Fan Report: Nats Security Not Impressed With 2008 World Series Pennant

Fan Report: Nats Security Not Impressed With 2008 World Series Pennant

Phillies fan Justin writes in with his tale from Saturday's game in which the Nationals security are not cool with his 2008 World Series banner.

I have a bone to pick and a story to get off my chest after an incident at the Game 1 of Saturday’s doubleheader.

Earlier in the week, I had agreed to meet up with my Raaauuul-worshipping friend Bryan (featured in this post on TheFightins) and go to the game with him and a buddy of his who were coming down from Reading.  They had already bought tickets in Row B of Section 104 and my plan was go to the window on gameday and get something “close”.  Now
I live in Fairfax, a western ‘burb of DC, and get to see daily how Nats
fans disguise them themselves as empty blue seats, so I fancied this to
be an easy proposition.  So I threw on my maroon throwback
Phillies hat and Mike Schmidt t-shirt, grabbed my souvenir 2008 World
Series pennant given away at the Phils’ home opener, hopped on the
Metro at 10:45, and was down at Nats park about hour later.  But
when I went to purchase my ticket, even I was surprised that they
offered me a seat in Row A of said section – the front row!  See me in the attached picture.


meet Bryan and his friend near the Red Loft bar atop center field; we
exchange pleasantries and consume alcohol before heading to our seats
to watch Brett Myers and Chris Coste warm up and throw longtoss.  Bryan’s friend also brought his pennant, and wears it as a cape – sweet.  I stand at my seat and decide to hold my pennant at the railing while observing our heroes practice.  I was aware of the Nats Park policy on signs and banners, which reads as such:


                Signs & Banners

are permitted to bring and display banners and signs at Nationals Park
as long as they are baseball-related and are only displayed during
inning breaks. Such banners and signs may not interfere with the game
or other guest's enjoyment of the game. These banners and signs are not
allowed to cover any ballpark signage or contain any language deemed
inappropriate by the Nationals Management. Banners and signs are not
allowed to be paraded through any part of the ballpark at any time.
Poles and sticks are also prohibited. The Washington Nationals reserve
the right to remove banners and signs from the ballpark for any reason
they deem appropriate.


figured holding the pennant would not be a problem (note that I did not
affix it to the rail, and it did not even reach down to the flower
bed), as this was well before the game, and I planned on putting it
away once the game started, except for waving it around a little after
the Phils would score.  About 5 minutes after I first
unfurled it, an gentleman on the field sporting a stylish red blazer
(presumably an event manager) walked over and politely reminded me to
put the pennant away at gametime.  I told him I would happily oblige and figured that was that.


about 5 minutes after that, 3 or 4 stadium security officials dressed
in a garish yellow shirts walked down from the left field concourse,
surrounded all five fans (all Phillies fans, of course) in our section
at the time, and started barking the pennant must immediately go,
saying their “command post” had been “specifically observing” me as if
they were at NORAD tracking commies and ICBMs.  The other fans begin yapping back at the guards.  After
a brief confrontation with me citing the policy and explaining my
conversation with the gentleman on the field, they raised their voices
and exclaimed that this was my “last warning”.  I was threatened with ejection from the ballpark a full 20 minutes before the game.  Of course, had they done that, the Nats would’ve lost about 10% of attendance for that game.  I
reluctantly folded up the pennant and put it away before deciding to
use it as a cover for my legs so they wouldn’t get burnt to a crisp by
the sun since I did not have sunblock lotion.


once the game started, these assnats [sic] came back and had the
audacity to check the tickets for what was now all 8 fans (all Phillies
supporters, of course) in Section 104, making sure we were in our exact
seats, further drawing our ire and more snide comments about the high
demand for Nats tickets.


When Raul hit his first homer in the top of the 1st, I released all my pent-up frustration and anger by vigorously waving the pennant in the direction of the guards.  They just stood there knowing there wasn’t a damn thing they could’ve down about the situation.


So eff you Nats.  F
you.  But thank you, Ben's Chili Bowl, for the delicious half-smoke
even though you put of the wrapper on the outside of the cardboard tray.

Justin in Fairfax

In long-awaited NBA debut, Joel Embiid treats Sixers fans to a show

In long-awaited NBA debut, Joel Embiid treats Sixers fans to a show

The crowd erupted as Joel Embiid stepped to the free throw line. They chanted a phrase Embiid has been repeating for the past two years, a fitting welcome to his NBA debut.

“That was great,” Embiid said after the Sixers' 103-97 loss to the Thunder on Wednesday in the season opener (see Instant Replay). “That’s my motto, 'Trust the process.'”

After two years of rehabbing foot injuries, Embiid has his first regular-season game behind him. Embiid scored a team-high 20 points, shooting 6 for 16 from the field, 1 for 3 from long range and 7 for 8 from the line. He also recorded seven rebounds, two blocks, four turnovers and four fouls in over 22 minutes. 

“The beginning I was nervous, but once you make that first shot, it just goes away,” he said. “The fans were so into the game that it was fun. I love having fun.”

Sixers head coach Brett Brown enjoyed watching Embiid on the court as much as the big man liked being on it. Brown has seen the 7-foot-2 center grow and develop during his rehab. Finally, he was able to utilize his versatile skills in a real game setting.

“I can't say this loud enough,” Brown said. “For the city to be rewarded with a player that we all understand has unique gifts, special gifts, for him to go through all the things he has been through and play like he did on opening night, the city deserves it. Most importantly, he deserves it.”

Now that Embiid has been cleared to play, he would like to do so for longer periods of time. He began the preseason at 12 minutes and was increased to 20 in segmented spurts for opening night. Even though he exceeded that limit by over two minutes, Embiid is itching to be cleared to play more extensively. 

“It sucks,” Embiid said. “I feel like I could have played more but you know you’ve got to trust the process, got to trust those guys. If I have my minute restriction at 20 minutes, I guess I’m going to go with that. But obviously I want to play more and more and I think it can help the team better. But they have a plan for me and I’ve got to follow it.”

Embiid has maintained he wants to be a clutch player. Brown looked to him toward the end of the game as the Thunder pulled ahead late in the final quarter. He drained a fadeaway jumper to tie the game at 97 apiece with 50.7 to go. 

Later trailing by four with 10 seconds left, the Sixers went to Embiid. While he was whistled for an offensive foul, Brown was glad to have a go-to unlike in years past. 

“You have a target,” Brown said. “We tried to get the ball to him a lot. … By and large, to have somebody like Joel, where the mystery is solved like, 'What do you do?' You get him the ball as much as you can.”

The more the Sixers found Embiid, the more the Thunder had to try to defend him. Thunder head coach Billy Donovan knew what his team was going up against. He watched Embiid as a high schooler and coached against him during his tenure at Florida. 

“He’s gifted and skilled,” Donovan said. “It was probably our guys' first time seeing him … I knew the talent, the gifts. The one thing with him is, he’s got great footwork. He’s hard to guard because he’s herky-jerky. He moves. He’s got a lot of [Hakeem] Olajuwon to him.”

Opening night had been two years in the making. Even though the Sixers didn't win, the significance of the evening didn't disappoint. 

"I thought this moment was going to be special," Embiid said, "and it was just great."

Best of NBA: Davis' 50 points not enough in Pelicans' loss to Nuggets

Best of NBA: Davis' 50 points not enough in Pelicans' loss to Nuggets

NEW ORLEANS -- Jusuf Nurkic scored 23 points, Will Barton added 22, and the Denver Nuggets survived a dominant performance by Anthony Davis to defeat the New Orleans Pelicans 107-102 in both teams' regular season opener Wednesday night.

Davis had 50 points, 16 rebounds, seven steals, five assists and four blocks. His production helped New Orleans trim a deficit as large as 14 late in the second quarter down to two points in the waning minutes. He simply didn't have enough help.

The rest of the Pelicans combined to shoot 21 of 58. Tim Frazier scored 15 for the Pelicans. E'Twaun Moore added 10 points, but missed a 3-point attempt that could have tied it with 24 seconds left.

Danilo Gallinari scored 15 for Denver and Wilson Chandler added 12 points (see full recap).

Celtics top Nets in Horford's home debut
BOSTON -- Isaiah Thomas had 25 points and nine assists, Jae Crowder added 21 points and Al Horford pitched in 11 in his Boston debut on Wednesday night as the Celtics survived a late scare to beat the Brooklyn Nets 122-117 in their season opener.

Bojan Bogdanovic scored 21 for Brooklyn, including a 3-pointer to make it 120-117 with 47 seconds left after the Nets erased most of a 23-point deficit against the Boston bench. But he missed one with a chance to tie it after Joe Harris intercepted Thomas' cross-court pass, and the Celtics were able to hold on.

Justin Hamilton came off the bench to score 19 points and grab 10 rebounds for the Nets in coach Kenny Atkinson's debut (see full recap).

Turner's opening act leads Pacers past Mavs in OT
INDIANAPOLIS -- Myles Turner scored 30 points, tied his career high with 16 rebounds and made a 3-pointer with 1:18 left in overtime to start an 8-0 run that allowed the Indiana Pacers to close out a 130-121 victory Wednesday night over the Dallas Mavericks.

Three-time All-Star Paul George added 25 points, including another 3 with 55 seconds left to seal Indiana's fifth season-opening win in six years.

Deron Williams scored 25 points, while J.J. Barea and Dirk Nowitzki each added 22 as the Mavs lost their fifth straight in the series. They still haven't won in Indianapolis since February 2014.

Dallas didn't tie the score or take a lead until the fourth quarter, yet still forced overtime when Harrison Barnes' open 3-pointer made it 115-all with 2.3 seconds left.

Turner could have won it with a long buzzer-beating 3, but it bounced off the back of the rim (see full recap).