The Story Begins....
A long day of anticipation led up to Shark Night... It didn't matter how many people were fired, how many promises were broken, how many lives were lost, nothing could take away from the raw excitement. The day only got better, when we found out where we were sitting... Section 119 (more info on that below). Follow the first base line past home plate, the netting, and 15 rows up and you would find us. You can imagine our excitement to be within eyeshot of the players (as opposed to our usual row X seats). Minutes later, the news broke that Bernadina wouldn't be starting the game. While this could have ruined everything, we chose to "shark it off" and make complete assholes out of ourselves at the game, even if the Shark wasn't starting. To prepare, we designed (using the latest computer and graphic technology) a brand new double-sided sign for the occassion. One side read "LET SHARK PLAY" since he wasn't slated to start. The other side read "SHARK ATTACK" since we new he would play anyway. Below is an image of us on the Jumbotron with our professionally created sign...
|Sharks featured on the Jumbotron!|
After picking up the tickets in a location unknown to either of us, we checked out our seats, before taking our usual lap around the park. A special thanks to the Shark and his pal Eric for helping us get these amazing seats in Section 119. The cushioned seats made the 2x4 plank spanning two paint cans in Row X that we usually sit in, seem so... what's the word...uncomfortable. Section 119, is the "friends and family (and hot girlfriends)" section as we were surrounded by PEOPLE WHO WERE SO NICE. A special shout out to all the people who put up with us the whole game, including the awesome kid who's been to almost all the baseball stadiums in America (less Citi Field), the two kids who instantly became some of the biggest Shark fans, the whole row in front of us, who never lost faith in the Shark, even when the Nats were down 6-1, and the beautiful, beautiful...beautiful families of the Nats players. It is really the best section to sit in. I don't know how I will ever go back to Row X...
During our lap, we wer happy to see and meet a lot of fellow Loyal Shark Fans such as @darkmeathook, @tracytran, @sweetpearacer, and @cnichols14 among others. Until the game began, there was a nice little Shark posse marching around the stadium, which served to influence many new Shark fans (I presume). The number of people who yelled out "Sharkadina!", "I love Bernadina!", and "What's with those dicks in the Shark hats?" before the game just goes to show you that everyone loves The Shark. WE EVEN SAW ANOTHER BERNADINA JERSEY SHIRT (first one either of us had seen, besides our own).
|A posse of Shark Fans storm the Shark Shark (Shake Shack*)|
The game began with the Shark in the dugout. He did acknowledge our screams with a wave however, which made us feel good. Throughout the first inning we displayed the LET SHARK PLAY side and screamed corresponding messages at the dugout. It turns out that Jim Riggleman was listening and thought we had a good idea because Bernadina came up to bat for ricK anKiel in the bottom of the second (anKiel reportedly tore his "intercoastal muscle," but I think he knew it was Shark Night and faked his injury). We figured that Bernadina would get into the game eventually, as a PH, or PH, or DR later in the game, but seeing a Shark in the on deck circle gave Tyler and I a giddy sensation (not like that). Right on cue, Shark singled in his first at-bat.
Overall, the Shark had a great night, going 2-3 with an RBI, run, a crucial HBP in the 6th inning to keep the rally alive. He was robbed of another RBI by a baserunning gaffe by the Rhino. which led to a double play. Interestingly, the Cardinals only hit one or two balls to center field after the Shark took over... (they are smart?). It is interesting to note, that in games that Shark Fans have been in the stands, Bernadina is 6 for 10. We explained the origin of the nickname to so many curious fans that hopefully we can have devout Shark Fans at every game. It is good to note that everyone got it and jumped right on the Shark Express (why can't you Bill Ladson?!?! Breaking News: Ladson will accept the Shark nickname if... FIND OUT TOMORROW).
I can honestly say that last night was one of the most exciting games I've been to in awhile. Ryan Zimmerman was back, the crowd was really into it, and we witnessed an amazing come back victory by the Shark and the Nats. It was what happened after the game that separated this game from any other come back win...
After the Game...
We met up with the Shark's friend, Eric and he led us back to just outside the clubhouse and meet The Shark. He was one of the last players out, so we got to see a lot of the other players leave. Some highlights:
- Terry held the door for Matt Stairs and his family. Stairs was wearing an Expos T-Shirt!
- Jim Riggleman celebrated the win with an ice cream cone
- Ian Desmond brought his dog to the stadium!
- Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen bike to work (just like Terry)
- Laynce Nix is HUGE. Way bigger than he looks on TV, if that is possible. If you glued Tyler and and Terry together, shoulder to shoulder, the Loch Nix Monster's muscular shoulders would dwarf them.
|Dreams do come true, kids!|
The game was incredible and meeting the Shark was definitely one of the coolest experiences of my life. This makes all the work that we've put into to the nickname, the blog, and everything else worth it. Meeting the Shark was a big goal that Tyler and I can now check it off our list. Now there is nothing else to do, so we are officially closing this blog...
You can't kill Sharkadina, just like you can't kill the spread of the Shark nickname. CAN YOU DIG IT?
Next goal: send the Shark to the All Star Game.
More to come.