In continuing our badly named “Three Reasons The Nats Should Detest [BLANK]” series, we turn our attention South to Atlanta and the only team that means a thing to those bunch of peach eaters. I admit, they’ve got the World of Coke and a great aquarium in the Georgia Aquarium in those parts and I personally have nothing against the city of Atlanta except for their underachieving baseball team. What a farce. For years the team, using the media powers of Ted Turner, enjoyed leeching baseball fans from around the DMV, majority in Virginia and much in part because for years there was no team between Baltimore and Atlanta. In that time they held an iron grip on the NL East division too, something like 14 straight division titles, but all they could show for it the whole time was one World Series. Underachieving. They couldn’t even sell out their own stadium during playoff games. Sad.
Well, a new cowboy arrived in town in 2005 and suddenly the fields of potential baseball fans is shrinking for them to pilfer, Turner is a twit and they have fallen off the NL East pedestal. This all, of course, has made the Atlanta fan base double obnoxious and has easily given Washington three reasons to hate–
The Atlanta Braves.
Reason #3: Opening Day 2008 – Ah, Opening Day 2008. Brand new Nationals Park. The dawn of a new era of D.C. baseball (or so we thought). The Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta Braves in the first game of the 2008 season. Baseball started in Washington as it should, the new digs was sold out and there was as much pomp, glam and glitz as the team could squeeze out. This was a day that truly belonged to the Nationals, but unfortunately, at times, it didn’t totally feel like it. The Braves had a nice contingent of their fan base in attendance, not Phillies-esque, but enough to notice when several held up glittery Chipper Jones signs and blocked the views. They were rude and defiant to ushers who asked for them to put them down, nearly started a fight over a sign with a Nats fan, their heckling sucked and they were cocky as hell thinking they had a one run game in the bag. You can almost say they tried to preempt Phillies fans. On top of it all, it was a Braves player that got the first batted ball and first home run in Nationals Park history. Ryan Zimmerman’s legendary walk-off home run in the ninth put it all to bed and out of our minds, but it hasn’t erased it from the history books or our cold hearts.
Reason #2: Chipper Jones – And this is the man who got the first batted ball and home run in Nationals Park history. The Atlanta third baseman has been a thorn in the Nationals side. He always seems to get the hit or play he needs to screw over the team, but that happens. What makes Chipper so damn annoying is the fact the Atlanta fan base seems to be more in love with him than the actual team. For years it just seemed like a bunch of sorority of drunken Atlanta chicks was following the team around and calling themselves Atlanta Braves fans because they were there. It was a complete embrace of the Bud Selig “Chicks Did The Longball” philosophy. This is not to mention that Ryan Zimmerman has been a better third baseman than Jones for years, but still somehow this old, crusty constantly injured fogie still garners attention. Finally, if you need anymore reason, what is with this “Chipper” thing? It isn’t his real name. His real name is “Larry Jones” so why isn’t he called Larry Jones? Chipper sounds like some sort of douche name a frat boy puts on the back of his fraternity shirt.
Reason #1: Tomahawk Chop – Nothing is worse than coming back to your seat with a cheap, plastic cup overflowing with a golden, barley and hops elixir after dodging every possible obstacle without spilling a drop and then, when you are about to take that first flavorful sip, some nut sitting next to you breaks out moaning and doing some awful bicycle turn signal thing in the air. This is the Atlanta Tomahawk Chop: an easy-to-do chant and arm motion that is the finest example of American stereotyping and racism in sports. I’m not one to want to deny fans their right to make traditions and have fun, I allow “The Wave” to pass after all, but this one is pretty damn annoying. It looks like a bunch of people having some sort of mass hysteria while sounding like depressed Vuvuzelas.