Pointing the Way

Foam fingers

Foam fingers: To the uninitiated, they?re the lowest rung of sports memorabilia?cheaper than a hat, a $5 polyurethane digital extension to be purchased, waved and then forgotten. But as local DJ and Vegas StrEATS co-founder Alonzo Valencia is quick to tell you, foam fingers aren?t just pointers anymore. You can, for instance, use middle foam fingers to flip off opposing fans. You can find one where the fingers form a W to show your West Coast pride. Or, if you?re like Valencia, 27, you can pick up your older sister, hit the road on an epic sibling-bonding quest to visit every ballpark and arena in the country, and amass a collection of more than 40 and counting.

?When the Lakers played the Cavaliers in 2009, this was, like, Kobe vs. LeBron, a big thing. During that game you got a free foam finger; it?s basically a puppet figure throwing up the L and the A like a gang sign. I wasn?t at Staples Center, but I remember watching it like, ?Holy shit, I need that foam finger.? The Lakers were losing by so many, everyone started throwing the foam fingers on the court with disgust, like ?Screw this.? And I?m like, what are you doing? I need those! When we were out there, I searched and found one on Craigslist; I think I paid like $40 for it. I didn?t care about the money.?

Valencia got hold of his first foam finger at his hometown ballpark, Dodger Stadium, at age 10. But the collecting really kicked into high gear in adulthood. ?It all starts with just one,? he says. ?It?s, like, oh that?s cool. It kinda crosses it off the list. But before I knew it, I looked up and had all these foam fingers all over my room, and I didn?t know what to do with them.

?If something were to ever happen to them, it would be pretty devastating. Knowing me, I?d probably want to start over. That?s a scary thought right there.?

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