Nationals

Nationals

Superstitions and baseball go together like peanut butter and jelly. The Nats have worn their postseason blue threads consecutively since winning Game 4 of the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers. They haven't lost since. When asked about wearing the alternate jerseys in the postseason, manager Davey Martinez said, "I'm not superstitious, I'm just a little stitious," quoting The Office.

But ballplayers aren't the only ones with superstitions. With the Washington Nationals advancing to the World Series for the first time in franchise history, many fans are convinced their superstitions are helping the team win. NBC 4 meteorologist Doug Kammerer has been eating chicken wings prior to every game. He was even nice enough to eat his wings before the Washington Mystics won their first-ever WNBA Championship.

I took to Twitter to find Nats fans with some weirder than average superstitions. Read the thread for a good laugh, or to find solidarity in your own superstitions. 

Some said talking about superstitions is a superstition within itself, but I couldn't resist sharing some of the best. These replies take the cake:

NBC Sports Washington and Sports Junkies producer Doug McKinney has a laundry list of superstitions that vary depending on the location in which he’s viewing the game. One of which included wearing a blue suit to his wedding Columbus Day weekend to match the Nats’ postseason blue threads.

“When the Nats are on the mound: I’ll have the sound off and will hold - more like squeeze - a baseball,” McKinney said in a private message that he gave permission to share. “I like pacing around the room, using different grips, just trying to make time go faster and get out of the inning so we can hit.”

 

“When the Nats are at-bat: mute button goes off, I’ll switch out the baseball for a bat.  I’ll just swing the bat freely in the air or if it’s an intense inning, I’ll use it as a lightsaber or a golf club.” 

Right on, McKinney.

Another private message I received was from a fan who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of germ shaming. "The last time I changed our sheets was the first day of the NLDS," they said. "I have been instructed not to change them. Our kid was sick this week and definitely laid in our bed, but a World Series trumps germ control..."

Honestly, respect.

One fan turned his superstition into a fundraiser for the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation. Matt Natali has pledged to shave his playoff beard he's been growing since 2012 if the Nats win the World Series. He has also not trimmed his beard since the start of the playoffs. 

I got a lot of replies about wearing the same outfits, no matter how weird the combination. McKinney wears a blue shirt on game day, and the jersey of the Nats' pitcher during the game. These were a few of my favorite outfit combinations:

 

One fan dresses up her pug J.J. as the pope with various Nationals accessories, including a Nats hat, a shark, and goggles with champagne, my personal favorite.

Shark accessories are a must, and one fan has a very specific outfit complete with these shark shoes that she found on Amazon during Shark Week.

Another favorite was a private message from season ticket holder Jennifer O’Dell, who has saved postseason ticket strips for the past 10 years. After the Nats failed to make the postseason in 2018, Jennifer and her husband Jason Shaffer, decided to burn the unused copies (including World Series tickets) to “cleanse the city and team of all the bad juju,” she said. O’Dell even took a video of it.

“I am responsible for the Nats making the World Series I think!” she said.

Another season ticket holder admittedly decided to add only $25 to her Nats' e-cash before the Wild Card Game instead of her usual $100 in fear of losing money if the Nats didn't advance. She's been adding only $25 to her pass prior to postseason playoff games ever since.

One fan has been eating the breakfast of champions ever since Alex Ovechkin threw out the first pitch at NLDS Game 4 against the Dodgers.

 

https://twitter.com/RMarilette/status/1184968156651106304  

Another fan has turned to a rally apple for luck. It's even been to L.A.!

 

Media members have been lucky enough to see the celebration and fanfare up close, such as NBC Sports Washington's Savannah McCann, who had an outfit malfunction during the Wild Card Game that led to superstition, and quite a few ruined outfits.

I received many replies with homemade shrines:

One good luck locust:

Some oddly specific meal plans:

Specific accessories:

My high school government teacher Jennifer Rodgers even chimed in, saying she’s noticed a correlation between students’ homework completion and the Nats winning, kind of like a snow day.

 

I have to say, the inspiration for this article was my die-hard Nats fan dad. During the Caps’ Stanley Cup run while down two games to the Columbus Blue Jackets in round one, for some unknown reason, he thought to put a paper towel roll in our coat rack, and the rest is history. He decided to repeat the superstition with the Nats this postseason hoping the luck would carry over and so far, it has. When I told him I was writing this article, he disclosed his secret superstition. Additionally, he reps a Caps t-shirt while watching every Nats game. 

It's only crazy if it doesn't work...right, Nats fans?

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