Halo Heaven's Mat Gleason, a.k.a. Rev Halofan - Part 2
(In part 1 of my interview with Mat Gleason, a.k.a. Rev Halofan of Halos Heaven, I wrote about Mat's opinion of the future of print media and where internet sports reporting is heading. I thought his views were very interesting and I wanted to make sure those views were published before writing the next part of the interview. This second part is more about the fan and his website.)
From the short time I've known Rev Halofan, and what I mean by "know" is the impression I get from his postings and comments on his website, the Rev is as fervent a fan of the Angels you'll ever meet. By reading the content of his postings, you can tell he's an intelligent, opinionated, loyal fan who doesn't take shit from anyone. There are times I don't agree with his point of view, he loves Frankie Rodriguez and I think he's over-rated, but he'll listen to your point before telling you you're wrong. I picture him having a conversation with someone in person, finger on his chin - head nodding in agreement as he listens closely to what's being said, and then replying, "I realize the point you're making and understand what you're saying, but you're f*^#king wrong." This is how he comes across to me on his site. This trait comes across when I asked him about "statheads" and sabermatricians, "I understand and appreciate stats, I have read almost everything that Bill James has written. What I am totally opposed to is the Stat Orthodoxy - the belief that stats are above the game and that they trump the human element of the game. The absolute blind adherence to "theory" especially in the face of proof that the theories are imperfect measurements is the problem. The book Moneyball has been proven as a completely inaccurate approach to assembling a baseball team - once Billy Beane lost the three aces the theories did not hold water at all. I am the same way in my art criticism; I am anti-orthodoxy and despise the academic establishment. I taught art theory at Claremont Graduate University 12 years ago and assigned Charles Bukowski on my syllabus instead of Foucalt and Derrida. My contract there wasn't renewed, by the way."
Gleason has been an Angels fan since 1975, "I went with my Webelo troop." He added the reason why he was an Angels fan; “I grew up in La Mirada and my whole family was Dodger fans, so the Angels kind of allowed me to find my own voice." I asked him what his favorite Angel's moment was. Usually the typical fan answer is their World Series victory in 2002, but I wasn't too surprised he had a different moment as his favorite. While I'm sure that season is very important to the Rev, he said, "I was in Oakland when the Angels clinched the Division in 2005. Arte Moreno was sitting in front of me. He turned around and high-fived me and said WE DID IT! My worst Angel moment was two seconds later when (Angels President) Dennis Kuhl glared at me like I was a piece of shit." What did Dennis Kuhl have against him? "I think he is Arte's bodyguard. Hey, the dude IS a billionaire and Kuhl fits the profile of the beefy security guy. I think Dennis just might be packing. He was probably sizing up my temple to plant the barrel of the 9 Millimeter. I don't begrudge anyone in the game who gives attitude to the fans, though, the grind in the big leagues can destroy the peanut vendors, the people with the team just get beaten down completely. Looking at a fan like he is an idiot is almost a courtesy relative to what some of these guys really want to do to your "begging-for-an-autograph" ass."
I was curious about Gleason's opinion of Angel’s owner Arte Moreno and what's different about the Angels organization since Moreno has owned them. "I have met some straight shooters in my time but the guy is like a laser - absolutely cuts thru everything. SoCal is a such a bullshit-filled region and the guy just has none of it anywhere near him. Fundamentally Arte believes the adage that you have to spend money to make money and Jackie Autry, because she did not earn her money, she inherited it, she just was not a business person, she was just waiting for the team to give her that monthly allowance. She was terrified of letting loose a nickel because she had never had a successful experience in life where that nickel came back as a dime. Disney was just using them to promote the Disney brand and even Gene Autry was never really focused on building them up from the foundation, he was too Hollywood and used the studio formula - spend some money on the next film it might do better than the previous one and might be a hit, but Gene never thought once to build the baseball equivalent of a movie studio. I am actually pitching a book on that very subject right now. So yeah, one could write a book." Gleason does have some ideas on how to make the team better, "This might sound weird but I would move the outfield fences back in Anaheim and focus on acquiring pitchers with more groundball tendencies", and added as owner he'd change the season-ticket policy, "I would discontinue season seats and put every game's tickets up for an internet auction. I am so sickened by fans of other teams in good seats, yes, but I am just as sickened by the Newport Beach elite deigning to have a glass of champagne in the diamond club for a few innings. That class structure stuff absolutely burns me up. Scott Boras sitting behind home plate blabbing on his cell-phone hardly watching the game while his Helga there entertains clients and runs errands all while I am just watching the batter - oh it is best I stay a commentator, revolutions have a way of imploding once they get started."