Sunday, April 12, 2009

Savoring the Little Victories: Enjoying the Enthusiasm in Washington Nationals Commercials

These are pretty funny- fat guy standing in what is obviously a studio, in front of a huge screen in which "highlights" of last year's Washington Nationals Season- a season in which the Nationals finished dead last in the National League East, losing 99 games- are being shown. Our wildly enthusiastic fan starts waving his arms in obvious joy as he remembers his "favorite moment" of the 2008 season- the two-game September series against the New York Mets.

"Ok, so the Mets were in first place- but that was before they came to Washington! In the first game, the Mets blow a late lead and the Nationals pull off a big ninth-inning rally to win the game! And the next night- the same thing happens! The Washington Nationals pull off the Two-Game Sweep!" (Scenes from this epic series - can you believe you've already forgotten it?- flash on the screen behind this dope as he slams his hand into his glove and practically spits pride in his team's great achievement.) "And the BEST THING about it? When they leave, the Mets aren't in first place anymore!"

Wow, awesome. So this guy's favorite memory of a truly crappy season, in which his team was in the cellar from Day One and never left it- was a two-game series in which the Nationals served as spoilers for a team which appeared to be heading for the playoffs. Wow, I can't believe that DC didn't give the Nats a parade!!

In another commercial, this same guy waxes orgasmic over the memory of an absolutely SuperAwesomeAmazing Walk Off Walk that won the game for the Nats- "I mean, how often do you see that? The bases loaded, no place to put the batter and- BALL FOUR!! Game Over!! Zimmerman trots home from third base, and the celebration begins!! I mean, that was AWESOME!"

Geesh, I'm a big baseball fan (though not a Nationals Fan) and I appreciate ANY win, but you know your team has not given you a lot of highlights when your favorite memories of a season involve your team acting as a spoiler and a win by bases-loaded walk. These commercials are more funny than stupid ("pathetic" comes to mind, too) and I do hope they aren't necessary much longer, because I like baseball in DC and want it to have a permanent home there. But until the Nationals actually start winning some games, at least their advertising department is providing us some unintended snark.

(Side Note: The Nationals lost today to fall to 0-5; since the Indians won, that means that Washington is the only team in baseball to fail to win a game in the season's opening week. Perhaps in the near future we'll be served up some "and we only lost by two runs that day! Wow!" commercials.)

(Second Side Note: The Orioles run commercials featuring roughly the same message- celebrating the little victories, since the big ones aren't likely to be coming any time soon. The O's get a few extra points however because one of their commercials features a very cute girl with a very sexy voice. Take note, Nationals!)

1 comment:

  1. Once the team I was on in city-league soccer in Fairbanks, Alaska, was in the same position as the Nationals. Believe me, we were as psyched to be spoilers (of the until-then best team in the league) as the ad makes Nationals fans out to be. In fairness I have to add that we were playing not just without 4 subs, but without 8 players, only 7 on the field vs. their 11 and subs, and still tied that team, thereby ruining their season. We fought it out with the university's team for the basement that year, and I think the game in question gave us the slight edge to finish 2nd-to-last.

    Just saying, being the spoiler can be a real consolation to a scrub team. Ours was also a notorious drinking team - one game virtually all of us were in a bar until 4 am the day of a game.