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Occasional blogger and self-described “worst Nats fan on Twitter,” @needham_chris
“I would describe myself as a realistic optimist, someone who hopes the best is going to happen but realizes it probably isn’t going to.
“Last year, we had a season that I think everyone’s going to remember for a long time, but the team still lost, what, 40 percent of their games? There’s a lot of failure built into baseball, and even in wins there are lots of individual failings. You gotta have the low lows to also have the high highs. I was at Game 4 last year when Jayson Werth hit the walk-off home run. I was screaming so incredibly loud; I literally — using the actual definition of literal — didn’t have a voice for the next three days. I don’t think I would have been screaming as loud if we hadn’t had a half-decade of failure before that.
“During [Game 5], as soon as the ninth inning was starting to fall apart, I basically just kind of slumped in my couch and I didn’t move until about 2 a.m. Just kind of that comatose, stunned, ‘I can’t believe this is happening’ kind of feeling. The very next day, I went back and watched the replay of the game just to see what happened and to try to dissect it a little bit. I’m willing to punish myself a little bit I guess. I’ve moved past it. It happens. You roll on.
“I’m not the hugest fan of [Nationals Park]. It’s just a stadium. I get to my seat, and I’m happy in my seat, and I watch the whole game beginning to end. I’ll grab myself a plate of the Hard Times chili nachos and wolf it down over the course of three hours. I probably made it to five, maybe 10 [games] last year. But in general I’ll have the games on TV or the radio at home. I’ve probably caught 75 percent of them to some degree or another.
“I think the playoffs and the run-up to it showed that the city can be a baseball town. I think there was a lot of growing that happened last year, with more and more people realizing how much more fun it is to know a winning team than one that’s going to go out there and get its brains beaten in more often than not.”
57, Silver Spring
President/co-owner, InVisible Light executive coaching; artistic associate, Round House Theatre, 1992-2004.
“It was in the middle of a game at the old RFK that I realized I was done as an actor. I think it was the game that Ramon Oritz had a no-hitter working well into the ninth inning [Sept. 4, 2006]. And I got a call somewhere in the middle of the game that asked me, could I come in and record 12 commercials. A really good gig. I had decided in the spring that maybe I would take a year off from doing theater . . . but I would still make my money from commercials.
“Without even hesitating, I said, ‘No, I’m busy,’ because it would conflict with a game. Previously, I would skip a kid’s birthday, I would skip a funeral, I would do anything to get a job. And when it conflicted with the Nats, I just went, ‘That’s it, you really are done, Jane.’
“I cried like we’d won something big the day of the last game at RFK, but it wasn’t happy. I was so sad to leave it. Those bleachers, the way the bleachers would move and shake the whole stadium? I miss those. The rake was way better. You could see better in every seat at RFK. We have season seats and last year, I went to two games more than half. We plan our vacations around it.