The other day, two brave Nationals fans put a video on YouTube, a call to arms for fans to make sure that those pesky Phillies fans don’t intrude on Nationals Park this year. After taking a beating in the comments, they pulled the video.
Fortunately the movement didn’t die with that video. A Twitter rebellion has started with #SaveNatsParkApril14th as the battle cry.
Last year, thousands of Phillies fans loaded up on buses and infiltrated Nationals Park. PhilsFever.com is planning it again, although possibly not in such large numbers.
"Last year, it was the season opener and we knew Roy Halladay was on the hill and that was a catalyst for one of the largest invasions ever," explains the site's owner, Quimby. "We should still roll in with 3-400 strong, but a far cry from the 1,500 we had last year."
Other Phillies fans aren't quite as realistic. Brian Micheal of PhilliesNation.com had this to say about Nationals fan reaction to the invasion:
"They don't like it one bit. It's more that Nats fans, in particular, want the rest of baseball to feel sorry for them and give them special treatment like not allowing opposing fans into the stadium."
Clearly it never dawned on Michael, who actually lives in D.C., that maybe opposing fans with that attitude aren't wanted there because that line of thinking is obnoxious.
If the Phanatics are successful, some Nats fans think we only have ourselves, and our front office, to blame.
“If more people supported the Nats here in D.C. these ‘invasion’ trips would be much harder to accomplish,” said Thomas Landwermeyer, a season ticket holder from northern Virginia. “It also doesn't help when Stan Kasten invites them to come to the stadium.”
While we don’t think Phillies fans need an invitation to venture down I-95, it certainly didn’t help.
Other fans see the invasion as motivation.
"I'm jealous of the Phillies fans because of their team's success, and history, and the culture they have built up over the years. I want that for us," says longtime fan Phil Senerchia. "I hope someday we Nats fans start busing up to Philly to watch our team pound the Phils. That's got to start with us representing when the Phillies are in town, though."
The Nationals haven’t put tickets up for sale yet, but if last year’s game attendance is any indication it could be a Phan driven atmosphere on April 14. And if that happens, it's only a small blip in the world of bigger aspirations for our buddy from Phillies Nation.
"I'm fine with that because I couldn't care less about the Nationals and their fans," Michael boasts. "I only care about winning the World Series."
I guess cities with no Super Bowl rings have to look forward to something.
We reached out to the Nationals to see if there will be any ticket offers or incentives for Nats fans to attend that game. We'll update here with any news.