Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

June 19, 2006
By: Amy Sullivan

POOR SPORTS....It's hard to complain about a game in which the Washington Nationals come back from seven runs down to beat the Yankees. Especially when the Nationals have little pitching to speak of (oh, John Patterson, please come back) and the Yankees have one of the most talented line-ups in baseball, even with two of their stars out on the DL.

And yet. There's something not quite right about sitting in RFK stadium, rooting on the home team, and realizing that at least half of the fans around you are cheering for the visiting team. I've experienced the same thing at NBA and NHL games in Washington (although I've heard that Redskins games--after a brief period when games seemed to be infiltrated by large numbers of New York and Philly fans--seem to be getting better).

What is it about Washington sports fans? I offer a few thoughts in the June issue of the Monthly.

Amy Sullivan 1:25 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (65)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

Hey, someone's blogging about a real sport. About time!

I haven't lived in D.C., but I would guess the reason for the skewed fan base is that the people who have the money to see a game were, overwhelmingly, not raised in D.C., so they already have previous team loyalties. That's assuming that RFK ticket prices are similar to other baseball stadiums, which may or may not be the case, I haven't been there.

Posted by: ChiSox Fan in LA on June 19, 2006 at 1:34 AM | PERMALINK

Go to Wrigley Field or Busch Stadium in St Louis when the Cubs and Cardinals are playing, and usually a third of the fans are for the visiting team. I wouldn't get too worked up about it.

Posted by: hopeless pedant on June 19, 2006 at 1:40 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe it's because people are just trying to go out and have a good time, rather than arbitrarily support one group of millionares over another due to the name on their chests?

Just a thought....

Posted by: American Hawk on June 19, 2006 at 1:44 AM | PERMALINK

Hell, a few years back I went to a game in freakin' Oakland, and the Yankees fans must have constituted a quarter of the crowd.

Back in '04 I went to a Red Sox-Royals game in Kansas City, and the Sox fans were also about a quarter of the crowd.

Face it, Sox and Yankees fans, be they bandwagoners or whatever, are a majority fan base in this country. What you saw in DC is hardly unique, Amy.

Posted by: Irony Man on June 19, 2006 at 1:47 AM | PERMALINK

Agree with the comments so far; this post is just a misfire. Lots of people in DC are from elsewhere and bring their loyalites with them. So what? The team is not even 1 1/2 years old yet, so it takes awhile to build its own fan base. My 5 year old already roots for the Nats over my team and others will follow.

Plus as others have noted go to a Cubs-Brewers game in Miller Park or any of many other rivalry games. Heck, go see the Packers in any visiting park. This has nothing to do with DC not supporting a team or folks in DC being any different from anywhere else except maybe that a greater percentage grew up elseshere. Let this one go.

Posted by: bucky20816 on June 19, 2006 at 2:11 AM | PERMALINK

I recall going to a Mets-Orioles game at Camden Yards where we (Mets fans) shouted down the O's fans, even if we didn't outnumber them.

I also had the good fortune to be at two of the Mets-Giants playoff games in 2000 in newly built PacBell Park. We (again Mets fans) composed a goodly chunk of the crowd and made more noise than the SF crowd.

Yankees fans tend to be fair-weather fans, but Mets fans have dedication and passion - and each one of us can out shout 10 typical baseball fans.

Posted by: LarryB on June 19, 2006 at 2:13 AM | PERMALINK

Half the stadium cheering for the visiting team?

Must be the Democrats.

Posted by: Libby Sosume on June 19, 2006 at 2:13 AM | PERMALINK

...Hey, someone's blogging about a "real" sport. About time!...

Posted by: ChiSox Fan in LA on June 19, 2006 at 1:34 AM | PERMALINK

ChiSox fan, what are you referring to? A sport where people are mostly overweight? A sport where real athleticism isn't demanded? Any sport not played by countries other than the US? Soccer? A sport that umpteen million kids play every day at every opportunity for fun. Or baseball? A sport played sometimes in fun, but mostly, in the US, overcoached and under-FUNded.

per hopeless pendant:

Don't get worked up. This is a sport. It actually has no underlying moral. spiritual, or civil value.

The fact that "we" have made it so is delussionary. Here we are in June. Basketball still goes on. We have indoor football: Great! Who watches that? Indoor lacrosse or soccer. Stanley Cup long after the ice is gone.

It's purely professional and cynical. Pay out your $$$!

Posted by: notthere on June 19, 2006 at 2:14 AM | PERMALINK

One more thing. John Patterson has come back. His name is Mike O'Connor. Kid's only had one really bad outing all year and shut down the Yanks today. He'll be fine. And Shawn Hill has had 3 quality starts in a row.

Posted by: bucky20816 on June 19, 2006 at 2:20 AM | PERMALINK

So, how do you write an article on D.C. sports without mentioning the Redskins once? The only reference to pro football was Wittman's Cowboys fandom, as opposed to the Redskins.

Posted by: C. on June 19, 2006 at 2:21 AM | PERMALINK

notthere: at least US baseball players (are there any other kind?) aren't getting smacked in the face by the Italians.

I wonder how the Brazilians would go if they fielded a baseball team?

;)

Posted by: floopmeister on June 19, 2006 at 2:21 AM | PERMALINK

The same thing happens in metro Los Angeles, with so many "immigrants" (both foreign and domestic).

I remember one time walking into the rest room at a California Angels game (it was some years ago) and all I heard was people yelling out "Oshkosh...Madison...Waupaca...Manitowoc". They were Brewers fans calling out what city in Wisconsin they were from. So I joined in, "Appleton!"

Posted by: Robert Earle on June 19, 2006 at 2:24 AM | PERMALINK

the Yankees fans must have constituted a quarter of the crowd.The fact that "we" have made it so is delussionary.

Posted by: Lee Katie on June 19, 2006 at 2:39 AM | PERMALINK

I wonder how the Brazilians would go if they fielded a baseball team?

Posted by: floopmeister on June 19, 2006 at 2:21 AM | PERMALINK

floopm --
they would bring the same flair and originality to the game as they do to Football. It's in the culture and blood. It's the same reason that Aussies exceed at sport beyond their population amd sport's "pyramid". Im the US, I don't think there is any appreciation of OZ v Brazil, 20 million versus 180 million where soccer is the only real sport in Brazil, but, in OZ, Australian Rules Football, Rugby League and Rugby Union Football, Association Football, other forms?, plus the drain of Cricket, Field Hockey, Swimming, Tennis, and any other distinctive Australian sports comtribute to the proportional imbalance.

Given the debate of US v. Italy I can't see the same or greater appreciation of Australia v. Brazil.

Amazing!

Posted by: notthere on June 19, 2006 at 2:55 AM | PERMALINK

...rather than arbitrarily support one group of millionares over another due to the name on their chests?

It's quite an achievement to be obnoxious in every single thread, no matter the topic. Congratulations.

Posted by: craigie on June 19, 2006 at 3:07 AM | PERMALINK

craigie >"...It's quite an achievement to be obnoxious in every single thread..."

Well, what else to you expect him to do down in that basement all the time ?

(No, do not go there...)

"In the future, we will all drive standing up. In the future, love will be taught on television and by listening to pop songs." - Talking Heads

Posted by: daCascadian on June 19, 2006 at 3:26 AM | PERMALINK

Hey notthere: the trick is pretty simple actually - we spend shitloads of money on sport.

At the last Winter Olympics we fielded a female luge (or was it giant?) competitor - a couple of bright sparks at the Australian Institute of Sports realised that luge is like surfing, so they went out watching surf lifesavers, worked out the optimal size and weight, and then asked one if she wanted to compete in the Winter Olympics. Why not?, she said.

A year or so later, she was there.

It's a bloody minded determination to win, actually, backed by government money. Look at the number of medals at the last Olympics, per head of population.

Of course, we could spend the money on stuff that's important, but then that wouldn't be very Australian...

;)

Posted by: floopmeister on June 19, 2006 at 3:28 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, you guys even got the silver medal in baseball last Olympics! (Mind, you needed the Japanese to roll over and play dead for you, (twice!) - much like they just did for you in soccer - what do you guys have on them?).

Thirty years ago we used to be able to compete against you guys in the Commonwealth Games. Now, not a chance. That shitloads of money has had results.

Posted by: snicker-snack on June 19, 2006 at 4:32 AM | PERMALINK

Ive been living in Sacramento for 3 years. Im still a Warriors fan. Of course, being a Warriors fan means not getting too attached for fear of having your heart broken...

Posted by: Andrew Cory on June 19, 2006 at 4:36 AM | PERMALINK

...Of course, we could spend the money on stuff that's important, but then that wouldn't be very Australian....

Posted by: floopmeister on June 19, 2006 at 3:28 AM | PERMALINK

Wow! That's a news flash. Look at the UK (Olympic spending coming on stream), Germany, France, ... oh, yes, the USA. Spending money on sports? Anybody beat the USA? Let's see? Monopoly businesses. US Olympic Basketball team, gross annual salary: somewhat close to Australia's all-sport government budget? Probably!

Kevin needs to go to Britain: London (England, United Kingdom, British Isles) for a city derby (Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, etc.), or Manchester (M.U. or M. City) or Liverpool (L'pool and Everton) ot Glasgow, Scotland (Celtic and Rangers) [same in France, Germany, Holland, etc.]to realize it's actually healthy and fun to have the opposing fans at a game. It's mot all about home advantage. I don't think you'll find that Euro teams have the traditional on-road miserable record that some US teams have.

Look outside the Bun . . . I mean box . . . I mean US parochial thought.

There is a whole world out there. Believe me, the US does not have all the best ideas or all the answers.

Amazing thought!

Posted by: notthere on June 19, 2006 at 4:42 AM | PERMALINK

Arrrgggghhhh!

Girl, do not talk about that which you do not know.

I grew up in DC, and there is no touching my 'Skins! What do you mean "getting better"? Do you know how my mother agonizes over whether to adopt Santana Moss or marry him? Did you grow up watching the Wonder Wolf Show?

Did you live in DC when season tickets were regularly contested in family wills? No, you did not. Do you know how we stick with them no matter what, in contrast to the fickle fans here in Nashvegas, where $$$ seats are given away on the day of the game?

You want to talk faithless? The only time I got to see my beloved 'Skins play in person was when my mom got tickets to a game in Atlanta. That tiny stadium was only half-full, and that only because of all the people who had flown down from DC. My mom flew back with them that night and had a whale of a time.

My family may have issues, but we're united in our love for the Redskins. One of my finest moments as a musician was in all-county band in the 8th grade when our conductor's dad, who was the conductor of the Redskins' band, came out and led us in a rendition of "Hail to the Redskins."

If you have any doubts, let's put you in a room with my mom and a CGI mockup of Diron Talbert stomping on Roger Staubach's legs. There'll be nothing left of you but a few shards of bone.

Grrrrggghhhh!

Posted by: hamletta on June 19, 2006 at 4:43 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, we'll trade you Torii Hunter for Ryan Zimmerman, will you take that?

Thanks for tbe baseball blogging.

Posted by: MNPundit on June 19, 2006 at 4:54 AM | PERMALINK

Living in downtown Baltimore, I'm pretty used to thinking I've been beamed by Mister Scott to Haaahhvid Skway-uh everytime the Red Sox are in town, or that I'm in the Bronx whenever the Yankees show up. I have a hard time believing all those Boston or NY shirts I'm seeing walking toward the Orioles stadium are all people who made either the 3 or 6 hour trip for the game.

Fair weather fans, indeed. Fuck every one of them. Sideways. With a chainsaw. Wasn't a problem when the Orioles posted winning teams in the 90s...bite me Angelos.

Posted by: Sebastian on June 19, 2006 at 6:24 AM | PERMALINK

explain to me again why I'm supposed to care about overgrown and overpaid boys playing catch? are you emulating george will? pretty far into the don't-care zone aren't you?

Posted by: supersaurus on June 19, 2006 at 7:00 AM | PERMALINK

A lot of people from Boston and New York live in the DC area. Many of them are sports fans and love to root on the Sox or Yankees when they visit. It's hardly a wonder that RFK is easy to take over considering the Nats are in their second season. As for Camden Yards, that one is harder to understand. Once upon a time, the Orioles were consistently as good as the Red Sox and Yankees. And then a man named Angelos came to town...

Posted by: RickD on June 19, 2006 at 7:27 AM | PERMALINK

oh, yes, the USA. Spending money on sports? Anybody beat the USA? Let's see?

Posted by: Talor J on June 19, 2006 at 7:54 AM | PERMALINK

I think DC's problem is more than just the presence of so many immigrants from other parts of the country. It's that nobody comes to DC and begins to identify themselves as Washingtonians. We maintain our home identities; DC is full of people who moved there specifically because their chosen careers require they be there. We are all, in a sense, quite temporary.

Contrast that to a place like New York or San Francisco; people more frequently move there to be there. There is a romance to it that doesn't exist for a lot of people in Washington. When one moves to a city to be a part of that city rather than to advance one's career, one is far more likely to adopt local rooting interests and the like.

I know people who grew up in the area who think of the city as home, but I have yet to meet anyone who moved here from somewhere else as an adult who feels the same way.

Posted by: jhupp on June 19, 2006 at 7:54 AM | PERMALINK

Forget this "A lot of Washingtonians were originally New Yorkers" crap. The fact is, Yankee fans are like cockroaches, breeding in dark corners of cities across the nation. You can't stamp them out; you can only keep their pestilence to a minimum. I'm just sayin'.

Posted by: shortstop on June 19, 2006 at 8:31 AM | PERMALINK

I grew up in various places in the Northeast and have lived in DC since 1973. Face it - compared to cities with large blue collar populations and father-son sports game traditions going back generations, people in DC just aren't *sports* fans. Not like in Philly. Not like in NYC. Not like in Boston. Sure, they're Redskins fans - they go nuts about the 'Skins (and it gets quite embarassing at times) but that's it. (Consider Hamletta's post above - her mother lives and dies for her "beloved Skins" - if she's like most people I know here, I'm sure she could care less about any other DC sports team or about any other sports at all).
Growing up a Mets fan, it killed me to come to DC 1 year after the Senators left and to live my entire adult life in a big city that didn't care about baseball (maybe too many hearts were broken when the Senators left - but I think I'm being charitable). I am extremely thankful that we've *finally* gotten a team again, especially after seeing much smaller places like Miami, St Petersburg, Phoenix and Denver jump to the head of the line. Bottom line - they filled the stadium with 45000 fannies for 3 games. I don't care who they rooted for - as long as they're drawing the team ain't going anywhere.

Posted by: Andy on June 19, 2006 at 8:31 AM | PERMALINK

aWol continues his march toward fascism and you are talking about stupid yankee fans in D.C.

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on June 19, 2006 at 8:35 AM | PERMALINK

The fact is, Yankee fans are like cockroaches, breeding in dark corners of cities across the nation.

Woah! That's strong stuff, shortstop. I take a back seat to no one when it comes to Yankee-hating, but even I have some Yankee-fan friends...

Posted by: obscure on June 19, 2006 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

"I grew up in DC, and there is no touching my 'Skins! What do you mean "getting better"? Do you know how my mother agonizes over whether to adopt Santana Moss or marry him? Did you grow up watching the Wonder Wolf Show?"

Ms. Sullivan, if I recall reading correctly, grew up in Ann Arbor, so is probably tainted by proximity to the nexus of all suckitude that is my beloved Detroit Lions (Fire Millen, hang the Fords) and doesn't want to mention the NFL.

Yankees fans are bad, but now that they've won a World Series, I'm beginning to realize the Red Soxians are just as bad.

Posted by: witless chum on June 19, 2006 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, simple answer--I think---most people in DC are transient...they come from someplace else, stay for a few years, then leave.....some should leave much earlier, especially inhabitants of a certain big white house---but I don't want to inject anything like that on a sports post now would I?

Posted by: RogerL on June 19, 2006 at 9:48 AM | PERMALINK

obscure: Woah! That's strong stuff, shortstop. I take a back seat to no one when it comes to Yankee-hating, but even I have some Yankee-fan friends...

Actually, I do, too. I was trying to be funny and went way too far. My apologies to all Yankee fans who do not eat puppies and kittens for breakfast.

Posted by: shortstop on June 19, 2006 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK

This migrant factor is said to be a big reason why Las Vegas has no major-league sports teams and little or no prospect of getting any. Too many of its residents still root for the teams from their former hometowns.

Posted by: Peter on June 19, 2006 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

Look outside the Bun . . . I mean box . . . I mean US parochial thought.

Posted by: Hoopz J on June 19, 2006 at 9:57 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe it's because people are just trying to go out and have a good time, rather than arbitrarily support one group of millionares over another due to the name on their chests?
Just a thought....
Posted by: American Hawk

Wow, how liberal of you, Chickenhawk! Now being a millionaire is a bad thing! I guess if a large percentage of them are hispanic or black, that's not a good thing for rightards.

As a Met fan, the Nats were my 2nd favorite team this weekend. My favorite teams: 1) the Mets and 2) anyone playing the Yankers.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on June 19, 2006 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

I was on the Metro yesterday just before game time and noticed that at least half the people identifiable as heading for the game were wearing Yankees gear. Having lived for many years in Boston, I couldn't help reflecting on all the people who would have been roughed up and had their shirts and hats ripped off on their way to Fenway.

Posted by: majun on June 19, 2006 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

Amy,

I just can't get over the notion that you've simply abandoned your Michigan roots for that artificial town you are living in.

Say it ain't so!

Posted by: Freddo on June 19, 2006 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

Well, then bring them back to Montreal. At least the approximately 100 people that showed up for the Expos games were cheering for the s'pos.

Posted by: terry k on June 19, 2006 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

Screw baseball (though the Mariners swept the Giants and whiffed Bonds 8 times). What about Ghana vs. the Czech Republic? Now that's sport!

Posted by: JeffII on June 19, 2006 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

The denizens of Washington worship winners--those who are perceived as long-term winners, not one-game-here-and-there winners. It's that simple. The Yankees are the Corporate GOP of sports.

Posted by: Mimikatz on June 19, 2006 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

The Washington fans are too polite! I went to a Skins/Eagles game and cheered for the Eagles. No problems from the crowd. No one would _ever_ get away with that in Philadelphia; heck, Clinton Portis' _mom_ got into a fight in the stands at the Linc last season!

Posted by: Dave on June 19, 2006 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Interesting topic, as I moved to Washington in 1970, a year before the Senators left, lived most of my time there until the mid-eighties, then spent nine years each in metro Philly and central Jersey (not far from NYC) before moving to Virginia in late 2004.

Yes, Washington does have a lot of transients and newcomers, just as cities like Los Angeles did during their periods of growth. But the metro area is gradually maturing, and people are developing roots (Metrorail has played a major role in making the community's resources more accessible). The Nationals were arguably the last piece in the cultural puzzle, and should have a secure fanbase once they move into their new ballpark near the Navy Yard sometime in 2008. For now, it takes time, and it's understandable why people in an area without baseball for 33 years instead adopted teams from their origins, such as the Phillies or White Sox.

The Wizards? Well, Amy, I lived in D.C. in 1978 when the then-Bullets won the NBA title, and they were indeed a big deal then, even briefly bigger than the Redskins. They're an improving team, but still really not among the NBA's elite. (And Washington, like Philadelphia to some extent, has long been more interested in college basketball, as you no doubt saw this spring with the success of George Mason's men and Maryland's women.)

Yankees fans are bad, but now that they've won a World Series, I'm beginning to realize the Red Soxians are just as bad.

Posted by: witless chum on June 19, 2006 at 9:47 AM

I emphatically agree; they've become incredibly annoying. There are a lot of non-New Englanders who have adopted the Bosox because they've become culturally correct -- the Ivy League yuppies' team. That they play in the same division as the Yankees ("evil empire") adds to the allure. But until 15 or 20 years ago, Red Sox fandom really wasn't that much different than the Tigers. What's happened is indicative of how Boston has economically risen in the ranks of American cities, while Detroit has declined. A lot of those Bosox "fans" would probably desert them if they ever had a stretch of mediocrity like the Tigers did for years (although by now that may be impossible; Boston's team resources are probably bettered by only the Yankees and possibly the Mets).

It makes you appreciate the relative humility of White Sox fans after they ended their far less publicized "curse" last October. Bookstores weren't drowning in Chisox-related titles, and their fandom didn't act as if they invented the sport.

I was also at Saturday's game at RFK, and my section was dominated by Yankee fans -- and by Red Sox fans taunting them. I felt like Belgium during a Franco-German war. However, if Toronto, Detroit and the White Sox all do their part, come Oct. 2 both Yankee and Red Sox fans will have plenty of time to play golf.

Posted by: Vincent on June 19, 2006 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

Amazing. We've transcended yet another barrier in Internet Debate, having gone from "your sports team is inferior to mine" to "your sport is inferior to mine" to "your very concept of 'sport' is inferior to mine."

Actually, that's not so much amazing as it is the way of all internet comment threads and open forums. But we made pretty good time, this time around!

Posted by: Matt on June 19, 2006 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

A good part of the Yankee fans at the game probably came down from the NYC metro area. I was at the Yankees-Orioles game 2 weeks ago, and the section I was in were inhabited by many people who were obviously from NY. They were marveling at the prices (low compared to Yankee Stadium) of their good seats and the concessions. Last year, I was at a Yankee game in Toronto where a large Yankee contingent came up from the Buffalo, NY area to follow their team. Yes, there are lots of Yankees (and Mets, and Bosox) fans in the DC area, but also there are lots of traveling NYC fans as shown from the many NY and NJ plates on cars leaving the stadium I saw after the game.

Posted by: DC Loser on June 19, 2006 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin:

Please post about the two American soldiers captured in Iraq. Will they be waterboarded? Beheaded? Show up on Al Jazeera naked on a leash?

TS

Posted by: TomS on June 19, 2006 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

Having grown-up in the Washington D.C. suburb of Falls Church, Virginia, I have an idea why so many people root for the visiting team. Alot of people who work and live in and around metropolitan D.C. came from somewhere other than here. The growth of the Tech corridors in Maryland and Virginia, the growth of "Beltway Bandit" companies that cater to the many government agencies, military personnel working at the Pentagon and various military installations. All these things kind of conspire against a home town crowd.

Posted by: Berlins on June 19, 2006 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

No mention of the World Cup, the largest, most popular, and (arguably) most democratic mass sporting event in the world?

Posted by: tyronen on June 19, 2006 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

Never mind, I should have scrolled down before writing that.

Posted by: tyronen on June 19, 2006 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK
No mention of the World Cup, the largest, most popular, and (arguably) most democratic mass sporting event in the world?

I don't know what would make a sporting event "democratic" (fans vote on which team won?), but the World Cup got mentioned several posts earlier, under the title SOCCER BLOGGING.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 19, 2006 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

The World Cup is more democratic than, say, the Olympics, in that it isn't possible for a country to achieve dominance merely by throwing money at it. Several African countries are in the tournament, compared to their virtually nonexistent Olympic presence, while major economic powers like China and Japan aren't.

The World Cup never got embroiled in the Cold War rivalry of the Olympics, or the US-China rivalry since then. It remains about sports, and countries that aren't big powers politically (like Brazil) can still dominate due to their sheer love of the game.

Posted by: tyronen on June 19, 2006 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

You have never been to an AZ Cardinals football game, where there are always more oppenent fans than Cards' fans. That may change with the opening of the new stadium.

In the old stadium, ASU's, a premium was placed on shade, so the East side of the stadium, behind the opponenets' bench, never had many season ticket holders. Locals who had loyalties to other teams could sit right behind their favorite team's bench. The new stadium will stop that, it is a dome and season ticket holders will fill up the entire lower bowl since they do not need to escape the sun.

Posted by: Hostile on June 19, 2006 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

The World Cup is more democratic than, say, the Olympics, in that it isn't possible for a country to achieve dominance merely by throwing money at it. Several African countries are in the tournament, compared to their virtually nonexistent Olympic presence, while major economic powers like China and Japan aren't. Posted by: tyronen

Not a big sports fan, are you? S. Korea and Japan are both in the cup this go, as are the U.S., Germany, and Spain. See there's this little thing called "regional qualifying" that assures representation from most points of the compass. If the cup wasn't "arranged" in such a manner, you'd see fee teams other than European and S. American.

Posted by: JeffII on June 19, 2006 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Vincent, how's Ozzie doing? Flipped out for the second time today? He's becoming one hell of an embarassment. No, Sox fans are obnoxious in their self-righteous "We are southsides! We take it on the chin but we never complain! We work hard unlike those slutty, trendy Cubs fans!" pap gets wearing after the second or third year.

Posted by: MNPundit on June 19, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

I go to a game, a support the teams I've supported all my life, and they come from Chicago. I live in Washington, and enjoy it, but I live here because my job, my pubilc service, brought me here, and I'll never give up my miseable Cubs and their losing ways just to please some DC locals.

Posted by: Manuel Belgrano on June 19, 2006 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

I went to two of the Red Sox Braves games this weekend, and I would say that if Sox fans didn't outnumber Braves fans, it was at least an even split. I felt like I was back at Fenway (that is, if Fenway were a ridiculous circus surrounded by vast parking lots).

Posted by: CrackWilding on June 19, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

It happens in all cities with a new franchise. As a Detroit Tiger fan from birth, when I moved to Cal I went to the new Oakland A's games when Detroit came to town. The fans were almost ALL transplanted Michiganians rooting for the Tigers. Ditto a few years earlier with Angels games. In cosmopolitan cities such as L.A. or S.F. half of their population are expatriates from other team areas. D.C. must be more than 50% from elsewhere.

Posted by: buddy66 on June 19, 2006 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

If you think that's bad, trying attending a US-Mexico soccer game down in Dallas, where at least 2/3 of the fans are rampantly cheering for the supposed visitors. I'm normally liberal on immigration issues, but that gets my goat enough for me to want to start deportation proceedings immediately following the game.

Posted by: Alexander Wolfe on June 19, 2006 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK
The World Cup is more democratic than, say, the Olympics, in that it isn't possible for a country to achieve dominance merely by throwing money at it. Several African countries are in the tournament, compared to their virtually nonexistent Olympic presence, while major economic powers like China and Japan aren't.

Putting aside the factual error about which teams are actually in the tournament (Japan is), which of these economic powers that is not represented has thrown significant amounts of money at developing a World Cup competitive team but failed, proving your claim that, unlike the Olympics, you can't build a World Cup competitive franchise by throwing money at it?

Indeed, making an all out effort to host the tournament -- no small expense -- is something frequently done to try to advance ones team (hosting teams tend to do well, and it draws lots of attention to the sport in the host country.)

Germany and Brazil are the only two nations to have won the World Cup that did not do so, for the first time, when they were hosting the Cup; Brazil is the only country to have won the Cup never to have done so when hosting.

The World Cup never got embroiled in the Cold War rivalry of the Olympics

Considering that soccer wasn't a big sport to either of the Cold War superpowers, that's hardly surprising; symbolic gestures like those directed at the Olympics during the Cold War only work when the audience -- whether your domestic audience, your rivals, or both -- care about the gesture.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 19, 2006 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

Oh Amy you are so wrong. Very wrong. As others have pointed out DC is a football town. We bleed Maroon and Gold. But you are also wrong about the demise of the "native Washingtonian". I moved to Fairfax county, VA in 1968 as a baby and my generation proudly embraces our city. There are a lot more of us than there was in 1974 -- we might be "inside the beltway in a physical sense but culturally we are very much outside the Beltway and not taken to insance claims of "not being a Washingtonian" that Republican Senators from PA are fond of making.

Posted by: HokieAnnie on June 19, 2006 at 7:11 PM | PERMALINK

Amy, didn't know you were an A-squared native. Blimpyburgers all around!

If you live here in LA, as Robert Earle noted above about the Brewers, when the Tigers play in Anaheim the Detroit fans are likely to give outnumber the Angels fans. I've heard it's the same when Chicago, Boston, NY, etc. come through... all of us cold weather refugees.

Posted by: Terry McMahon on June 19, 2006 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

I may live in this area; but, I am from Seattle. I have been a lifelong fan of the Yankees. If I had been at RFK, I would have been rooting for the Yankees and unashamed of it. That being said, I saw that game on TV and enjoyed it despite the loss. I thought the Nationals deserved some credit for coming from behind. And, as a fan of the American League also, Frank Robinson is one of my favorites; and, it seemed that if the Yankees had to lose, losing to Robinson made the loss easier.

Posted by: Mazurka on June 19, 2006 at 9:18 PM | PERMALINK

What is it about Washington sports fans?

It's an occupied city. Occupiers to natives ratio unfavorable, especially when opponents are from NY or Boston.

Posted by: Nell on June 19, 2006 at 11:17 PM | PERMALINK

Agree totally with Vincent. DC is full of sports fans, however they like professional football and college basketball (largely because DC-Baltimore is a high school basketball hotbed) and professional football. The radio Sports Junkies are all from suburban Maryland. Michael Wilbon wrote a column yesterday in which the impact of Len Bias death was compared by some to JFK's.

The Monthly article seemed uninformed about DC sports, the author should have talked to more people from DC.

Posted by: Mike on June 20, 2006 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly