Fun, Games, and Victory on 70s Night at Nationals Park

Washington Nationals Park 70s NightAnother crowd of over 30,000 fans turned out last night at Nationals Park for a fun-filled theme night and a thrilling extra-innings victory over the Atlanta Braves.

It was Washington Nationals 1970s night, and the team did a great job of extending the theme throughout the fan experience. 70s-themed music, player introductions, and contests were the order of the night, and even the Nationals Park scoreboard went retro, with a low-definition monochrome look reminiscent of the first JumboTron scoreboards of the era.

Player introduction music was turned into a hit parade of unforgetable (no matter how hard you try) 1970s classics — everything from Isaac Hayes to Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.

Washington Nationals Park 70s NightNationals mascot Screech traded in his usual white uniform for a scruffier tie-dye look, and Members of the Nat Pack went all out with outrageous wigs and costumes. The players, of course, had to wear their official team uniforms, but
Washington Nationals Racing President Teddy Roosevelt on 70s Night at Nationals Parkthe scoreboard gave fans an alternate view of what each particular player might have looked like with 1970s-era hair and mustache.

When it came time for the 4th inning presidents race, Teddy Roosevelt emerged from the centerfield fence wearing a plaid bandana. Unfortunately, it didn’t provide much help as he fell back from the pack early and had to watch as Abe broke the tape to capture his 40th presidents race victory of the season.

Too many fun photos to share here. For more, check out the photoset on flickr.

Music at Nationals Park – Song Results Are In!

Chuck Brown will be played after any Nationals player hits a home runThe Nationals asked and you voted. Here are the songs that will be played at Nationals Park home games starting with tomorrow’s exhibition game against the Baltimore Orioles.

At the 7th Inning Stretch
(after Take Me Out to the Ball Game)
Shout by Otis Day and the Knights

After a Nationals Home Run
Bustin’ Loose by DC native Chuck Brown (pictured)

After a Nationals Win
Beautiful Day by U2

As you’ve probably figured out by now, I’m particularly disappointed by the first choice, but not surprised. If you put this to an internet vote, the winner is going to be a song that everybody knows, not a song that’s more appropriate. Let’s hope the team finds a role for You Gotta Have Heart elsewhere in the new stadium traditions.

Photo of Chuck Brown by flickr user svetlana80

Leading Votes for Nationals Park Music – Last Chance!

As reported 2 weeks ago, the Nationals are giving fans a chance to choose the songs that will be played in Nationals Park in certain game situations.

I have to say after seeing the current leader board that I’m a little concerned. Remember, we may be living with these traditions for the rest of your life, so if you haven’t voted, now is the time to act!

Song to be played at the 7th inning stretch

The current leaders are a close race between “Shout” by Otis Day and the Knights and “Twist and Shout” by the Beatles.

The Nat Pack during the 7th Inning Stretch People, what are you thinking? These are fine dance songs, but they are tired and already over-used at every other stadium venue in the country. This song will be the focal point of the whole stadium during a break in action. Dancing is not required during the 7th inning stretch. Singing is. More importantly, this is a chance to create a unique Washington tradition. “You Gotta Have Heart” is uniquely Washington. Like “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” (which turns 100 this year, by the way), it’s sappy and old-fashioned, but it’s about baseball and it’s ours alone. It would become a unique fixture of Washington baseball that could never be co-opted by another team in another city. If you don’t know the song, you will learn it quickly enough, and before long, everybody will be singing along (no, they won’t play the verse about how we ain’t got hitters and pitchers). It’s not too late! Place your votes here. Vote now and vote often!

Song to be played after a home run

Current leaders are “Bustin Loose” by Chuck Brown, “Song 2 (Woo Hoo)” by Blur, and “”Off We Go” (the Air Force theme). Here again, my choice, “Because We Can” by Fatboy Slim is way behind in the voting, but the 2 leaders aren’t awful. Just please don’t pick the Air Force theme. Again, it’s not about which is the best song. It’s about which is most appropriate for the situation. Home runs don’t call for a sing-a-long. They call for a fast-paced, momentum-building rhythm that can whip the crowd into a frenzy. (Off We Go? Puh-lease!)

Song to be played after a victory
Current leaders are “Beautiful Day” by U2 and “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang. I’m not surprised at all. The choices in this category were all bad, and people are stuck between choosing a good song that’s inappropriate and an appropriate song that’s hackneyed and over-used. I can’t help you here.

You can listen to samples here, and then Place your votes at

Nationals Park Music – Place Your Votes Now!

Fans of know that I promote Teddy’s quest to win the presidents race because it is inarguably the first fan tradition that Washington Nationals fans can truly call their own.

With the opening of our new Nationals Park this month, many of us have been screaming that the team needs to create more DC traditions, and stop borrowing from other clubs as the team so brazenly did at RFK stadium with chants of Jose, Jose, Jose, Jose and singing of Sweet Caroline.

Well, the Nationals have been listening! Today you can visit the Washington Nationals web site and vote for new songs to be played at Nationals Park.

The choices are varied, which is good. The problem is that the team doesn’t provide music samples for people who aren’t familiar with the choices. So without further adieu, I present your choices for songs, complete with links to sample audio. Sample below, then vote here.

When a Nationals Player Hits a Home Run
Because We Can by Fatboy Slim
Bustin’ Loose by Chuck Brown (go 30 seconds in)
Kernkraft 400 by Zombie Nation (not the best sample)
Off We Go (the Air Force Theme)
Song 2 by Blur (go 15 seconds in)
My vote goes to Because We Can, because I’m a firm believer in the capacity of stadium music to help energize a crowd and swing the momentum in a game. The home run song should be high-energy stuff.

During the 7th Inning Stretch
Build Me Up Buttercup by The Foundations
The Gambler by Kenny Rogers
Rock Me Gently by Andy Kim
September by Earth, Wind & Fire
Shout by Otis Day and the Knights
Twist and Shout by The Beatles
YMCA by The Village People
You Gotta Have Heart Damn Yankees, The Musical
This one is a no-brainer. It has to be You Gotta Have Heart. The song is sappy and sentimental, but it is about baseball and more importantly it uniquely belongs to Washington, DC. In time, when the fans have learned all the lyrics and are selling the place out for a winning team, this song will shake Nationals Park to its core at every 7th inning stretch.

When the Nationals Win The Game
Beautiful Day by U2
Celebration by Kool And The Gang
Dancing in the Streets by Martha Reeves and the Vandelas
How Do You Like Me Now by Toby Keith
Rock and Roll Part 2 by Gary Glitter
I don’t really like any of these choices. Three of them are too slow, and the other two (Celebration and Rock and Roll Part 2) are huge sports cliches at this point. Unfortunately I have to say I think I’d take a cliche over a bad song. Happy voting!

%d bloggers like this: