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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Open Letter to Gabe Oppenheim, Washington Post

Gabe Oppenheim of the Washington Post attended the Q&A event with John Lannan at the ESPN Zone yesterday, and he must have attended a different event than I did. Apparently, all he saw was middle-aged men giving pathetic worship to even bigger losers--the home team. What shame! Being a fan of a losing team. You can read Mr. Oppenheim's words here:

Even the title "Nats Don't Even Need a Hit to Reach Fan Base" is condescending. How did this get past the editors? I'll tell you why: THEY DON'T CARE. The game story wasn't even on the front page of the section. This is the respect the Major League Baseball team in Washington, DC gets from the local paper. A 24-year-old beat writer on his first real job, a couple of interns, and a hack from the Metro section writing about losers that root for other losers.

Below is my open letter to him, which I posted under the comments to his article. I suggest if you feel the same after reading his article to leave a comment as well.

Mr. Oppenheim,

I was at the event at ESPN Zone yesterday, and your report is misguided at best and disingenuous at worst. This event was attended by a wide variety of Nats fans, adult men, women, teenagers, children; everyone.

The Post's coverage of the Nationals has been much-maligned and criticized, but this is the first time a Post article has outright insulted the fan base. The condescending tone of your article implies that the true Nats fan is a pathetic loser that roots hopelessly for other losers--the only thing missing from your article was a reference to these men getting out of their pajamas and their mother's basements to attend the event.

You so obviously had an agenda when writing the article, since you ignored to speak with--or even mention--any number of the female fans, or the children who asked questions of one of their heroes, or the teenagers in the back of the room that had come up from their group party in the lower lever of the ESPN Zone to see a Major League player speak.

Ask your photographer that was there, she got all our names and hometowns for the pictures she took that never made it into the article since you ignored that section of the audience.

Your article is an embarrassment to what was once a proud, local sports page, but unfortunately now typical of the lack of coverage the Nationals receive. If a visitor from another town picked up yesterday's sports section, they wouldn't have even known there was a local MLB team here, since there was no mention of the only major sports team in season on the front page of the section. There were Olympics stories, and the obligatory Redskins story--but no mention of the Nats. Even when the Wizards and Capitals were truly pathetic, their game stories were on the front of the section. Below the fold maybe, but at least there.

The Nats are bad, but not invisible. And despite your misleading article, they have a passionate, diverse fan base; one that deserves respect, not ridicule.

Dave Nichols
Bottomfeeder Baseball Blog

Gee, look at the diverse crowd at the event yesterday. Women, children, teenagers. Oh hey, even a couple of middle-aged men were there too!


femaleNatsFan said...


You could not have said it any better. This guy is out to lunch!

Sean Hogan said...

I agree with everything you said here, except for one thing-I think Chico is doing a great job. Too bad he's stuck with the rest of the jerks over at TWP.

Steven said...

Here's my open letter:

Hey buddy, what's the matter, didn't hey have an intern available? Maybe you people can fix your RSS feed? How about if you get your delivery people to understand that "vacation stop" means "stop delivering the freaking paper I'm on vacation!" BOOO!

Boy! I told em! :)

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