My wife had a pretty difficult week after a couple of visits to the dentist. Keeping up with the media and blogs and all the discussion about the Philly invasion was out of the question. So I got a good chuckle yesterday about the sixth inning or so when she turned to me in our seats in section 133 and said:
"What the hell is with all the Phillies fans? Are we the only Nationals Fans here?"
From our seats, it was easy to think that way. I'd guess, conservately, that our section, the three to our right and two to our left were 90 percent Phillies fans. They were out in force but other than one yelling "Nationals Fans SUCK" during introductions, we have no complaints. Probably a dozen shook my hand on the way out, said congrats and "hang in there." One said, "Be patient, the Nats will get there." He couldn't answer when I asked when and didn't seem to care when I explained this was the start of my sixth year of patience. I'm running out of time here.
We decided on our way out that we wouldn't be going back. It has nothing to do with the experience. It was a totally fine day with my family. We're not going back because we want to retire unbeaten for a season. Last year, we didn't see our first win until early May. Only way to keep that zero on our 2010 loss record is to stay away.
Our ballpark experience was like it's always been since the move to Nats Park. If there's anything new, we didn't notice. The team store looked almost barren for some reason. Nothing struck me as a must have. I went with my usual food (Hard Times). The kids loaded up on dogs outside the gate but made Uncle Stan happy by drinking several eight-dollar beers. I won't drink ballpark beer. No way I'll pay eight bucks for ONE beer.
One interesting moment that I hope wasn't caught on tape:
When they shot those t-shirts into the stands, one of them landed about five rows in front of me in the aisle. Showing a nimbleness I didn't know I still had, I set off after the shirt. So did a woman who looked to be about my age, coming from the other direction. She was smiling, I was smiling. My kids were yelling. I got there first. Boo-YAH! I still got it!
That's when I picked up on what my kids were saying. There was a third competitor for the shirt, a young man who was probably six or so. The kids were yelling, "DAD, GET OUT OF THE KID'S WAY!"
Oops. Please don't be on the video screen blocking out a first-grader.
I did the honorable thing and gave the shirt to the kid (no way that would make the screen). Told him it was all his, I just want to see if I could still move at my age. We both laughed.
Ah, but that's not the end of it.
Five minutes later, he taps me on the shoulder and says, "Sir, thanks for the shirt. You can have this."
He handed me a sausage that felt like a brick. They actually do put sausages in the shirts?? I hate to be a naysayer about anything free but UCK. It was nasty. My son did manage to eat half of it despite my wife begging him not to even try.
They can't put a coupon for a free fresh, hot sausage in there?
I didn't get a good look at the shirt. I dig t-shirts. Is it small of me to admit I'm sitting here wondering if I should of kept it? Kidding, kidding.