This week we celebrate our 10th anniversary with an interview with long time member, Brandon. "B" has been as active as they come in the way of forum discussions for many years, has participated in many of our events and even represented us well with a Media Credential to cover the Angels (more on that in our interview below). Gibson is a great story teller and good guy to catch a beer with at the ballpark or your favorite pub.
Let's dig right in and get to know Brandon Gibson better, in this week's member appreciation post.
AngelsWin.com: When and how did you first come to AngelsWin.com?
Brandon Gibson: I came over with the mass migration from ESPN. I'm a life long Angels fan and after the WS and a new owner, that was looking to spend money to keep a winner, I got real interested in following up to the minute moves and rumors and back in 2003 the community there, that ended up here, seemed to beat the major news outlets to stories. So I was able to follow closely that Carlos Beltran rumor that never happened.
AngelsWin.com: What keeps you coming back to the site?
Brandon Gibson: The community and access/breaking news of moves or team dealings. Between ESPN, but mostly here, it was my first message board experience so I really took to being an active member, for better or worse. Because we have a friendly community aspect that gets into our personal lives at times or outside of the team with commonalities, I have had the privilege of so many member interactions with everything from serious events likes weddings and charity events to casual get togethers like poker/Vegas trips, beer tastings, or viewing parties. I've created life long friendships because of the site and it feels like talking Halos with your buddies or family members on a daily basis.
AngelsWin.com: What have been some of your favorite articles and threads?
Brandon Gibson: Man, where to begin with this one. The group process of the 50 greatest moments in Angels history was beyond cool and memorable. More for the experience, but the chance to represent Angelswin during a day game and be a part of the media for a day was a blast. Doing those articles/"at the game thread" with Victor Rojas, Orlando Merced, and the board that were fun.
As for threads, there were countless. I think everyone agrees "Common Courtesy" is tops. One of my first memorable threads was Adam doing a whole story about a gift exchange with some dude at work that gave him The Manchurian Candidate. I chimed in and we became buds after that. Others include "furniture sex", Kelvim Escobar tripod thread, I started a thread messing with Google called "Black guy.....stole my bike" that lead to all of us messing with Google and letting it finish sentences. There was also a graph website that had graphs for song lyrics among other things...that was a long gem. 10 years wiser I like the Soccer Forum and movie threads the most these days.
AngelsWin.com: What in-person events have you attended from AngelsWin.com (Spring/Summer Fanfests, Charity Golf, Charity Softball)?
Brandon Gibson: Just about everything. I was there at the first softball event, first viewing party, first Fan Fest, first poker get together, first golf event, all the events at Throwbacks. The website has been absolutely great in people simply proposing an idea and making it happen, no matter how big or small. The only thing I haven't done is Spring Training. My favorite to this day is the playoff viewing party in 2009 where we finished off the Red Sox. We packed it to be standing room only and one of my favorite sports memories was Vlad hitting that single up the middle and there was an initial gasp by everyone then the place absolutely erupted like I've never seen or heard before. While I was cheering with Hot Damn as everyone was jumping up and down, I feel a hand on my shoulder and it's Blarg pulling himself up onto the top of the bar and jumping up and down. It was one of the most ballsy things I've seen done, but everyone was so elated no one cared to tell him to stop which makes it awesome. Then champagne went everywhere.
AngelsWin.com: Why is AngelsWin.com your internet home for the Angels?
Brandon Gibson: The access and professionalism on the back end of the site to have the relationships we do here is second to none. I was lucky enough to experience it first hand, but even having things like players or family members come around is just great for the fan experience here.....it's really just more than a website to discuss lineup changes and trades. Plus, aside from viewing parties or going to games with members here, on random weekday games simply hopping into the chatroom to watch games in real time with other Halo fans like we would at any other event is sweet. You really get an experience here opposed to just another message board. Oh, and after many, many years I found out Riley Breckenridge of Thrice was not only an Angels fan, but someone I would chat with a bunch here!
AngelsWin.com: In your opinion, what is AngelsWin.com’s best feature: the articles, charitable events, game-day chat, message boards, Fanfests, podcasts, etc?
Brandon Gibson: Tough answer because you can make a case for any and all features. I'm partial to the chartiy events we have done over the years and the impact that has had. The first inception of the game day chat was a blast that I liked to moderate back then.....it was all the people I went to games with or viewings, but we were in the comfort of our own homes. These days I really enjoy the more bountiful articles, mainly the saber stuff. Ironically, I was against playing games on paper but through the site, even being a math guy, grew to appreciate what a small collective here bring in terms of numbers and player classification.
AngelsWin.com: Where do you live and what do you do?
Brandon Gibson: I live in Southern California. I guess I fall under the category of entrepreneur/self employed. I have my hands and cut my teeth in Real Estate and have created, owned, or managed projects from data storage, alternative medicine, investing/venture capitalist, and healthcare is my main focus these days. Funny thing is because of this site I have been fortunate to help others here and even reconnected with an old business associate through the site events that I started working with on a project of theirs.
AngelsWin.com: Why are you an Angels fan?
Brandon Gibson: Local/hometown team and just grew up rooting for them. It's been a very rewarding experience going from the early 90's to a World Series to consistent success and expectations to succeed. Going through the 90's as an Angels fan you wouldn't ever think we would be competing yearly like we do now.
AngelsWin.com: What was your first Angels game that you remember? Who’d you go with?
Brandon Gibson: I had gone to a few random games as part of playing Little League, but my first memory was I had a neighbor across the street when I was young that kind of acted like an older brother. My parents left for vacation and asked him if he would watch me for the weekend, he did and that first night he took me to the batting cages, then to get and Angels hat, and to the game that night against the Rangers where my most vivid memories were a fan climbing the left field foul pole and some random dude in front of me heckling Otis Nixon as he kept yelling that the base path lines would disappear if he ran the bases.....I think some of the older dudes will get the heckle.
AngelsWin.com: Who have been your favorite players? Why? Any great stories or interactions with them?
Brandon Gibson: Tough question. I remember players in my early days like Wally Joyner or Jim Abbott, but my first favorite player was Jim Edmonds. I'm partial to five tool type guys like he used to be, Garret Anderson used to kind of be one, and now we have the luxury of Trout. My first interaction I remember was getting a California Angels ball signed by Troy Percival and Mike James at a game while trying to get Edmonds around '94 or '95. I'm fortunate to have a business relationship with Jason Brennan of Angels Talk from years past, so I've been in situations of meeting front office people or running into players. A pretty unique one is we used to have season seats in front of Vlad's family suite and through that I had a family member that dated Vlad's cousin. This meant after games we would go with the family down through the tunnels and visit the players leaving the clubhouse and hangout in the parking lot after. I also got to hangout with Vlad a few times, dude likes his rum.
The funniest one and a good board joke is Chuck allowed me to represent the website with a press pass years ago, but it was complete last minute because it was a day game that the regular reporter couldn't make. I've never been remotely close to this position and am a mere fan, but take the job seriously of getting the site content....but have no clue what I'm doing. Luckily, when I get there I run into Jason Brennan and Eric Denton who give me a mild run down of how things work, but I don't have clubhouse access so I am not with them to follow around. I'm actually kind of lost in the tunnels but see Mickey Hatcher throwing BP to Kendry Morales, I figure this is a good time to take a pic for the site. Like a dumb rookie I take the pic, but the flash is on and goes off during the pic. I do the apologetic face/ hands in the air thing of apology while Hatcher looks at me like he wants to kill me, but Kendry actually starts posing, totally hamming it up for the camera and motions for me to take another. Hatcher jokingly tells him to stop messing around and I head off. During the day time BP I'm on the field, but the players avoid the media like the plague and we are only allowed to talk to them or go to certain areas based on what they do to let us know they are open for questions. Victor Rojas sees a rookie struggling and calls me over to chat, we both have ties to Kansas City so we chat it up and I tell him why I'm there, but have no clue what to do. He let's me interview him but is super cool in working with me (I wasn't sure what to expect and prepped to ask players questions, so I flew by the seat of my pants with him) and letting me work through the jitters and questions. Later was the second BP when the fans are in the stadium, so access is a little more limited, but I still get to hangout in the dugout. The bullpen coach comes out and I interview Orlando Merced. We go through some questions for the site but then get to talking casually as I remember him on the Pirates in the 90's. He appreciates that I remember and we talk about his playing days. Then the players start coming out and I think this is my last chance to get a player for the site. Kevin Frandsen sits next to me and I ask him but he shakes me off. The other bench guys come out and then out walks Jered Weaver. Me having no shame and willing to talk to anyone walk up to him and ask if I can ask some questions for the site, he replies with, "I'm pitching today, bud" and the bench guys kind of chuckle at my expense and I kind of just walk out of the dugout with my tail between my legs and up to the press area above the Diamond Club.
AngelsWin.com: How do you survive the offseason?
Brandon Gibson: The offseason is actually my favorite time of the year. I feel like we all watch the same games, same slumps, errors, or game winning homeruns so I don't comment too much during the season because there isn't much to add that hasn't already been said about a poor pitching performance or specific play that we all don't see. But during the offseason we seem to get pretty creative and it gets exciting with trade rumors or free agent signings. I get into the comings and goings of the club. Off the site, I'm really into all sports and grew up a lot of them at high levels, so I follow other sports or participate myself. Outside of that I'm big into my friends and family time.
AngelsWin.com: What’s one thing you’d like everyone in AngelsWin.com to know about you?
Brandon Gibson: Ironically, I think too much has come out during the years, whether my fault or others haha. I'd like to think I come off more casual and joking, I hope that comes off and that I don't take much too seriously. I'm always there for charity events, putting together events, helping people personally, or supporting or promoting other peoples ventures from the site. I hope that part of my character is seen opposed to what I think of people that overly complain :)