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

Eagles-Vikings 5 things: Game much bigger than Sam Bradford's return

Eagles-Vikings 5 things: Game much bigger than Sam Bradford's return

Eagles vs. Vikings
1 p.m. on FOX

Eagles +3

A familiar face comes to town on Sunday when the Eagles host the Vikings, the NFL's last unbeaten team at 5-0.

There's more to this matchup than a certain jilted quarterback returning to Lincoln Financial Field though. After an inspired 3-0 start, the Eagles have come out flat in two consecutive games, both losses. If this squad has any hope of getting back on track in Week 7, they can't afford to focus on the high-profile former teammate in purple sleeves.

Grinding it out
How good is the Vikings' defense? Even though they're ranked fourth in the league against the run and eighth in yards per carry allowed, they've faced the second-highest number of rushing attempts. Simply put, between a fierce pass-rush and ball-hawking secondary, offenses are afraid to put the ball in the air against this team.

Opponents have decided the best way to beat the Minnesota defense is by keeping the ball on the ground — shorten the game, try to create manageable third downs and play the field position game. Of course, the best way for the Eagles to beat Washington's 28th-ranked run defense last week, with a fifth-round rookie right tackle making his first career start mind you, also would've been to hand the ball off early and often, which wasn't exactly the game plan that we saw.

As good as Carson Wentz is, the Eagles probably aren't going to beat this team by airing the ball out. It may be inefficient and look ugly, but this time, head coach Doug Pederson needs to lean on the ground attack and take the pressure off of his first-year quarterback and tackle. Otherwise, a Vikings defense that ranks third in the NFL in sacks and fourth in interceptions can take this game over.

Self-inflicted wounds
Ticky-tack calls or not, you can't blame the judgment of the officials for all of the penalties the Eagles have taken the past two weeks. Last week in Washington, they drew 13 flags for 114 yards. The week before, it was 14 flags for 111 yards. Is it really any coincidence in two losses the Eagles have been penalized 27 times for 225 yards? Unlikely.

Were one or two or even a handful of those calls excessive? Have officials missed some potential calls that could have gone the other way? Yes and yes, as is always the case. When it's that many penalties for that many yards though, you can only place so much blame on the refs.

Simply put, the players need to clean up their acts. According to, the Eagles are committing the most penalties per game at 9.8. Only one other team is above 9.0. All excuses aside, the Eagles lack discipline right now, and it's hard to beat anybody when they are continuously shooting themselves in the foot, let alone the only undefeated squad in football.

No gimmes
There is no bigger indicator of winning and losing in the NFL than turnovers. So what happens when the two teams who cough the ball up the least are going head-to-head?

One thing the Eagles did correct in Washington was the little giveaway problem that cost them the game in Detroit. After losing their first fumble and throwing their first interception of the season in the final three minutes of their loss at Detroit, the offense went back to playing turnover-free football on Sunday, one of the positive things that could be said for the performance.

Yet the only team that's committed fewer turnovers than the Eagles is the Vikings, who have just one through five games. The ball security these clubs have displayed is remarkable bordering on unheard of. So what happens when the unstoppable force meets the immovable object? The first one to blink, or in this case make a mistake, might just cost themselves the game in what could be a tightly contested tilt.

Just a pit stop
If it feels like the Eagles' 34-3 romp of the Steelers at the Linc was a long time ago, well, it has been almost a month. Since then, there's been a bye week followed by trips to Detroit and Washington, putting the last home game at exactly four weeks ago.

Don't get used to the feeling either. After their game against the Vikings on Sunday, the Eagles go back on the road for two contests against the division rival Cowboys and Giants.

What does it all mean? Besides a travel-heavy stretch, it suggests this sandwich game with the Vikings is an especially significant spot on the Eagles' schedule, particularly given the slow starts they've jumped out to as the visiting team of late. That can't be blamed entirely on going on the road of course, but it certainly hasn't helped. Vikings or not, the Eagles could use a positive showing on Sunday before they go away again.

The Bradford Bowl
You didn't really think we were going to completely gloss over Sam Bradford, did you? Not even mention his name?

It's interesting, because right now, the trade that sent Bradford to the Vikings and cleared the way for Wentz to start at quarterback for the Eagles looks like a win-win. Both head coaches agreed with that sentiment as well. Mike Zimmer says Bradford gave the Vikings an energy back after starter Teddy Bridgewater was lost for the season with an improbable injury, while despite coming back down to earth a bit the last two weeks, it's obvious the Eagles' future is bright with Wentz.

That being said, there are some additional bragging rights at stake for both signal-callers this week, whether they acknowledge it or not. If the Eagles win, it shows their gamble on Wentz being prepared to start right away was justified. If the Vikings win, pundits could argue the Eagles never should've traded Bradford in the first place.

These are only narratives of course, and the Eagles' investment in Wentz and the Vikings' desperation trade for Bradford are both left to be judged somewhere down the road, long after this game has been played. Nonetheless, the result on Sunday is sure to spark some interesting debate in the coming days.

Penn State upsets No. 2 Ohio State, 24-21

Penn State upsets No. 2 Ohio State, 24-21


STATE COLLEGE – As his team slogged through back-to-back 7-6 seasons in his first two years as Penn State’s head coach, Langhorne native James Franklin heard time and again that he was in need of a signature victory.

Now he has one, even if he refuses to admit it.

Junior cornerback Grant Haley returned a blocked field goal 60 yards for the go-ahead touchdown with 4:27 left as the Nittany Lions stunned second-ranked Ohio State 24-21 on Saturday night.

“That’s for you (media) guys, all that signature stuff,” Franklin said.

Not exactly.

“It’s just a game that put Penn State back on the map,” Haley said. “We needed that signature win, and we did it tonight.”

The fans stormed the field after the Lions, 5-2 after their third straight victory this season, beat a ranked team for the first time since 2013 (Wisconsin). It was also PSU’s first victory over a team ranked in the top five since 1999 (Arizona) and its first over a team slotted as high as No. 2 since 1990 (Notre Dame).

Ohio State (7-1) saw winning streaks of 20 straight road games and 17 straight Big Ten road games come to an end, despite building a 21-7 lead through three quarters.

The Lions whisked 90 yards in five plays to cut the gap to seven with 13:32 left in the game, with quarterback Trace McSorley running two yards for the TD.

Freshman linebacker Cam Brown then blocked Cameron Johnston’s punt to set up a 34-yard field goal by Tyler Davis with 9:33 remaining, making it 21-17.

Ohio State mounted a drive behind J.T. Barrett, their splendid quarterback, moving from its own 13 to the PSU 28. Barrett’s 34-yard connection with wide receiver Noah Brown was the big play.

But the Buckeyes stalled, and Tyler Durbin came on to attempt a 45-yard field goal. Penn State safety Marcus Allen made a leaping block, however, and Haley scooped up the bouncing ball and beat Durbin and Johnston, the holder, down the left sideline for the go-ahead score.

Ohio State’s final drive of the night ended with a pair of Penn State sacks, the last a combined effort by defensive linemen Kevin Givens and Evan Schwan with 1:02 left.

When the final gun sounded, several Penn State players sprinted toward the south end zone and launched themselves into the front row of the stands, Lambeau Leap-style, among the delirious students. And thousands of fans, all clad in white for PSU’s traditional White Out, flooded the field.

“This is for everybody,” Franklin said later. “This community’s been through so much in the last five years (a reference to the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal and its aftermath), and this is a big step in the right direction, in terms of healing. I said very, very early on that for us to get where we want to be, we need this entire community together, and a win like tonight – I know I’m biased – but I believe that football has the ability to bring a community together like nothing else.”

Moments later, he caught himself and said he “didn’t want to spend a lot of time talking about the big picture.”

Rather, he added, “I just want to enjoy tonight.”