Traffic, Bullfeathers and the Nationals

Trip Start Apr 02, 2011
Trip End Sep 29, 2011

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Flag of United States  , District of Columbia
Monday, May 2, 2011

I left early for Washington DC despite my late night. I had heard horror stories about the traffic in DC, so I wanted to get there early for both lunch and the game. I don't know if it was the Bin Laden thing or Delaware and Maryland police are extremely aggressive, but I have to say, I have never seen so many police before in a 120 mile stretch of highway. 15-20, each with a "volunteer" pulled over. And there were seveal electronic signs reminding people to report threats and an 800#. Yes, security seemed high.

The traffic wasn't bad at all. And even though Jill took me through some interesting residential areas, I found myself parking (legally) about two blocks from the Capitol near a Restaurant/Bar called Bullfeathers. I walked in and sat at the bar..Erica waited on me and I asked about their signature Bullburger. She said, they were closed for a while recently and opened with a new menu which didn't include the Bullburger. She suggested their signature "Chicken-Bacon-Wranch" with did not disappoint. Excellent sandwich with a couple of Stellas (they don't seem to have MGD out here), and I was good.

For some reason, I thought the Washington Nationals ballpark was 30 minutes from downtown DC. Wrong. When I plugged the address into Jill, she said, 3 miles. It's not more than 15-20 blocks from the Capitol. Drove around the park and found a hotel bar (it wasn't open, but it allowed me to do some blogging...besides I didn't need another to drive back to Philly tonight.)

More after the game!

Went to the ticket office about 5:20 pm and a nice young man sold me a $70 ticket 20 rows behind the Washington Nationals dugout. When I happened to see a sign saying, $10 off for Senior Citizens, I inquired, but he said even though the age is 55, I needed to tell him that before I purchased the ticket. Whatever!

I entered the ballpark and treid to go to my seat, but they didn't open that section of the ballpark until 5:30. I looked at my watch and it said 5:26. Whatever. I walked around a bit and actually did find a place that sold MGD.
First one out east.

Finally got to my seat. This is a beautiful ballpark. Built in 2008 with a seating capacity of 43K, but they only had 15K tonight. Either by plan or coincidence, it was Military Appreciation Night, which seemed appropriate after the events of the last 24 hours. They honored military of all branches...very moving.

Surprisingly, a guy sat next to me with a Cubs hat on. He was working out here and decided to come to the game. I showed him my Cubs jacket, which I didn't need. If there ever was a night to wear shorts and a short sleeve shirt, this was it. 79 degrees and no wind...almost stuffy. So, what did I have on? Jeans and a long sleeve shirt. Good planning Dave!

Interesting walking around the ballpark, I found the people attending the game and even the ballpark vendors sort of dour and not in a very good mood. Most parks I have attended, have had enthusiastic crowds and likewise the vendors. Just didn't seem that way here. Maybe it's because they haven't had a winner here for a while. It was a late-arriving crowd, some not until the 2nd or 3rd inning, and then they sat on their hands. Even the scoreboard encouragement (Get Loud! Make Some Noise! - which I incidentally, hate. More on that later.) didn't help. The Cubs fan next to me and I compared it to Wrigley comparison. Except for the well-deserved cheers for the military in attendance, which was well done, the biggest noise was when the Giant fans started chanting, "Let's Go Giants..then the clapping." And even then, they just booed a little bit. Maybe they are not used to winning, but I found the fans there, not truly fans (short for fanatic), but attendees at the they were watching an opera or something.

But I am back to my winning ways for the home team. Nationals 2 - Giants 0, which runs my record to 6-4 for the home teams and breaks a 3-game losing streak.

Back to signs telling you to "Get Loud." I have never been a fan. And it seems like every new ballpark uses the gimmick to get noise from the crowd. It seems to me that the fans themselves need to be knowledgeable enough about the game to know when to bring the noise level up in a ballpark without artificial assistance. I believe every ballpark except Wrigley and Fenway (even with a new huge scoreboard) have used the trick. I just don't like it.

Quick game...over in 2:05, but a long drive back to Philly. Past 1:00 am when I got home. But it was a good day in our Nation's Capitol.
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Janice Kiedaisch on

Surprised you could park so close to the Capitol. When our family was visiting the the mid '80's, the entire city seemed like a fortress. I am sure it is even worse now. Parking was never advised. We stayed in Alexandria and took the tube under the river everyday into D.C. Glad you had good weather. There are no crowds like Chicago crowds.

dblegldave on

I was a bit surprised too, especially just after UBL was killed. And you are so right...there are not crowds like Wrigley!!!

Carol Csanda on

Dave, once again, your blog is AMAZING! And what a great adventure. You'd never know it, but I've been to several of the ball parks you mentined...old Riverfront in Cincy, Washington Nationals, Pittsburg, and Boston. Saturday, we have tix to Wrigley for Mark's Birthday. Be careful out there...glad you have MGD and Jill to keep you company!

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