Monday, April 18, 2005

Take me out

As Beloved Fiance pointed out recently, baseball has come to our nation's capital and despite diverting funds from a failing school system and an affordable housing crisis, it's damn good fun.

We went to the game Saturday with the Rockivist (in town from Boston), showing off our glamorous and exciting social life, and it was pretty awesome. Winning is always fun -- one reason I can't really call myself a Red Sox fan -- but the best part, honest to God, was watching the fans.

Keep in mind that this is a Brand New Team. DC hasn't had baseball for decades, so a quick age estimate was enough to ascertain that most of these folks hadn't ever been to a DC baseball game before. And, it's not like the Orioles moved or something; the fan base needed a newspaper handout to remember who the players were and what positions they played. And yet . . .

Fans were fans. Almost like aborigines who learned to moonwalk from watching too much MTV, the Nats fans were cheering, screaming, clapping with the studied precision and dorky abandon of Napoleon Dynamite's big dance number. I kept thinking of the time on Fawlty Towers when the Spanish dude hid behind the giant moose head (you're either with me on this one, or so very far behind), saying "I speeeek Eeeengleesh. I learnt eet from a boooook." We all knew how to be fans. We'd been fans of other teams, in other cities or for other sports, so we knew how to act. There were these three teenage boys who painted their chests with "N" "A" and "TS" (on the most rotund of the the three). These dudes weren't raised with baby Nats jerseys, they didn't grow up with their dads watching the game on the weekend. But there they were, bravely pushing the Wave forward.

As Simone de Beauvoir might have put it, "one is not born a Nats fan, one becomes one." Here goes.

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