The Washington Post

Split between Nats and O’s fans at Nats Park appeared to be close to 50-50

There was a lot of orange at Nationals Park on Monday. (Alex Brandon/AP)

I watched Monday’s Nationals-Orioles series opener at home, with my main TV tuned to the Nationals’ broadcast and a smaller monitor to the side tuned to the Orioles’ broadcast. (You haven’t fully experienced the Battle of the Beltways until you’ve heard the cacophony of Bob and F.P. and Gary and Mike all talking at once.)

It was difficult to get a good sense of the division of Nationals and Orioles fans in the crowd from the TV, so I polled The Post’s Nats scribes for their take from the press box.

Adam Kilgore thought it was 60-40 in favor of Nationals fans, though he said the O’s fans seemed louder. James Wagner guessed a 50-50 split, or 60-40 in favor of Nationals fans. The O’s fan who threw back Anthony Rendon’s home run told me he thought the split was 60-40 in favor of the Orioles. Go figure.

Anyway, Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg was asked about the crowd — and the number of Baltimore fans, in particular — after the game.

“Maybe someday it’ll be different,” Strasburg said. “Obviously that franchise has been around a lot longer than we have. You can’t really worry about it too much. Hopefully our fans travel well after [Tuesday].”

With the exception of the moment of silence the Nationals held for Monica Barlow, the Orioles PR director who passed away from lung cancer in February, Nationals Park was rowdy for the series opener. That included the national anthem, when Orioles fans shouted ‘O’ as they always do.

There were dueling chants.

There were divided friends and couples.

There was this guy.

I’ll be at tonight’s game wearing an Orioles hat and a Nationals shirt, which will lead some of you to say mean things about me in the comments and/or question my fundamental understanding of fandom. For the record, I will not shout ‘O’ during the national anthem, just as I don’t shout ‘RED’ at Capitals game, but I won’t judge those who do.

If you were at the game, what did the split look like to you?

Scott Allen writes about all things D.C. sports. Follow him on Twitter @ScottSAllen or e-mail him if you’ve got a tip to share.



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Scott Allen · July 8, 2014