GW has Washington Nationals fever.
Students all over campus are displaying their love of the American pastime and devotion to D.C., all wrapped up into one cursive “W” woven on a red hat.
“It’s great to see everyone rallying around the Nationals and what’s happening for the city and for baseball,” said Steve Roche, a junior from Pennsylvania. “I’ve seen people in suits wearing baseball hats going about their daily business. It really strikes at the heart of the city.”
Whether it is fashion, sports or D.C. pride that has caused this explosion in Nationals paraphernalia, GW seems to have baseball fever and, for many, the only prescription is more Nationals.
“I wanted (a hat) because I live down here,” said Eben Hall, a sophomore from Maine. “I’m representing that I have a connection to D.C.”
Students, temporary Washington residents from all over the country, must choose between maintaining home team loyalty and switch-hitting.
“Red Sox always come first,” said Jim Rogers, a junior from Connecticut who owns a Nationals hat. “But (the Nationals) are closer, so you might as well root for them.”
While some sports fans are struggling with the concept of rooting for two teams at once, other baseball devotees disagree with this two-faced approach.
“If they’re coming from a city with a ball club, they’re frontrunners,” said freshman Marc Held about students who support the Nationals.
While students may need to warm up to the idea of having a baseball team in the District, the rest of D.C. appears to be less reserved in its excitement. Mike Rollins, store manager for Lids at Union Station, reports a definite increase in Nationals hat sales.
“I can’t give you exact numbers or anything, but it’s dominating our sales right now,” he said. “It’s flying off the shelves.”
While students continue to root for the newly christened Nationals, they realize it may take time to build a consistent loyal fan base.
“They’re still the Montreal Expos,” said senior Ody Uy, a dedicated Nationals enthusiast.
Freshman Josh Gordon said he fully supports having a team in D.C., but he does not expect much from them this year.
He said, “It’s gong to be a rough season.”