Redskins or the so-called "Dallas" Cowboys or the so-called "New York" Giants.

Anaheim, California thought that they had guarded against this. Anaheim had already lost the so-called "Los Angeles" Rams, and when they made improvements to the local stadium for the local baseball team, the city required that the team include "Anaheim" in its designation. Frankly, it makes sense - Anaheim wanted to be known worldwide as a tourist destination, so the city wanted to get its name out there.

But Angels owner Arte Moreno was rubbed the wrong way by all of this. How can he sell Angels gear in China if it has to be tagged with the word "Anaheim"? People have heard of Los Angeles, but have never heard of Anaheim. (An empty argument, by the way - the Green Bay Packers do just fine with their merchandising.)

So Arte Moreno hit upon a solution that would supposedly please both sides - the new team name "the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim," as trumpeted in a press release.

I was irked by this, because of my whole thing about naming. And who was Arte Moreno to pull a stunt like this? For that matter, who was Arte Moreno? Who has even heard of Arte Moreno? And thus an idea was germinated.

Here's the original 2005 post - again, a parody of the Angels' initial press release.

Angels Owner Announces Official Name Change

Angels Owner Announces Official Name Change

01/03/2005 11:07 AM ET

ANAHEIM -- Angels Baseball Monday announced the team owner has changed his official name to Rita Moreno of Arte. This change is effective January 3, 2005.

The inclusion of Rita reflects the original celebrity name recognized by the Hollywood elite in December 1960 and again returns Moreno as Hollywood's representative in the Greater Los Angeles territory that Major League Baseball expects the team to serve.

The Los Angeles region, which is comprised of Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties, is the second largest media market in the country. This name change will strengthen Mr. Moreno's long-term economic health by enhancing the marketability through this metropolitan area and beyond.

To emphasize the name change, Rita Moreno of Arte will appear on Broadway as the female lead in a stage production of "The King and I," produced by former Angels owner Disney.
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