The Nats couldn’t prevent the Philadelphia Phillies from claiming the NL East Pennant this weekend as the Phillies beat the Nats 8-4 on Friday and then beat the Nats 4-3 yesterday. It was like a surfer running across the sand towards a tidal wave, knowing he or she won’t be coming back.
As a baseball fan, that has to be the worst feeling knowing that no matter what your chosen team does, you know they aren’t going to win the game and there is nothing you can do to help or stop it. It is at this point you realize you are nothing, but a spectator. Your cheers, your clapping, your singing equal nothing, but silence. You buying the best seats, food, or merchandise mean nothing. Decking yourself head to toe in team colors, putting team history to heart, and religiously reading every article, message board, and blog (except this one) all seems like a waste of time.
Then you have the media jumping on the team like a pack of rabid jackals for poor performance and looking to doom the organization. Just take a look at this Thomas Boswell article at the Washington Post (which the Times totally scooped him on) and this piece from some guy named Matt Swenson at the Post Express. What is the Post Express and even a better question is who is Matt Swenson?
This all sort of sums up the Washington Nationals 2008 campaign. Disappointment, anger, suicidal thoughts, and just a general “what the hell am I doing here?” questioning.
But you know, what? You did it. You still did it all and did it for a last place team that hasn’t had anything to play for since the fifth game of the season. While many might say that is retarded or a huge waste of time, they are wrong. You are a god damned Washington Nationals fan, through and through. While the team is going through a rough patch in it’s short history and it seems everyone in the world is laughing at them and pointing fingers, you have stuck by this team.
It is at this point you realize you are a part of this game and a part of this team. Your cheers, your clapping, your singing equal everything. You buying the best seats, food, or merchandise show your loyalty. Decking yourself head to toe in team colors, putting team history to heart, and religiously reading every article, message board, and blog (especially this one) announces to the world your pride.
YOU are a Washington National fan, part of the best damn fanbase in the world and you are needed, just one more time this season as the Washington Nationals close out their 2008 season in Philly at 1:35pm.
I have my Nats cap on. Do you?
(Sorry, I’m not one for team-building soapbox speeches. I did my best and hope you enjoy.)