Taking Issue With Certain Nationals Fans


Are you a traitor if you were an Orioles fan then converted to the Nationals? I was listening to a sports talk show host recently, who will go nameless (mostly because I can’t remember what his name is) who sounded like he could have been an Orioles fan in a past life. While listening, I realized quickly that he must of grown up in the Washington D.C. area. He was a Redskins, Wizards, and Nationals fan. Here is my problem though…when did he become a Nationals fan?

In fact, I am curious how many Nationals fans were actually Orioles fans before. There are various types of descriptions of “fans”. I get a lot of criticism from people because I grew up and live in New Jersey, yet none of my favorite teams are “hometown” teams. I am actually the exact opposite, I dislike the majority of NY area teams the most. The Yankees are easily my least favorite team in sports. I will say in my defense that I have always liked my teams from the very beginning and have never wavered. That includes the Orioles and their countless losing seasons. I will stand by the Orioles as my favorite team no matter how bad they get because I just can’t change all the years I have spent passionately following and rooting for them.

This brings me to another one of my favorite sports teams…the New Orleans Hornets. The reason I mention them is because they used to be the Charlotte Hornets and then they moved to New Orleans. I continued to follow the Hornets as my favorite team when they moved to New Orleans. Even after the Charlotte Bobcats came into existence I stayed with the Hornets because I will always love the history of the organization..not matter what city they play in or what name is on the Jersey.

This brings me to the Washington Nationals who used to be the Montreal Expos. I know there weren’t many Expos fans in the Washington D.C./Baltimore area to begin with so who are Washington Nationals fans? Don’t get me wrong, I am not criticizing all Nationals fans, just fans that used to be Orioles fans and since became Nationals fans. Getting back to the sports talk show host, my guess is that this guy must have been an Orioles fan. I mean, if he grew up loving all the sports teams from that area, you would think he would have been an Orioles fan…right? There was no other baseball team in that area other than the Orioles. Obviously, this guy is a big sports fan seeing that he took it to be his profession and he obviously follows sports very closely. So how does a guy who a big sports fan, lets just say he was an Orioles fan, just switch favorite teams!?

I get that the Orioles are horrible and the way they have been run the last decade plus could make any fan run for the hills, but I honestly can’t comprehend that thinking of just switching favorite teams. Maybe it is because I don’t have those hometown ties to a sports team so I can’t understand loving a team that is right in my backyard, but I don’t understand how a legitimate sports fan can switch favorite teams.

I actually found myself disliking this host because I felt like he could have been a trader (if he was previously an Orioles fan). This is obviously all speculation on my part, but I think it brings up some interesting questions. Who makes up the Nationals fan base? How many Nationals fans used to be Orioles fans? How many fans were just Expos fans who stuck with the team through their move to Washington D.C.? How many were just casual fans who just followed the Orioles because they were the closest team and now that there is a “hometown” team, the Nationals are their favorite team? As a die hard Baltimore Orioles fan, I have to say that I take issue with anyone who used to be an Orioles fan and became a Nationals fan when they moved next door. If you’re a die hard fan of a team then you stick with that team through thick and thin…through the ups and downs…even when another team moves a little closer to where you live.