The weekend series with the Nationals isn’t just being played on the field, but also in the stands. Coming into Friday the big question was, can the Nats keep out Phillies fans? The short answer has been no, but there is something different about the Nationals fans this year. If you ask the team’s P.R. department, they’ll tell you they’ve got nattitude. The new fan slogan sounds like a bad team-sponsored energy drink and its secret ingredient is the teams new found success.
The Nationals have won the first two games of the series, proving to the Phillies and themselves that they are here to stay. Watching with my MLBtv subscription forced me to watch the game with the Nationals home broadcast group, which was about as unbiased as Fox News. The broadcast team heralded the fans ability to cheer at the right time, and show up to the ballpark. Hardly something to declare victory against Phillies fans, they are still remarkable improvements from years past. To get to the truth i recruited my friend Adam, Phillies fan and master of espionage, to be my eyes and ears on the battle field. Adam’s in-stand-reporting got remarkably worse as Friday night’s game went on.
7:42 – So far its been pretty lackluster for both fans. A couple of failed Phillies chants.
9:15 – So there may be Nats fans here but you sure can’t here them.
10:52 – We did not occupy the park.
10:58 – Definitely a large number of philly fans as usual but simply not much to cheer for.
It seems that nattitude derives its power from the game itself. Adam’s reporting got grimmer as the Phillies blew the lead, and ultimately gave away the win to the Nats. The fans came in numbers once again, but they were silenced by a fan base and team that is finally fighting back. Phillies fans don’t have much to cheer about these days, with the laundry list of injuries and quiet bats. Making matters worse is the Nationals rise in the east, and the emergence of their young stars. No P.R. campaign will keep Philadelphians from traveling and supporting their team, but the team isn’t keeping up its end of the deal.