This is my first attempt at writing a sports-related piece! Hope it works for you guys!
I am a subscriber to Washingtonian, and the latest issue (May 2016) arrived in my mail today.
The new issue has a story titled “How to Be a Nats Fan.” It is not yet posted on the Washingtonian website, but I highly recommend that you grab the issue. Also has Cheap Eats – my fav — yummy!! Subscribe here: http://www.washingtonian.com/
Anyway, the Nats article is highly pictorial, comprised of many sections. Many would probably disagree with some of the statements (ex: Storen listed as one of the worst Nats ever — along with Paps), but most of the piece is intended to be fun!
Two very interesting and related topics are discussed in the article:
Geographic Distribution of Fans According to Facebook
Washingtonian published a map of MLB fans according to Facebook within about 150 miles of DC. See below (click to enlarge, I hope):
Looking at the Washingtonian map, a few thoughts quickly come to mind:
- The Richmond area pulling for the Braves is obviously due to their having a AAA team there until 2009.
- Braves shaded area in Southwest Virginia could soon be fans of the Redsox or the Indians, since the minor league affiliates there converted to those MLB teams a couple of years ago.
- Nats need to grab more fans in PG and Montgomery Counties and deeper into VA, WV, and So MD.
I became more curious and did a bit more research.
Here is a link to a story and a very detailed interactive clickable map circa April 2014 showing fan distribution by zip code according to Facebook:
And below is a pic comparing total fans per team according to Facebook (as of August 2015) (hope you can click to enlarge):
Well, per Facebook, the world is pretty much Yankee and RedSox fans! We already knew that! Sigh…
BUT I was distressed to see the low number of total Facebook fans for the Nats and the small geography.
I rationalized that, although the Facebook numbers represent a rough statistical sample, it is obviously skewed since not everyone posts their allegiance on Facebook. I’m somewhat mollified but still not happy…
So I wised-up and considered attendance figures (http://espn.go.com/mlb/attendance/_/year/2015), and that made me happy especially considering the negative Facebook numbers. Nats fans are loyal! If you just looked at Facebook, you’d think the Nats were a small market team. But looking at the actual attendance, they’re nearly top 10!
The Nats have room to grow their fan base. If they can keep a star player like Harper, I think that will happen quickly.
Is It Ever Ok to Cheer for Another Team?
Washingtonian published their thoughts on baseball loyalty. Please buy the issue to read the detail, but in sum, they made the following points:
- Washington is unique because (a) so many people are from elsewhere and (b) DC was without an MLB team for 30 years. So the cheering is complex. Ok…we knew that too.
- Here’s how you cheer (as embellished and altered by me!):
- If you grew up elsewhere and want to cheer for your childhood team, that’s cool.
- If you grew up in the DC area and started following another team in the NL East because DC had no team, please leave the city immediately if you cannot pull for the Nats. Don’t let the screen door hit you in the rear as you leave!
- If you grew up in the DC area and started following another team outside the NL East, you can cheer for them (except when they play the Nats)!
- If you grew up in the DC area and started following the Uuhhs…you know…those guys in Balmer…well switch allegiance or move your sorry a$$ outta here! Don’t you know – the devil in the form of one P. Angelos descended into your life and blocked DC from getting a team for years and conned you out of your money for his inferior product. And he’s still a rectal sphincter for the crap he’s pulling on the MASN side.
- If you grew up in the DC area and followed the old Senators (like me!) and kept your sanity during the 30 years we wandered in the desert until finally, the great Lerner family led us out and quenched our parched lips, and you immediately glommed onto the nirvana of again having your very own MLB team, THEN congratulations, mazeltov, herzliche glückwünsche, felicitaciones, félicitations à vous!!!! NOW we get to dream of a World Series!
Ok…I’ve had my say!
Best to all and Go Nats!!