National Nightmare

On Saturday I was lucky enough to join 4,000 other Washingtonians who couldn’t get Capitals tickets to watch the Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals. It was my first trip the new stadium, and I had a few thoughts:

* The players’ intro music was weird and definitely inappropriate. Ryan Zimmerman walked up to the plate to the tune of Return of the Mack. Apparently, the guy who picks out intro music is the same guy who picks the players.

* It was Latino Heritage Today at the stadium. This is not be confused with Pitino Heritage Day, where everyone slicks their hair back and gets away with recruiting violations.

* The attendance was seriously pathetic, even for a rainy day in this economy. More evidence that DC can’t support pro baseball. Crappy team + transient population = team will be gone in ten years. Look on the bright side: at least DC has a huge baseball stadium for which it will soon have zero need.

* Biggest ovation came when they flashed the Pens/Caps score on the Jumbotron. Second biggest one was when Ryan Zimmerman scratched himself.

* Screech the Eagle was in the house. There were a ton of little kids in attendance, and for whatever reason, not one of them was frightened by the sight of a giant eagle in a baseball uniform. What is wrong with the youth of America?

* Word is that President Obama plans to cut defense spending so much that U.S. soldiers in Iraq will be armed with t-shirt cannons.

* During the seventh inning stretch, two couples got on the dugout and did some flamenco dancing. First time I’ve seen a live sporting event utilize flamenco dancing to get the fans more interested. The next step is having Manny Acta and Tony LaRussa bring out the lineup cards and then pulling a little Tango action. Maybe LaRussa passes Manny a rose with his teeth.

* One of the Nationals’ traditions is to have presidents with giant heads race each other all over the field. At one point, you had a giant Teddy Roosevelt, Abe Lincoln, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson running around the outfield while an eagle in a baseball uniform cheered them on while four people flamenco danced on the dugout. It’s moments like that that make you wonder if they laced the hot dogs with LSD.

* It was interesting how they used the Big-Headed Presidents to celebrate Latino Heritage Day, seeing how as only one of them did anything to advance civil rights. Hell, two of them owned black people. Hardly seem like the right guys to celebrate one of D.C.’s most prominent minority groups. While you may disagree with me on that point, no one can debate that it was a little out of line when Giant-Headed Jefferson and Giant-Headed Washington got into a bidding war over Dmitri Young.

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