Both the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals have pushed their fans to the brink of nervous delirium ahead of tonight’s pair of Game 5 matchups that could see either team’s season reinvigorated or stamped out entirely.
Will they live to see another day? A more important question: Which team has the better theme song?
“Orioles Magic” refers to a specific era in Baltimore Orioles history, but anybody who has been going to games over the last 30 years is familiar the gleeful tune. The team would take the field to the “O-R-I-O-L-E-S!” cheer in the song’s hook up until 2008, when it was decided the chorus would only be brought out as postgame music following wins.
At the time of this role reversal, Dan Connolly, Orioles beat writer at The Sun wrote: “It had its purpose, but it no longer fires anyone up. So it’s time to pull the plug, or at least let it be a mocking, team-unifying guffaw after big wins.”
Covering those woeful teams of the late ‘90s and mid ‘00s is enough to make anybody that jaded. But is the run made by the 2012 Orioles as anything other than magical? The late inning heroics! The streak of extra innings victories! The contributions from the kids and the retreads! Nobody expected them to be here, and yet here they are. It’s just like the lyrics in the song: “And you never know/ who’s gonna hear the call/ every game has a different star/ that’s the magic of Orioles baseball.” Musically, all of these sports songs are over-the-top hokey, but “Nuts About the Nats” sounds like a jingle for a used-car dealership. Advantage: “Orioles Magic.” — Brandon Weigel
D.C.’s baseball history is marred by fits and starts. No playoffs since 1933, but baseball existed in one form or another continuously from 1901 to 1971, before a 33 year gap preceded the arrival of the Washington Nationals from Montreal. For a franchise with almost no long-term history in its present city, “Nuts About the Nats” is a link to the past, to an era of Studebakers, pencil skirts, soda fountains, sock hops and highly-choreographed barbershop quartets. And bipartisanship. And chivalry. And all of the good things that existed at a time when they could not have been enjoyed concurrently with America’s pastime, because at such time, baseball was an afterthought in the Nation’s Capital, and then it was gone entirely.
“Nuts About the Nats,” with its feel-good xylophone plinks, Vaudeville sensibility and rah-rah pomp, synchronizes D.C.’s baseball wristwatches, allowing modern-day Nats fans to feel like they’ve been along for the ride since before they — or this team — even existed.
— Alex Baldinger