Nationals Park: The reading room for Washingtonians

I regularly complain to friends that one of the frustrating things about going to baseball games at Nationals Park in Washington is that people don’t go there to watch the game. Every time I go to the park, I end up sitting behind a group of young D.C. up and comers who focus on each other and talk about their work and social lives.

And there are plenty of place in the stadium where people never go to their seats. They just hang out on benches and comfortable chairs on the stadium’s second level near the barbecue concessions and the bathrooms, completely oblivious to what’s happening on the field.

Washington Nationals fans don’t pay attention.

I thought I was the only one to notice it, but then I saw this on Deadspin:


Just this season, we’ve seen a Nats fan doing his calculus homework at the game, a Nats fan doing his taxes at the game, a Nats fan knitting a scarf at the game. Now, three more examples, all from a single day, of Washington fans reading at the ballpark. …

… what is it about Washington that brings out the distraction? The above photo was posted to Instagram during Sunday’s doubleheader, of a lady reading something on her Kindle. And D.C. Sports Bog has a pair of pictures, also from Sunday, of two men absorbed in their newspapers. …

Nats fans are getting a reputation. So put the reading material away.

My team is the Yankees, and one thing for sure … Yankee fans pay attention. They come up with the most creative ways to offend the opposing team, they’re loud and they’re obnoxious. Years ago, back when I lived in New York, I went to countless games, sitting in the bleacher seats, joining the chants on how much everything sucked:

[Opposing team] sucks!
Mets suck!
Boston sucks!
Box seats suck!

Of course, they’ve come up with more creative insults over the years, but this was my rite of passage as a baseball fan.

And one thing for sure. Nobody anywhere near where I was sitting pulled out a book and read it during a game. Because anyone who did would have sucked!


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