Diary of a Mad County

SATURDAY, Sept. 21 There was the 1997 game where the Notre Dame Fighting Irishcame out in green uniforms before their game against the USC Trojans, who went on to lose. There were all those decibel-shattering pre-game ceremonies during the Michael Jordan-era Chicago Bulls. And there was the San Francisco Giants last year wearing replicas of their 1951 uniforms in a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, who as the Brooklyn Dodgers lost a heartbreaker to the then-New York Giants in '51. The latest attempt at pre-game psych-outs comes before today's game between the Anaheim Angels and Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field, where Dave Henderson throws out the first pitch. The Angels were one strike away from going to the World Series in 1986 when Henderson hit a two-run home run that eventually led to his Boston Red Sox going to the big show. The Angels have not been back to the playoffs since. The Mariners claim the timing of the ceremony featuring Henderson, who capped his career in Seattle, is purely coincidental. But the Angels, who can clinch a spot in this year's playoffs with a win, lose, 6-4.

SUNDAY, Sept. 22 About 300 Vietnamese-Americans apparently prevent a 30-member red Vietnamese trade delegation from meeting at Whittier Law School. Waving placards, U.S. and South Vietnam flags, and an effigy of Ho Chi Minhdangling from a noose, the protesters yell anti-Viet Cong chants at every car that pulls into the Costa Mesa campus. "Folks with the Vietnamese government, who are in the process of a weeklong trade delegation to the U.S., rented a public room here to meet with local businesspeople," explains Scott Wylie, the school's associate dean for external affairs. "The local Vietnamese community decided to come out and exercise their First Amendment rights, which they have every right to do. The trade delegation never made it into the facility." It's easy to see why they bailed. A slight man wearing army fatigues whips up the crowd with several chants in Vietnamese and one in English: "Down with Viet Cong!" to which his audience shouts back, "Down! Down! Down!" Son Do of Westminster tells us that someone learned the Vietnamese delegation was staying in a Garden Grove hotel, figured out their meeting itinerary and quickly spread the word to protesters, who prove quite united in their commie hatred. "The Viet Cong sold land to China," one man tells us. "The Vietnamese communists send poor girls to Malaysia and other places to be prostitutes," informs another. An elderly gent who claims the Vietnamese government supported the Sept. 11 attacks says he supports Dubya's War on Terrorism because he hopes the war will eventually go to Vietnam. Again.

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