On a wintry day, the Moose's thoughts turn to the national pastime and national greatness.
In a few weeks, pitchers and catchers will report for spring training. For the first time in over three decades, this spring training will begin with representation of the capital of our great land. The Moose heralds the arrival of the Washington Nationals and argues that it is that it is the obligation of Washingtonians to cast aside their old allegiances and go nuts for the Nats.
The Moose understands that this discussion may be of no interest to those who live in the heartland. But, it is important that when it concerns the country's national pastime (the Moose makes that stipulation), the citizens of the nation's capital should set the example of loyalty for the home team.
Now, some would argue that loyalty requires maintaining ties with their old allegiances. This is where the immigration metaphor is applicable. As a nation of immigrants, imagine if new Americans continued to maintain their primary loyalties to the old country.
Certainly, appreciation and even affection for the homeland or team should not be discouraged. Nostalgia is fine. But just as we must assimilate and become Americans first and foremost, we must be National fans above all. No dual loyalty for the national pastime. Nats fan must outnumber the fans of the adversary when the games begin in April at our stadium - which is not named after a corporation, but rather in honor of a great American leader - Robert F. Kennedy.
Inevitably, there will be voices of contempt directed at the subject of our new affections. Note this piece that appeared in the New York Times -
"There are many reasons to question whether an impoverished colony like Washington should subsidize a playground for Major League Baseball."
This sentiment underscores the importance of Washingtonians expressing their support for our Nationals. We must disprove our condescending detractors and skeptics.
So, my fellow Washingtonians, say good-bye to the Mets; farewell to the Phillies, so long to the Cubs. Greet warmly Guillen, Castilla, Wilkerson and the other immigrants from the north. We, who live near and within I-495, must all be Nat fans now.
It's the patriotic thing to do.