Photo via Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) of CSN Washington
LET’S. IGNITE. OUR. NATITUDE.
Do you feel that? I mean, do you feel that? That burning in your soul. That… NATITUDE?
No… wait… just a little post-nasal drip. Should be all cleared up in a week.
- clears throat –
You remember that scene in Major League 2 where Roger Dorn couldn’t pay the bills and had to put ads all over the outfield walls to meet payroll, and when the players and Harry Doyle first saw the new decor they were dumbfounded? Well, that’s sort of how I envision Nats players reacting today when they walked into the stadium and saw that their lunatic COO had renamed the stadium NATITUDE PARK. Like, actually went out and got humongous banners made to fit perfectly the entranceways and scoreboard.
Nats manager Davey Johnson:
Here’s a roundup of the coverage surrounding the upcoming series, with quotes from yours truly in the Washington Post and WSJ.[Washington Post]
Still, Philadelphia fans are planning to come. “We kind of laugh at it,” said Kyle Scott, the founder and editor of the Philadelphia sports blog “Crossing Broad” who has organized a bus trip, with close to 200 fans, for Sunday night’s game. “We’re going to come down there and take over the park one way or another. They’re not going to stop us.”
A hilarious read from Richard Rys of Philly Mag:
Then came the icing on our hate-cake. You signed your military giveaway letter, “With Natitude.” With all due respect, we’ve seen a field-crashing fan tasered to the cheers of a sold-out CBP crowd. We’ve watched Yankees pitchers rattled by the noise of a playoff game in our house. We know Pat Burrell has some kinky threads in his closet, but we’re welcoming him back in retirement anyway. Mr. Feffer, you don’t know from attitude, and if you did, you wouldn’t sign off with a lame pun.
In closing, I’m looking forward to wearing my Phillies gear to Saturday’s game and cheering loudly, along with an army of my brethren. In your goal to keep your park Philadelphia-fan free, you failed miserably. But look on the bright side. You’ve succeeded in creating a rivalry. At least for one weekend.
Nats COO Andrew Feffer declined to speak with the Inquirer or Daily News:
The Daily News attempted for several days to speak with Feffer. A Nationals spokesman told us he would be unavailable for comment. When reminded that he had spoken with WTOP, the spokesman said Feffer could "only accommodate requests from local and national media." (Memo to Andy: If you have an online presence – which the Daily News obviously does – you are national media.)
[Note to Markus Kram, who wrote that article: The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post and ESPN all reached out to me for comment about our promoting of what I assume is the largest D.C. trip this weekend. Yet, in this article, entitled Phils Fans Set For March On Washington, you just quoted a few folks from his Facebook page. Seems lazy.] [Wall Street Journal]
But Mr. Feffer says his campaign also "has become a civic issue" aimed at upending the conventional wisdom that D.C.'s transient population isn't as devoted to its teams as fans in other cities are to theirs.
Such talk has only raised the stakes for the Phillies series. The Sunday night game will be nationally televised, and Mr. Feffer acknowledges it would be a huge embarrassment if the crowd were dominated by Philadelphia supporters. He recently sweetened the pot, offering two free tickets to future games against other teams to anyone who buys two tickets to the Phillies series—a move designed to appeal to locals. Nationals officials said Wednesday the moves appear to be working and that the club's internal numbers show fewer out-of-area ticket sales than in years past.
7:05 this eve.