Sunday, October 29, 2006
5 Questions with Brandon from The Curly W
Late in the 2006 Baseball Season, Brandon & Ben over at The Curly W Blog started a Question & Answer Session with fellow bloggers from upcoming opponents of Our Washington Nationals. Before each new Series, Brandon, or Ben, would send five questions to a willing Opponents Blogger, and that person would answer 5 questions in return. Its made for enlightening information at times, finding out what diehard fans in other cities might actually think about The Nationals.
With the season now long over for the Nats, The Curly W guys have continued their weekly question and answer sessions by inviting fellow Nats Blogs to participate. Recently, the never dull and always exciting, Miss Chatter-from Just A Nats Fan, led off the first exchange. With, Farid, long lost Falls Church Fan, now, by way of Pocatello, Idaho, and producing the always informative The Beltway Boys batted second. I am proud to say that Brandon asked me to step into the 3rd spot in the batting order (The African Queen wanted to know whether this means I am as important as Ryan Zimmerman, usually hitting in that position?) and we exchanged not only our questions, but alot of other information. Brandon and I are both HUGE FANS OF RFK STADIUM!!
Leading off the barrage, I sent Brandon the following 5 questions plus a bonus round. You can read my answers to Brandon's questions at The Curly W, linked directly from this page--
SCREECH'sBESTFRIEND: With Our Washington Nationals set to move into their New Stadium on South Capitol Street in 2008 and knowing how much both you and Ben enjoy Lot 8 at RFK Stadium, arguably the greatest tailgate lot in American Sport, what are you two going to do on that last regularly scheduled game, currently set for September 23rd against the Mets? Will there be a ALL NIGHT CANDLELIGHT VIGIL?? Should I get The Stadium Authority to actually GIVE YOU TWO the Lot 8 Sign so proudly displayed on your site? I betcha I could make it happen.
BRANDON: Wow. You know, I hadn't even thought about it. It really hasn't sunk in that next season is the last season at RFK. It will be bittersweet for me...I feel like I "just got there" and I have tons of great memories in just two short years. If we can do some extended tailgating that day, it would be awesome. If you could actually score the Lot 8 sign...that would be amazing. My wife would probably not be so enthused, though. But you're right, we all have to get some serious Lot 8 action in next season.
SCREECH'sBESTFRIEND: Now, since you have started The CURLY R blog devoted to the Washington Redskins, which FANS WHINE THE MOST!! You must hear it from both sides, both good and bad. Whose fans have the least patience? Whose fans do you shake your head sometimes, amazed more, at their sometimes absurd comments?
BRANDON: The answer to this question will soon be a blog post of its own. Much to my surprise, there is (as far as I know) little to no overlap in readers of the two blogs. I had assumed that many Nats fans would be Redskins fans, but this doesn't seem to be true. At least, the people reading Curly W are not reading Curly R. The comments on both blogs are generally very intelligent and constructive. I guess I get more absurd and whining Nats comments...the Redskins are so messed up that their fans have moved beyond denial and anger and are now entrenched in resignation. That franchise will not be whole again until Daniel Snyder goes.
SCREECH'sBESTFRIEND: Nationals President Stan Kasten, always wanting to improve fan experience, comes to you and says, "Brandon, for One Day, you are my General Manager." Obviously there is only so much you could do, to trade, you need trading partners, but you might have some money to spend. What would you do? Who would you release, because you just can't stand the player, but knowing the financial responsibility that comes with that decision?
BRANDON: If I had money to spend I'd spend every cent on pitching depth. The Nats are pretty well set at the positions, and mid-season fill-ins can always be had. But a team is toast from the beginning without a pitching staff that can survive season-ending injuries to one or two members. The St. Louis Cardinals are in the World Series right now because they have a solid rotation. When Lawrence and Patterson went down there was no one to step up. That's what I'd change, and hopefully Bowden will too.
SCREECH'sBESTFRIEND: I believe you grew up in Cincinnati, if I gathered that right from a comment you made on the Nats320 Blog about RFK Stadium. The Reds have a Rich and Storied History, a solid fan base--drawing decent. In two seasons watching and talking Nationals Baseball, how does the Washington DC Fan Base compare in passion, knowledge and actually coming to the games to watch baseball and not talk away the evening?
BRANDON: I did grow up in Cincy, home to the first professional baseball team in 1869. DC fans are much, much more rabid than Reds fans. Downtown Cincinnati (where the Reds play) is otherwise a demilitarized zone, so Reds fans tend to roll down from the suburbs, watch the games, and go home. It's not like DC where people walk, drive and Metro in and spend time hanging out before and after games. I had the great opportunity to take my Dad to a game last summer (he still lives in Cincy) and he was amazed at how into the game the crowd was. The Cincinnati crowd is a lot like the crowd at Camden Yards...people clap when the JumboTron tells them to, but otherwise you hear crickets chirping. Without question, the Nationals has rekindled my nearly extinct love for baseball.
SCREECH'sBESTFRIEND: Obviously, I love sitting in Section 320, to me and everyone of our regulars, its the perfect place to watch a ballgame--25 rows from the field, under cover, out of the elements, behind the 3rd base dugout. There is not many other places I would like to sit at RFK Stadium. In the many games you have attended---is there a special seat or section in the park for you? One that says--"Yeah, I could sit here every single day and enjoy baseball, forever."
BRANDON: I have watched games in nearly every sector of the stadium and there really aren't many bad places to sit. I've always been fond of the 4-500 section right above home plate. The tickets aren't too expensive and the view of the field is great. Of course, I've had the chance to sit in one of the party suites on two different occasions and those are lots of fun if you're with a group of friends.
SCREECH'sBESTFRIEND: RFK Stadium Beers--Your Favorite or Favorites?? Are they normally Cold?
BRANDON: When I go to RFK, it's about quantity, not quality. I usually have several beers while tailgating in Lot 8, and by the time I make it into the park on a hot day those 16 oz. Buds are looking pretty good. I'd love to see Capitol City Brewing company selling its brews at the game; as I'm a huge fan of their beers. The beers are always cold if you buy from a roving vendor...you're pressing your luck if you get them from the tap.
This exchange has brought to my attention that there may be an even larger family of Nats Fans that enjoy each others company--sharing like experiences. In Section 320, we've had it going for 2 seasons now, but, the more and more I write the Nats320 Blog, I have found there exists a ton of others sharing that same feeling and excitement of Baseball In THE NATION's CAPITAL!! The Curly W Guys, Brandon and Ben, were the very first Nats Blog to recognize Nats320 and place a link on their sidebar. It was a BIG THRILL for me to see it on their site. So much so, I am sure, I emailed just about everyone involved in Section 320 to tell them about it-the day I first noticed the link.
What's great about all the different Nats Blogs are the various different takes, each and everyone of us, brings to the table. Everyone sees baseball just a little bit different than the next person, it makes for interesting reads, and conversations in the comment areas.
Brandon--Thanks again for inviting me to participate--I really enjoyed the opportunity!!.