Updated after the jump: Revenge banner reading “GIANTS SUCK” flies over Dodger Stadium! Plus, a shot of the “Beat L.A.” original.
Update: Will the banner-flyers remember to adhere to the post-9/11 airspace rules in effect above sports stadiums? Details below.
If you're going to get fired up, Los Angeles — now's the time.
And though our informant insists on staying anonymous (what a wuss, right? Not that we can really blame the dude for trying to avoid a fate of stabbing victim in the Chavez Ravine parking lot), and on keeping the name of the traitorous plane company who's agreed to fly the banner anonymous, he sounds damn cocky — in that infuriating NorCal way, reeking of too many gusts of fog to the larynx — that the banner will fly without a hitch on Opening Day.
“The company has guaranteed they're going to fly it,” says our FYSU correspondant. “They pretty much said that they would fly anything. They don't discriminate when they get business.”
Initial fears that overcast skies might make the stunt a bust have also been dispelled, given L.A.'s ridiculously good-looking 84-degree forecast for Thursday.
“The early weather reports we're happy about,” he says.
We know it's the Great Recession and all, but have some dignity, mystery pilot! Back when street-art blog LA Taco got wind of this, they released the following threat:
“People of Los Angeles, we cannot let this potential aggression stand. LA TACO will organize a boycott and shaming campaign of any Los Angeles pilot who takes filthy Frisco funds to denigrate Los Angeles and our 5 championships. Spread the word and we'll keep the pressure on. Go Dodgers.”
So we'll see how well “business” continues to run for whoever flies the dirty enemy artwork this Thursday.
“When we started this, we didn't think anything would pick it up in terms of news,” anonymous says. “We were shocked at it.”
Thanks in part to a massive surge in page views back when the news went West Coast viral, FYSU easily reached their $8,000 goal — and are still receiving donations. They even sold two “Say Hey Kid” tickets, at $500 a pop. So they're putting the excess toward an adorable cause:
Awww. We guess that's kind of nice, for a bunch of not-nice NorCal scum. Hmph.
So! Who's going to be the crazed Dodger loyal who downs this thing like a duck in hunting season?
JK. Very much JK. But on the real, they're asking for it — even calling Dodger Stadium “ugly and infested” to any sports blogger who'll listen. What's the plan, Los Angeles?
Update, March 31, 6:30 a.m.: When a little birdie told us that the air space above Dodger Stadium isn't a total free-for-all, we asked our Giant fan if he was sure the “Beat L.A.” banner had permission to fly.
“We got it all taken care of,” was all he'd say.
Se we decided to contact the Federal Aviation Administration to see if they, too, had condoned all this Dodger hatin'. Because that, Los Angeles, would be wack.
Flight Standards District Office admin Don Griffin says a banner above the stadium would “definitely need permission,” but that he doesn't “know offhand” of the rivals' plan.
“Banner pilots know the rules,” says Griffin. “You're not going to surprise them with anything.”
But what are the rules? Since the terrorist attack on 9/11, sporting events at huge stadiums like the Dodgers' have been protected by a vertical 3,000-foot buffer for a three-mile radius around the stadium.
So, explains FAA spokesman Ian Gregor, as long as the banner plane doesn't drop lower than 3,000 feet (which banner planes usually do), it should be fine.
As for the authorization process, he says “it's not an operation-by-operation type thing. If you want to be a [banner] tow-er, you get authorization — basically a permit” that lasts for up to two years.
In other words, the pilot did not have to notify the FAA of his cruel intentions, and is the sole traitor in this scenario.
According to the San Francisco Examiner:
Those in attendance for today's season opener can expect the 75-foot-by-50 banner to fly over Chavez Ravine for about an hour and 20 minutes.
Is a 75-by-50 banner big enough to spot from 3,000 feet down? We'll see. The game starts at 5 p.m. — keep your eyes peeled.
Update, 3:30 p.m.: LA Taco is officially the most ballin' blog in Los Angeles right now. Check out the revenge banner flying over Dodger Stadium, via @LATACO:
OK, we know, it's way too small to read, but what's a plane to do with a 9/11 buffer zone to worry about? (Word on Twitter that the L.A.-loyal plane belongs to Tom King Aerial. Props.) Plus, it seems at least one spectator can make out the Giants diss:
The “Beat LA” banner has been spotted by whoever's Tweeting for Taco, as well. Here's the verdict:
We wish we were there to see the Battle of the Banners in person, but alas — we're stuck watching Twitter from the office. So do keep us updated, if you will!
Update: Nevermind. @SF_Giants posted a (much more legible) pic of the $6,000-plus hate flag. Here it is:
Update: OK, we're starting to get bannered out, guys. Tweeters seem to have spotted a response to the response, reading: “Dodgers still suck – From SF Champs.”
To that, loyal airplane Tweets: “If we could change the message during flying Giant's you would get an answer!”
We'd recommend not attempting as much — greatly as it would satisfy all us Earthlings down here. Plus, it's about time to let the Dodgers do the talking. Let's go L.A.!
Oh, and Barry Zito: Good luck with that MRI.
Originally posted March 29 at 7 a.m.