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Tony Kornheiser

First Home-Date Jitters

By Tony Kornheiser
Wednesday, March 30, 2005; Page D01

On the calendar, it says Opening Day is less than one week away. And the home opener at RFK will follow shortly after. I'm very excited about going to the home opener. But I don't mind telling you I'm nervous, too. I've never been to a real major league baseball game in Washington before. What if it doesn't work out? I don't know where I'll sit. I don't know who I'll be next to. I don't know what to wear.

"You sound like a schoolgirl going on her first date," my friend Cindy said.

The mound has been lowered into position; now, it's just a matter of recognizing the Nats who will be pitching from it. Will it be Chad Cordero or Angel Cordero? (Nikki Kahn -- The Washington Post)

"School boy," I said.

"Yeah. Whatever."

But the truth is, this is a fluttery time for most of us. There hasn't been a baseball team here for nearly 34 years. I'm particularly excited to go to the home opener because God only knows when I'll be able to see the Nationals on local TV. The way it looks now, if the Nationals ever get a TV deal, they'll be so far up the dial that you'll need a special dish broadcasting from the planet Goobus with Brian Lamb and Stephen Hawking doing the play-by-play.

Like I said, it's 34 years between home games.

An entire generation has been born here, grown up here, gotten married and had kids -- and they've never seen a home baseball game. They've spent their whole lives rooting for the Orioles, thinking Baltimore was the home team. It's going to take us awhile to settle into what it means to be Nats fans; most of us still reflexively check the sports section to see what the O's are up to. Now that the Nats are here, what do we do?

Do we wear the "W" hat, or the "DC" hat?

Do we bring a glove to the game? At my age it's been awhile since I put on a baseball glove. If I can't find my old one (and I'm pretty sure I left it in a garage two houses ago), should I just bring a gardening glove? Or an oven mitt?

Should we buy the whole schmear of souvenirs -- the hats, the T-shirts, the miniature bat, the pennant? I ask that because what if this team moves in a year or two, like the last team did? Then we're stuck with all this mishigas.

Hey, does RFK sell obstructed-view seats, like the other place?

Will the Nats hold "Singles Nights," like in the other other place?

What kind of hot dogs will they sell? (I hope it's the kosher ones, and not the ones with all the rodent hair in them, the ones that get all bloated in the bun.) And they'll have the grainy mustard, right? That stuff rocks.

Should I take a limo to the game?

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