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.

 

I
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

Guests
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.

 

I
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.

 

Then,
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.

 

Now
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.

 
Love,
Justin in Fairfax

NFL Playoff Wrap: Packers, Steelers off to conference title games after dramatic wins

NFL Playoff Wrap: Packers, Steelers off to conference title games after dramatic wins

ARLINGTON, Texas -- This time it was a catch, and another win for the Green Bay Packers.

Call it a "Half Mary" from Aaron Rodgers.

Rodgers threw a 36-yard pass to a toe-dragging Jared Cook on the sideline, and Mason Crosby kicked a 51-yard field goal as time expired, sending the Packers to the NFC championship game with their eighth straight win while thwarting a huge Dallas rally in a 34-31 victory in the divisional round of the playoffs Sunday.

The throw on the run from Rodgers to Cook -- confirmed on review -- wasn't nearly as debatable as Dez Bryant's famous catch that wasn't in the Cowboys' divisional round loss to Green Bay two years ago.

Cook kept both feet inbounds with a knee just above the ground out of bounds.

And it came after the Cowboys tied the game twice in the final 5 minutes behind rookie sensations Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott in their playoff debut.

It was the third field goal of more than 50 yards in the final 1:38 -- two from Crosby and one from Dallas' Dan Bailey. And Crosby had to make the winner twice after Dallas coach Jason Garrett called timeout before the first attempt.

Rodgers, who sparked last week's wild-card win over the New York Giants with another Hail Mary before halftime, is headed to an MVP showdown with Atlanta's Matt Ryan next Sunday. It will be his third NFC title game -- all on the road.

Green Bay's win was the first by a road team after 12 straight home victories in the playoffs dating to last season.

The Cowboys (13-4) almost became the third team in the Super Bowl era to win in the playoffs after trailing by 15 points in the fourth quarter. The first was Dallas in 1972, when "Captain Comeback", Roger Staubach, rallied the Cowboys for a 30-28 win over San Francisco.

Instead, Dallas ended up with its fifth straight loss in the divisional round and a 21-year drought in trips to the NFC championship game.

Prescott got the Dallas rally going with a 40-yard touchdown toss in the first half to Bryant, the first playoff TD for the star receiver.

Then he set the stage for the first tying score on a 6-yarder to Jason Witten, also the first postseason touchdown for the 14th-year tight end.

Rodgers led the Packers to a go-ahead 56-yard field goal from Crosby with a big boost on a pass interference penalty against rookie Anthony Brown that wiped out an interception from Jeff Heath, whose pick earlier in the game helped Dallas rally.

The Cowboys answered with a 52-yarder from Bailey (see full recap).

Steelers hold off Chiefs to set up rematch with Pats in AFC title game
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Who needs to reach the end zone when you have Le'Veon Bell chewing up yards and the clock, and Chris Boswell setting an NFL playoff record with six field goals?

Throw in a stingy Pittsburgh defense for most of Sunday night, and a multitude of mistakes by Kansas City, and the Steelers' 18-16 victory sent them into the AFC championship game.

The Steelers (13-5) needed to hold off a last-ditch threat by the Chiefs (12-5) before advancing to face New England next Sunday night for a spot in the Super Bowl. The Patriots won at Pittsburgh 27-16, but Ben Roethlisberger was injured and didn't play.

Spencer Ware's 1-yard touchdown run took Kansas City within 18-16. The Chiefs at first converted the 2-pointer to tie it, but tackle Eric Fisher -- the first overall selection in the 2013 draft -- was penalized for holding. The next try failed.

With 2:43 remaining, Justin Gilbert misplayed the kick return and was tackled at the Pittsburgh 5. Roethlisberger hit Antonio Brown for 7 yards on third down and Pittsburgh then ran out the clock, securing a ninth straight victory for the Steelers. The Chiefs have not won a home playoff game since 1994, losing five in a row.

The scoring started furiously in the opening minutes, then the game became a kicking exhibition by Boswell, who also had six field goals in the regular season against Cincinnati. And Bell put on a virtuoso running performance, patiently finding holes and then exploding through them. He added a team-record 170 yards rushing to the 167 he had in a win over Miami last week.

The Steelers became first team to win a playoff game without a TD since eventual Super Bowl champion Indianapolis in the 2006 AFC divisional round at Baltimore.

Using a no-huddle attack almost to perfection early on, the Steelers drove deep into Kansas City territory. But they bogged down inside the 5 and Boswell made a 22-yard field goal.

The Chiefs were just as efficient on a six-play march capped by receiver Albert Wilson lining up in the backfield, then slipping uncovered into the end zone for a 5-yard score.

Pittsburgh's answer came on a 52-yard heave to All-Pro Brown, who somehow was covered by linebacker Justin Houston. That led to Boswell's second field goal, a 38-yarder. He added a 36-yarder to cap a 14-play drive on which Pittsburgh again barely huddled.

A clean game up until then turned to, well, turnovers, on successive series. Bud Dupree pounded Alex Smith, whose pass shot high into the air and was caught by linebacker Ryan Shazier.

The Steelers got to the Kansas City 5, where Frank Zombo leaped to deflect Roethlisberger's throw, and All-Pro safety Eric Berry -- burned for 26 yards on the previously play -- picked it off in the end zone.

Boswell's fourth field goal, from 45 yards, made it 12-7 at the half. His 43-yarder, setting the franchise record for a postseason game and tying the league mark of five, came on Pittsburgh's first series of the second half. A 43-yarder midway in the fourth quarter gave Boswell the NFL record.

Kansas City's Cairo Santos got in on the kicking act with a 48-yarder to make it 15-10. At that point, 10 seconds from the end of the third quarter, the Chiefs were outgained 333 yards to 150 (see full recap).

Best of NBA: James Harden's 12th triple-double paces Rockets' rout of Nets

Best of NBA: James Harden's 12th triple-double paces Rockets' rout of Nets

NEW YORK -- James Harden had 22 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in his 12th triple-double of the season and the Houston Rockets easily ended their first losing streak of the season by beating the Brooklyn Nets 137-112 on Sunday night.

Held to 105 points in losses to Minnesota and Memphis, the Rockets bounced back with 104 after three quarters and handed the Nets their 10th straight loss.

Eric Gordon led the Rockets with 24 points and Trevor Ariza added 23. Houston made 21 3-pointers and had five players with at least 16 points.

Houston shot just 40.8 percent during its two losses, well below its 46.8 season average, while being held nearly 10 points below its season scoring average. But the Rockets had no trouble bouncing back against the Nets, who allow an NBA-worst 114.3 per game (see full recap).

DeRozan leads Raptors past Knicks
TORONTO -- DeMar DeRozan had 23 points, Norman Powell added 21 and the Toronto Raptors used a dominant third quarter to beat the New York Knicks 116-101 on Sunday.

DeRozan also had five rebounds and five assists before coming out late in the third quarter.

The Raptors improved to 27-13, taking the lead for good late in the first quarter. They led by 38 points in the third in winning their third straight game overall and fifth in a row against the Knicks.

DeMarre Carroll added 20 points, and Jonas Valanciunas had 12 points and 16 rebounds.

Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 18 points, Justin Holiday had 17, and Derrick Rose added 16. The Knicks are 2-10 in their last 12 to drop to 18-23 (see full recap).

Hawks stay hot by beating Bucks    
ATLANTA -- Kent Bazemore scored 24 points, Mike Dunleavy added 20 and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Milwaukee Bucks 111-98 on Sunday.

Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 33 points and was a tough matchup in the paint for Milwaukee, which dropped 2 1/2 games behind the fourth-place Hawks in the Eastern Conference.

Atlanta has won eight of nine. The Bucks have dropped three of five.

Dunleavy, in his second game since arriving in a trade last week with Cleveland, had his first 20-point performance since a first-round playoff game for Chicago on April 30, 2015.

Antetokounmpo has scored at least 30 points in eight games in a breakout season (see full recap)