Steve Hendrix of the Post’s Metro staff had a very good article this past weekend on the popularity of the Redskins vs. the popularity of the Nationals. If you haven’t read it, you can find it right here. In his chat today. Tom Boswell — a born and raised Washingtonian — was asked what he thought about the issue. Here’s the question and answer:
Q: Boz — the Post’s Saturday article on Skins and Nats fans was one of the dumbest things I’ve ever read in its pages. Why did the article treat the two teams as mutually exclusive? I’m a HUGE Skins fan. I’m also a HUGE Nats fan. I’m also a HUGE Wizards fan, as well as a fan of the Caps and Terps. Is our town such a pathetic sports town that people here can’t actually root for all of our teams?
Boz: I don’t get it either. But that’s just me. I bought my first Topps cards in late ’55 to get Redskins players. I got my first baseball cards in ’56, to get Senators. In high school, I wore the numbers of favorite Nats and Skins players at my positions when I was on the varsity. When Lefty came to Md, I became a Terps hoops fan. When John Thompson got to GU, I covered the Hoyas a few years and thought that was great. I know you’re not supposed to like both GU and Md. Well, take a hike. I always have. Same for the Caps when they finally got good — in the ’90s, not the Ovechkin teams. I got a huge kick out of covering them into the Stanley Cup Finals. We don’t write much about the Orioles anymore because newspapers are having a lousy time of it and you have to focus your coverage on beat/stories that you can “own” — translation, usually intense local focus. Or, in other sections, national politics for us. But I still watch or tape O’s games. I have so much useless info in my head about the O’s — useless to me professionally — that it’s crazy. I enjoy appreciating good teams and players. I really don’t get much of a kick out of waking up in the morning and thinking, “Who can I hate today?” unless its a player, team or…hmmmm….owner or commissioner that deserves some bricks thrown in that direction. Gotta to admit I enjoying taking on big targets, who can take care of themselves, and who merit critics.
But “pick” between local team on the rise? That strikes me as crazy. And that’s how I’ve felt all my life. It’s not like since (before I was born) Washington has had so many wonderful teams since WWII. Oh, we’ve had plenty, enough, quite a few. But not so many that I feel like chucking some of ’em in the trash.