This week we asked you to share your opening day experiences with Nationals Journal. Here are a few of your responses:
This is the view from our seats...what follows is my perspective of the Nats fans in Section 101.
I want to be a Nats fan, again. I really do. I was once. I greeted the Washington Senators at National Airport in ‘68 when they returned from a roadtrip over .500. My sister’s baseball collage hung in Ted Williams office for an entire season. In short, we were real fans.
Fast forward to Opening Day, 2011, or as the giant screens at Nationals Stadium proclaimed, Opening Day, April 2011. (Never mind April is a month not a day, and the wrong one at that!) Our seats had us in Row L, which is the front row overlooking the Braves bullpen and close enough to the pitchers to carry on a conversation. The Braves’ bullpen coach, Eddie Perez, and the relief corps were a class act, tossing balls into the stands and chatting amiably with the crowd, before the game. Great seats, great feature of the ballpark design. The fans in that section, not so great.
From the first inning to the seventh (when most of my ‘neighbors’ had left) in a tight, well-pitched, well played game, obnoxious, rude, and immature ‘cheers’ rained down from the Nats supporters. It’s bad enough when fans can’t get amped up over a quality performance by their team in a close game. Right fielder Morse had it right when he remarked “we were in the game until the last out.” It’s inexcusable when they hurl insults more befitting a bunch of fifth grade bullies.
I’ve been to several games at The Ted in Atlanta, when both the Nationals and the Cardinals are in town. Say what you want about southern hospitality and the level of sincerity, but without exception, visiting fans at Turner Field are treated like guests. Even the Tomahawk Choppers who’ve had a few beers too many pull hard for the home team and respect the opposition.
While the product the Lerners’ put on the field has matured greatly, a good number of the fans in Section 101 have a lot more growing up to do!
As the Nats Journal requested, here are some reflections on the Opening Day experience at Nats Park, from Section 141, Row G:
(1) Damn it was cold. At least the mist went away by the later innings.
(2) The scoreboard operators must still be in Spring Training. Since we were in the lower outfield with a roof barely over our head, we can’t see the main scoreboard. It was so informative to see the Spring Training stats for the pitchers (wins, losses, strikeouts) on the baseline boards rather than, say, a PITCH COUNT! And of course we had no clue of lineups, out-of-town scores, and other things. Lesson learned, won’t sit in 141 again, despite the nice view of the field.
(3) The row in front of us had five guys who obviously were friends and/or coworkers. The three to the left had Braves caps, while the two to the right had W’s. Remember, lower outfield, so we had Jason Heyward right in front of us. They were merciless. One of the best exchanges:
W fan: Hey Jason, you suck!
A fan #1: We love you!
A fan #2: And he’s got you on his fantasy team!
W fan: Begrudgingly!
7 years of Nats’ concessions logistics problems. The Stars & Stripes lounge on the club level ran out of bratwurst & nachos. #NatsOpeningDay
Here are a few more photos from opening day:
Perhaps the dreary weather put a damper on more positive experiences. Did anyone besides mzurowski have a great time?
Good or bad, please share more of your impressions of opening day in the comments section.