Sunday, July 26, 2009

Washington Nationals Fandom?

So, I've noticed, from time to time, young people wearing the ballcap depicted on the right, which is for the Washington Nationals. Young people wear ballcaps all the time, of course, and obviously not everybody is a fan of the local teams. But there seem to be more people wearing this than one would ordinarily think. First of all, I live more than 2,500 miles away from Washington. Second, the Nationals are an awful team --- they've never finished higher than 4th place, and they currently have the worst record in baseball. They're also new (they moved to Washington in 2005), and I don't know of any legion of fans like the Cubs or Yankees have.

And yet I seem to see people wearing their cap more often than many better or more well-established teams in baseball. How did this become fashionable? Is there some rapper that wears their gear? Is this some sort of in-joke where the "W" stands for something else? Or are the Nationals just a lot more popular than I thought? What's up with that?

14 Comments:

At Monday, July 27, 2009 at 9:12:00 AM PDT, Blogger Ted said...

The Nationals' fan support has been far from stellar, so that seems to rule out that people are actually interested in the team. I'm sure there's some pop-culture explanation, but I'm not down with what those darn kids get up to these days, so I don't know.

 
At Monday, July 27, 2009 at 10:14:00 AM PDT, Blogger Adam Villani said...

Yeah, the stadium rarely fills up. Have you noticed a surprising number of Nats caps where you've been living, too?

My theory is that some rapper wears it to signify either "West" or "Weed," but that's just a theory. Are there any popular DC rappers?

 
At Monday, July 27, 2009 at 2:24:00 PM PDT, Blogger Ted said...

I can't say I've seen a single one; it's basically 100% Tribe here.

I checked with my wife, who is usually more up on this sort of thing, and she's not aware of any rapper connections -- but I wouldn't be surprised to find out there was.

 
At Monday, July 27, 2009 at 2:29:00 PM PDT, Blogger Adam Villani said...

I suppose there aren't very many expatriate Bostonians or New Yorkers wearing their team's colors in Cleveland.

That reminds me; one of the nice things about Cleveland was that, even though I didn't go to a Reds game, it was VERY evident around town that the Reds were the team showed their allegiance to. Not that I have any great love for the Reds, but they are one of those classic teams that I wish would field a team worthy of their fanbase.

 
At Monday, July 27, 2009 at 6:05:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Joshua said...

I haven't seen the Nationals cap around Chicago so I can't comment about on the popularity of their caps.

By the way, did you just say that people in Cleveland show their allegiance to the Reds -- not the Indians?

 
At Monday, July 27, 2009 at 9:54:00 PM PDT, Blogger Adam Villani said...

Oops! I meant Cincinnati in the second paragraph, after referring to Cleveland in the first. It was nice visiting a city that was so manifestly a baseball town.

 
At Tuesday, July 28, 2009 at 12:21:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Victor Morton said...

In their 4 1/2 years in DC, I have gone to two Nationals games, one with a church group of 7 or 8 guys, the other with two friends when I got free tickets.

Admittedly, I'm not personally the world's biggest baseball fan, but Nats tickets are so easy to get, and both their ballparks have been pretty convenient. People in DC just don't care that much if the team's not good and the Nationals haven't been (see also the Wizards and Capitals). It's a football town -- the Redskins are the only team that can suck and still draw big.

I have a friend, an Irish Southie, who went to all three Red Sox games this year. He said that to judge from crowd noise, the sold-out stadium was 3/4 or 4/5 Red Sox fans.

 
At Wednesday, July 29, 2009 at 10:16:00 AM PDT, Blogger clynne said...

Perhaps you're seeing Walgreens employees? They have a very similar W logo which is also red and white.

 
At Wednesday, July 29, 2009 at 12:08:00 PM PDT, Blogger Adam Villani said...

Wow, that W really is similar to a Walgreens W. I hadn't noticed that. But I'm quite sure they're Nats caps. I saw two kids wearing them at Magic Mountain this past weekend, for example, and one was close enough that I could see the MLB logo on the back.

 
At Saturday, August 1, 2009 at 1:17:00 PM PDT, Blogger Ted said...

An addendum on this: I'm in DC this weekend, and haven't even seen very many Nats caps around here.

 
At Friday, March 19, 2010 at 4:53:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Usually they are worn for a place where they are from, a "gang" color, or initials. For example Pierre Thomas of the new orleans saints wears a white sox hat because he is from chiago. Lil wayne wears a reds hat because he is supposedly a "blood" and there color is red; i dont even care about that one. And finally i wear a nats hat because my name begins with a W. Those are the only meaning they have.

 
At Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 2:54:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well red sox, red, nats, and dodgers is worn by the gang bloodz so that might bee the reason you would see some with the nats hat

 
At Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 3:53:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, but you're all wrong; rappers and young individuals make conscious decisions to wear Nationals hats, not because of some secret meaning of "W" or gang-related purposes. They wear the hat because Washington DC is considered a very powerful place, not only now in terms of politics and the economy, but also because there is an exciting new hip-hop scene emerging from the city. DC-based rapper Wale has gained national attention in the past few years, and rappers like Wiz Khalifa and Lil Wayne (both of whom often wear the Nationals hat) like to switch up their hat game. For them, DC is a cool place to represent because it's a tribute to their ally (Wale) and it's also, being the capital of the United States, a symbol of power. Note that wearing the New York Yankees hat would be different: the Yankees are an old team, rich with baseball history. A rapper wearing a Yankees hat is much more likely to imply his strong allegiance to New York City and the Yankees. Meanwhile, as the Nationals are a new team, the Nationals hat is more of a pop culture icon, often not focused on the actual baseball team.

 
At Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 11:45:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

they aren't all wrong idiot "W" is worn by WEST SIDE blood gangs, such as westside piru blood gang, etc walk through south central with a red "W" nationals cap and im sure something will happen. its a symbol, reppin', as plain as an hand sign that is always thrown up

 

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