Los Angeles Lakers Championship Parade: Moment of Silence for the Champions

"We came, we saw, we conquered everything in sight. Moment of silence for the champions."

—Ron Artest, "Champions"

"Life moves pretty fast. You don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." 

—Ferris Bueller, Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Today, approximately 65,000 people lined the streets of Los Angeles to participate in what has become an annual tradition here, the kind of tradition fans in cities like Philadelphia, New York, Salt Lake City and Portland wait their entire lives for—an NBA championship parade.

The parade was a more muted celebration than in years past.

Maybe the fans had already exerted themselves in the traditional postgame automobile torchings.

Or maybe it was because the city wasn't footing the tab for this year's parade like they did last year's, so there was no staging area as in years past. Well, at least our mayor had good seats to the games this season, so not everyone's hurting.

Maybe it's because one of their leaders, Phil Jackson, was absent for a medical appointment that could prolong his absence into retirement next season. Longtime girlfriend and Twitpic chronicler Jeannie Buss wore his X hat from last year's celebration with a "+ 1" affixed to it. X + 1, sweet, simple algebra, lucky 11 for Phil and sweet 16 for the Lakers' franchise.

Maybe it's because the fans' mood isn't so much one of revelry as relief. After outlasting the Boston Celtics in a seven-game slugfest resembling Rocky II , and a particularly ugly, if dramatic, last game, everyone just seemed happy not to play the Buffalo Bills to the Celtics' Dallas Cowboys for the second time in three years.

Or, finally, maybe it's just because being a Laker fan is different, like being a fan of those Cowboys, the New York Yankees, the hated Celtics, or one of college football's powerhouses. Winning championships are expected, ...

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