Opening Day is here yet again and it arrived on a beautiful spring day in Washington, D.C. The Washington Nationals are the sexy pick of many a sports pundit to win the World Series this year (though perceptively not by our Aaron Goldstein), so in true, Washington fashion, the bureaucrats are ducking out of work to catch the game.
Indeed, these are the same folks that couldn’t be bothered to sell out their own stadium just three years ago and have had an unhealthy fascination with the Philly Phanatic.
Regardless, optmism abounds here, much to the consternation of an embedded Phillies fan. Recently, the Washington Post took a look through rose-colored glasses at the Nationals’ title hopes and the “passionate” fan base they claim to have.
I feel I must set the record straight on some of the more absurd pieces of this article.
The first part that is somewhat amiss is the claim that there are “die-hard” Nationals fans. Really? This ball club came into existence in 2005. There must be a whole slew of 8 year olds that are filling up the ballpark since they are the only people who could have possibly rooted for that team for their entire lives. The idea that there are “fanatic” Nationals fans is laughable. Only over the past two seasons has any strong support for this team showed up at the ballpark. I am no master of vocabulary, but I believe a “fanatic” must have to actually attend games even when their team is terrible or playing at RFK.
I must also quibble with the concept that Washingtonians will “mold their lives” around the baseball season. Has this writer lived in D.C. for very long? Clearly the most likely outcome will be many D.C.-ites claiming that they keep meaning to go to the Nationals game, going so far as to purchase tickets, but they just cannot pull themselves away from work. It is a matter of life and death, you see. These papers will not be pushed around on their own.
Finally, calling Washington a baseball town is just insulting to baseball towns. This city did not even have a baseball team for the overwhelming majority of the past 50 years. Red Sox fans who endured the curse of the Bambino, Yankees fans who have seen so many parades, long-suffering Cubs fans and yes, yes, my own favorite team the Phillies have been supported by fans for decades, win or lose.
The Washington Post should issue an immediate correction for their loose usage of the concept of “fanatic.”