by Rick Reiff

Winging It

WHAT HAS TURNED LAID-BACK AND LACKADAISACAL ANAHEIM ANGELS' fans into the most rabid rooters in sports? Sure, front-running plays a part, but is there more to the sudden and dramatic change in attendance, mood and demeanor at Edison Field?

Does Orange County's avid adoption of the Rally Monkey and thunder sticks say something about the community's creativity and flair for trend-setting? Does the Angels' reaching the World Series for the first time in the team's 41-year history mirror Orange County's own coming of age? At a time of increasing fear and cynicism, are the Angels a heavenly reminder of the rewards that come from old-fashioned virtues like perseverance, dedication and teamwork?

We asked some experts to explain what's going on...

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