April 06, 2010

Gratuitous Nats Posting (TM) - Invasion Of The Phanatics Division

Nats Hat.jpg

Dan Steinberg on the salt in the wound of the Nats' opening day humiliation:

Maybe having tens of thousands Philadelphia fans invade your home stadium is inevitable. Their city is nearby. Their team is successful. Their fans evidently don't have work responsibilities. That's cool. I get it.

Still, it rankles D.C. fans. It will always rankle D.C. fans., whether Redskins fans staring at Terrible Towels, Caps fans being drowned out in their own building (in the bad old days) or Nats fans surrounded on Opening Day. And there seem to remain some indications that the powers-that-be don't understand that.

Witness Mark Lerner's recent interview with Nats 320, in which he was asked about winning over more D.C.-area residents. After admitting the team needs to establish a stronger brand locally, he said this:

I also would tell you that we intend to broaden our audience beyond the 5.5 million [local residents]. There is no other sports franchise in America that can claim to represent the National Pastime in the Nation's Capital. We want everyone who visits Washington, D.C. to see the White House, the Capitol, and all the monuments, to join us when they spend their summer evenings in our city. We see the Nationals becoming America's Home Team. Our city belongs to all Americans, and we believe our team does, too. We are one Metro stop from the U.S. Capitol, and absolutely the finest sports venue to see the Capitol lights at night.

As generic boilerplate rhetoric, independent from actual events, that's fine enough. In light of the past two games at Nationals Park, though, it reads like an open invitation to the world to come rape and pillage Half Street, or at least fill D.C.'s stadium with the wrong chants. Washington sports fans don't want to root for a team that belongs to all Americans; they want to root for a team that belongs to them.

Damned right.

I found myself fuming about this as I made my way home from work yesterday afternoon, detouring around legions of smug Phanatics on the sidewalks, getting jostled and breathed on by more of them in the Metro, doing everything in my power to avoid whipping out my Nats hat (I had it in my briefcase to use at softball practice), put it on backwards and begin slitting throats.

Sooper-Sekret Message to Philly: GO HOME!!!!

Posted by Robert at April 6, 2010 12:37 PM | TrackBack

The only city more loathsome than Philly in heat and humidity is the city-on-a-swamp, Dee Cee. Either place leaves me feeling like I'm in Al Sharpton's armpit in the summah. But it's home, and I'll take it! Coming for a visit anytime? We shall have our rapprochement at Citizen's Bank Park. Or skip that and go straight to Monks for a Belgian White and mussels.

Posted by: Mink Monica at April 6, 2010 03:35 PM

I managed to swallow a goodish bit of the Schuylkill when splashing about in the Dad Vails in my college days. Not quite sure whether that might have had any long-term side effects but, well, it would explain a great deal, I think.

Posted by: Robbo the LB at April 6, 2010 03:46 PM

I'm still bitter about DC getting the team by beating out Portland (the largest city in America without a MLB team), so you'll get little sympathy from this quarter.

Posted by: B.B. at April 6, 2010 11:44 PM

It was worse at the game. We had to endure them at OUR home opener while sitting in worse seats. As a (partial)season ticket holder we were upset. Mr. Kasten and the Lerners were so notified by mail of our feelings. Only good thing about it all is that the Philly fans are underwriting our future success.

Posted by: NOVA Curmudgeon at April 7, 2010 08:40 AM

I do enjoy going to Comerica wearing my Yankees cap when they are playing the Tigers. But given that it is Detroit, I only go to Sunday afternoon games.

Posted by: rbj at April 7, 2010 01:33 PM
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