Column: Surviving as a sport’s fan in he District

You’ve decided to go to school in the District. So put on a “GW Football: Undefeated” T-shirt to complement the new pair of Diesel Jeans, and listen up.

There are a few things to learn before you become a transplanted sports fan going to school at GW.

First off, get ready to be bombarded by hordes of obnoxious Red Sox and Yankees fans. Here at GW, baseball doesn’t exist east of the Hudson River. To a lot of people, that’s nice, but the constant New York/Boston battle is wicked sickening after a while. (Yes, I’m a Red Sox fan).

Note to freshmen from the West Coast and the Midwest – it is your job to educate baseball isolationists from the East. Do not sit there and let their loud voices intimidate you! Brewers and Twins fans are people too.

If you’re a fan of any professional sport, make sure you’re familiar with espn.com, cnnsi.com or cbssportsline.com. These are all valuable resources for score updates every two seconds.

The Web comes in handy the night before you have a big paper due and you’re stuck in front of the computer instead of in front of the television, where, in order to watch the game, you normally have to pry five roommates away from excellent television programs like the Real World/Road Rules Challenge and Showbiz Moms.

If you don’t have a big paper due and the game isn’t on local TV, what do you do? Head on over to the Hippodrome on the fifth floor of the Marvin Center, a lounge area with pool tables and four televisions that show games every day of the week and NFL action on Sundays.

It’s great! You get to watch four games that aren’t on in your room. But be forewarned, sitting in that place on a Sunday can be as nauseating as a meal at the Thurston cafeteria.

At times it’s like a frat house: there are loud groups of guys constantly high-fiving each other and yelling at the top of their lungs after every play. But if you can deal with the constant noise, it’s the place to be, especially on Sundays.

Besides, no freshmen have fake IDs to get into sports bars. Right?

If you want to take a night off the 18-plus club circuit, try actually going to a professional sporting event.

Anybody living in the District who remotely enjoys baseball should get to Camden Yards to watch the Orioles in September. The team has improved, tickets are cheap (a bleacher seat is 15 bucks), and the MARC train ride to Baltimore is only an hour. Camden blows away all other pro sports venues in the D.C. area, including the MCI Center.

On the plus side, MCI is only a ten-minute Metro ride away from Foggy Bottom, but who wants to ee the Wizards and Capitals play anyway? Well, if your favorite NBA or NHL team is visiting, the place is usually half-empty and you’ll be able to score tickets.

But because the building was built with hockey in mind, the seats are on a steep incline. Unless you want to shell out big bucks for lower level seats, bring some Dramamine because you’re going to get sick from being so far up in the nosebleeds.

If you want to see the Redskins play, the nosebleeds are probably the only seats that are in a college student’s price range. The ‘skins play at Fed Ex Field in Landover, Md., which is only about a half hour ride on the Metro followed by a brief shuttle ride.

Pro football is the sport of choice down here, but to be honest, I’ve never noticed too many diehard Redskins fans at and around GW. But go to a local bar or a suburb to talk to the diehards. Politicians and businessmen who frequent this part of the city have more important (boring) things to talk about than the Redskins.

After any of the games you attend or watch on TV, try taking a walk through Georgetown. You might catch a glimpse of a professional athlete taking a leisurely stroll with his posse. And for a photo-op with a giant, hang out by the Four Seasons on M Street – NBA teams stay there when they’re in town to play the Wizards.

And on a final note, just remember, if you’re not interested in sports on the professional level, try going to a GW game of some sort. Maybe they’ll bring back football one of these decades … Okay, maybe not.

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