Friday, September 26, 2008

A Win for the Nats

As the National eclipse the 100 loss barrier, we struggle to find a positive for our lovable losers (beyond the smiling face of Manny Acta, mind you). We look for a silver-lining on the season, and some positive press, ok, any press for the Nats. I posit that perhaps we can take some comfort in knowing that among DC foodies, the Nationals take the prize.
Among the offerings at our local sports venues, Nationals Park offers a tempting array of culinary treats. First off, I must clear the air and admit that of my three visits to Nationals Park, two have been to see the Cubs. Don't judge too quickly, however. I have praise to heap. Not only is the selection at Nationals park incredibly variant, with all of the major junk food categories covered (as well as minor, with kosher knishes and multi-grain pretzels available as well). Fans also have to applaud the effort to include local favorites such as Ben's Chili Bowl, Red Hot & Blue, Cantina Marina, even the ice cream. Plus, if you can't find something inside the park, you can carry in. You could dine on something new and delicious if you attended a game for several nights in a row (last time I checked, no one, even the beat writers, had done so). Even the sports bar, with great game views, multiple televisions to check out other sports action, and a respectable selection on tap, gets points.
Not that the other local sports venues put up much of a fight. In comparison, Verizon, FedEx, and RFK aren't even in the ballpark (ok, that pun was just too obvious to not be intended). Verizon has burgers and chicken fingers, and comparably short lines, but that's all that's worth mentioning...Now that RFK is limited to DC United games, it is difficult to get more than a hot dog...And FedEx, quite possibly worst of the three, let's just discuss Daniel-Snyder-ten-dollar-Johnny-Rocket-burger (pretend drunken men with Cajun accents are repeating this over and over; the effect is much funnier).
Nationals Park also stacks up well when compared with its MLB counterparts, quite well in fact. Take the Cubs for instance, where the malt cup and lemon ice, the Wrigley staples from my childhood, still play prominent roles. At least some things you can count on, because evidently the Cubs sucking it up is not one of them anymore (two division championships in a row, what is this?!). We still have the playoffs though, so don't fret too much. I'm sure a Bartman, or Buckner, or a pesky goat will come by to knock us down a notch or two. Ok, before I turn this into an entirely different post....

This season was sad for the Nats. Not only was the performance rather pathetic, but attendance was as well. The Nats can do better, and we expect them to. They are going to need some fan support, though. So, a challenge; go for the food, and stay for the game. While dining on the tasty goodness, cheer on the Nats a bit as well. Perhaps we'll have something to look forward to beyond our happy bellies.

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