There are not many things that I hate more than responding to Twitter trolls — but when D.C. sports fandom comes under attack, I have no choice but to write a blog.
This whole fiasco started on Sunday night baseball when noted steroid-user, Alex Rodriguez, decided to take a shot at D.C. sports, saying, “D.C. is about 130 miles down the road, but let’s make it clear, it’s a world of difference between markets,” Rodriguez said. “If you’re over there, you’re thinking about politics and what happens in the White House. If you’re here, this is a sports town and they love their [Philadelphia] Phillies.”
A-Rod’s argument here is fatally flawed. Sure, D.C. is the center of American politics, but that means that we can’t passionately follow our sports as well? New York, the home of the Yankees and A-Rod’s steroid-riddled stomping grounds, has Broadway and the New York Stock Exchange. Los Angeles has, essentially, the entire entertainment industry — are those cities bad sports towns as well, Mr. Steroid Guy?
I can tell you firsthand, being outside Capital One Arena the night the Capitals won the Stanley Cup, D.C. is one hell of a sports town. I had to squeeze through hundreds, if not thousands of people to find a solid vantage point. It felt more like a rave than a sporting event, and it was just a viewing party. The picture speaks for itself.
But A-Rod wasn’t the only guy to take a jab at D.C. sports. So-called “political expert,” Nate Silver, who predicted the past presidential election incorrectly decided to take a sip of the hatorade: “It’s cute that people in Washington D.C. get mad about sports,” Silver said. Silver then tried to back up his claim by sharing a story of his experience at a Caps playoff game. “I remember going to the Verizon Center for a Rangers-Caps playoff game a few years ago and very demonstrably cheering for the [New York] Rangers and nobody even gave me side-eye about it, was kind of pathetic.”
Oh no, you went to a playoff hockey game and didn’t get treated like garbage. Thoughts and prayers, my guy. If you’re measuring sports fandom by how poorly they treat opposing fans, I suggest you take a trip north to Philly. You’ll love those guys!
Silver’s ignorance made me think about my experience at Michigan State University vs. Ohio State University football game. I was decked out in green supporting my Spartans and they ended up winning on a last-second field goal. After the game ended, a couple of Ohio State fans came up to and congratulated me on the win. I was shocked, to say the least. But did I then question their sports fandom? Absolutely not. I was taken aback by the demonstrated sportsmanship and it took me out of reality for a brief moment. You would think a guy involved in politics would encourage civility, but I guess not.
D.C. is a great sports town. End of story.
- Jackson Parker