As the Nationals’ first season in its new and very expensive ballpark is about to come to a close, Marc Fisher tries to figure out why the team wasn’t more of a success in attracting fans.The team is lowering ticket prices next year for some seats, but that may not be enough to create Skins-style buzz.
Who am I kidding? Of course the team will not reach the mania surrounding the Skins. The team has fallen short of what politicians promised would be a windfall for the city. After opening day, the team pretty much stayed off everyone’s radar.
Is there a local sports team that has less of an ardent fan base? I only went to one Nats game this year and was shocked at how empty the stadium seemed. And the ones that attended the game did not seem to know what to do, what to cheer, and how to cheer. Even something as basic as the P.A. blasting the call to yell “Charge!” evoked the limpest, most confused response. Oh, and they don’t show up on time. [Then again, I only went to one game].
I can count on two fingers the number of friends that are super Nats diehards. That’s it. Everyone else I know never talks about the Nats. It’s not like the team isn’t getting covered. At one point, the Post sports section used to give semi-equal billing to the Nats and the Orioles. Now not so much. It seems like only the Nats make it to the front of the sports section.
Then again, the Nats seem like they only have a marginal presence on sports talk radio. I only listen to Sports Talk 980. And I admit, I only listen in the car to and from assignments. Maybe a reader can set the record straight — but I never hear the station talk Nats news. Maybe the Nats need a cagey, experienced, and highly opinionated veteran like the Redskins have (Doc, B-Mitch, and of course, Sonny).
Or the Nats need an actual marquee player as Fisher suggests!
*please note how often I use the word “seem” (three times) and “maybe” (several). Editors frown on using “seem” and “maybe” as they are wishy-washy and lame. This is because I don’t care at all about the Nats but felt compelled to blog about the team after reading Fisher’s unusually brutal assessment of the franchise’s future.
*photo by Darrow Montgomery.