I usually don't like being a number.
Even in crowds, my natural tendency is to find some sort of individuality (sometimes, unfortunately, this has to do with a few too many drinks and a conviction that I am "funny").
But last night I was proud to be just one of thousands.
A sober one, and of 45,596, to be exact.
A short while ago, you might've likened my knowledge/care of baseball to, oh, say (can you see?) the US Tax Code's 2004 Amendments and Adjustments.
Indeed, a large portion of my apathy stemmed from my own perceived inability to understand the material at hand. It just felt like too much and, to be honest, there was really no incentive for me to give a crap. I also felt like a poser moving every year and half and trying to be a fan of whatever local team there was.
Then, however, enter: the Nats.
The only way my interest was piqued in the first place was (nerd alert) the debate surrounding their arrival and the DC municipal money involved therein. For months I followed the 'battle' of baseball v. public infrastructure (schools, hospitals, THE LIKE).
If you know me at all (or at least read the preceding paragraph), it wouldn't be hard to figure out which side I was rooting for.
But slowly something inside of me changed. I was getting excited and I couldn't figure out why! I started caring less and less about the sick, the poor and DC's children, and more and more about stuff like Livan Hernandez, statistics and this new, non-female definition of the word 'cycle.'
I even tried to go to espn.com a few times.
Now, the day after I experienced baseball's neatly-starched history 'unfold' at a sold-out RFK stadium (and, ironically, on tax day), I can say that I'm a true Nationals fan.
Even more so, I'm a baseball fan.
And it wasn't the F-16s and the fireworks.
It wasn't Renee Fleming.
It certainly wasn't President Bush.
No, I've seen my share of patriotic fanfare; all that mess wasn't the razzle-dazzle for me last night.
For me it was a pure and fresh feeling of experiencing something I hadn't before,
including that $4 hotdog (real meat, not tofu).