What you’ve heard is true. I’m in love with a loser. In the spring he comes along and promises me a season filled with food, drinks and fun, but by September our relationship has soured — I’m sad and frustrated, but still the supportive optimist. Yep, I’m one a few thousand Nats fans.
I attended my first game in 2006, their second year in town, and it wasn’t quite love at first site. I only saw the Nats a few times that first year, but I was willing to give our relationship a go in 2007, what with the promise of a new stadium to look forward to in 2008. I married became a season ticket holder in 2007, but the Nats didn’t completely win my heart until they moved to Nationals Park in 2008 — the year of Zim’s walk off homer to win the team’s first game in the new park (it also happened to be one of their worst seasons since coming to the District).
See, I’ve always had a soft spot for the underdog. Even more, I’ve always hated the “bandwagoners,” the people who suddenly support a team when they turn things around — I’m looking at you folks from Philly who gave up your Eagles jerseys for Phillies T’s following the team’s World Series victory. I remain in love with my rag-tag group of losers, standing by them even when my friends back home brag about how their team has some of the best (albeit aging) starting pitchers in the game. My reward will be watching my team make it to the playoffs from the same section we have sat in since 2008.
I am patiently waiting for March 31, which happens to be a national holiday in the Gebhard house. And while I won’t be so bold as to predict a winning season for the Nats in 2011, I will support them, in Curly W’s and crushing losses, in Tommy John surgery and short stays on the DL. I encourage you to do the same. You’ll appreciate them that much more when we take the pennant.
Count down to baseball: three days!