Monday, June 11, 2007
Cherish What We Have
Its funny how when things you are accustomed to are no longer around--you tend to miss them--whether you really ever thought about them, or not.
The African Queen and I both harbored those same feelings this past Sunday while visiting Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Despite all the talk, both for and against the In-Game Entertainment provided by Our Washington Nationals--we found ourselves longing for those customary events provided throughout each and every Nationals Home Game. Between Inning distractions and stunts, that are not a major part of The Orioles Presentation.
That's not to say Baltimore's Entertainment was that less enjoyable, as a few of their Scoreboard Events are quite charming. The Old Bay Hidden Ball Shuffle is quite good--especially when the Crabs twirl and go under the sand. Very nicely done. And, the Esskay Hot Dog Race is fun--you can tell fans enjoy the event. When The Hot Dog Designated "Relish" slid first across Home Plate, I would say the majority of the crowd cheered the win. Obviously, they are doing some good things.
We didn't personally come across The Oriole "Bird" Mascot--as he did not come near our Section. But, he was around and received huge responses wherever he showed up during the ballgame. In fact, when the "BIRD" showed up at RFK last season along with "ACE", the Toronto Blue Jays Mascot and " Mr. Met"--Sohna and I loved seeing all of them.
But, what we missed in Baltimore was the TOTAL FAN INTERACTION that we experience at each and every Nats Home Game. Now, I am not just talking about Section 320 and our fun. For EVERYONE AT RFK, the Nat Pack are constantly involved with fan involvement. "Clint", The Nats TV Host is usually having a contest for prizes with a fan. There is always the Tee-Shirt Delivery in the 5th. And, more Tee-Shirts during the 7th inning stretch. MY BEST FRIEND!! Screech is featured for the XM Dance Jam and is a fixture at events throughout a Nats Game. And, of course--We have The Racing Presidents--one of Greatest Promotions any team could ever pull off. Those "Rushmores" are around for the ages.
At RFK Stadium--The Fans and The Between Inning Events are FEATURES--almost always expected, watched & enjoyed by thousands. What we noticed at Camden Yards was far less personal fan contact by most everyone associated with The Orioles. The "Bird" was around, but he was being the Mascot, slapping hands--having fun. That's all fine. I have no problem with that. And, I am not bitching about him--the guy doing The "Bird" does a terrific job. We like him. But, from what Sohna and I noticed at Camden Yards was Baltimore, as an organization, not making an attempt to enhance their fans adventure--making them more a part of the game. Those occasions that make the ballgame, more of a personal experience for everyone.
Granted, I have been just as guilty of complaining about some of the In-Game Entertainment provided by Our Washington Nationals. Could it be improved?--you better believe. But, what Sohna and I discovered was--as fans of Our Nationals--we have it far better than we really believed. At least in Washington--people are making the effort--to provide something different, something interesting--something fun--outside of just the baseball game.
For that, we feel very fortunate to be Washington Nationals Fans. The African Queen and I concluded we should cherish what we have.