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About the Nats' Most Famous Rally Monkey



I've frequently drawn the comparison between the '09 Nats and, say, the '06 Capitals, both on the field/ice and off. Back then, when the Verizon Center was a frozen wasteland of empty seats, you could literally glance around the arena and zero in on the fans you knew, the fans who had a posse, the fans everyone else knew by name. The fans were the thing, back then.

Well, you could probably say the same thing about the '09 Nats. For example, your casual fan, the kind who will start flocking to the Park once the wins come, might not be super familiar with Jeff, Colleen, and Curly W the Rally Monkey, but every hard-core fan knows them well.

They know how Curly W has been around since '05. They know how he gets flung into the air for every run the Nats score. They know that he's posed with virtually every member of the team and front office. They know that he goes to every home game, and just about every road weekend game east of the Mississippi. (With notable exceptions; "We don't go to Philadelphia," Colleen told me. "Rude fans.")

They know that Curly W looks away from the field when the opposing team is at-bat. They know that he's been on MASN too many times to count, literally hundreds; that he's gotten "a ridiculous amount of face time," as Jeff Sherman puts it. They know that he once got his foot stuck in a coffee cup and sprayed coffee on the crowd during his post-run flight, that he once landed in a woman's ice cream, that he once landed on the lap of some lady eating a funnel cake while wearing a black dress.

"A small nuclear cloud, a plume of powdered sugar rose from the point of impact," Jeff recalled.


Players know, too. When asked about the fans by Debbi Taylor last year, John Lannan specifically cited the guy with the monkey. There are photos of Curly W with Austin Kearns, Cristian Guzman, Scott Olsen, Manny Acta, Stan Kasten, and scores of others. He has little monkey Nats outfits from the Build-a-Bear workshop, and his own Facebook page. He went to Toronto for the WBC, where he got a fist-bump from Curtis Granderson and a blank stare from Derek Jeter.

"Hey, he's a Yankee, he's above such things," Jeff pointed out.



As for Curly W's owners, they've been honored as Season Ticket Holders of the Month. They were named the first mayors of NatsTown. Colleen has the distinction of being the first ticketed fan inside the first game at Nats Park. They told me they'll keep up the monkey gimmick until he gets inducted into some hall of fame, or until his hair falls out, whichever happens first. I asked them about the nagging feeling that the whole Rally Monkey thing was someone else's deal first.

"Baseball was kind of someone else's deal, too," Colleen said. "You take it and make it your own."

"And if there's 10,000 rally monkeys in Nats Park," Jeff added, "all being thrown up when we score, so much the better."


By Dan Steinberg  |  June 22, 2009; 11:06 AM ET
Categories:  Nats  
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Comments

"'And if there's 10,000 rally monkeys in Nats Park," Jeff added, "all being thrown up when we score, so much the better.'"

Okay, I'm there. Where do I get one?

Posted by: gilbertbp | June 22, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Curly W with the Terra Cotta warrior is one of the funniest pictures in the history of pictures.

Posted by: bottomfeeders10 | June 22, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure I've seen them at the ballpark stores, gilbert. I couldn't find them in the team site store just now. I did find this:

http://www.shop.com/+-a-washington+nationals+team+rally+monkey-p224284920-g1-k24-st.shtml

Re. the Terra Cotta warrior, we were at a game where we saw a guy wheel his little kid's stroller up to the warrior. The little guy screwed up his face and burst into tears. The mom wheeled the stroller away. The dad wheeled it back. Trying to toughen the kid up, I guess.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 22, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I had the opportunity to meet Curly and his parents in a Suite and they are what makes Nats baseball great. The real fan.

I think they said at the point I saw them that they were 3-0 when they sat in the Suite (so maybe they can be there for every game!)

The Facebook page is great with all the photos too.

Glad you honored the Curly Washington family on your Bog!

Posted by: dmacman88 | June 22, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

natsfan1a1: "I'm pretty sure I've seen them at the ballpark stores, gilbert. I couldn't find them in the team site store just now."

Yeah, I couldn't find anything like that at the site store, either. Went to eBay and google, nothing like it there that I could find.


"I did find this:

http://www.shop.com/+-a-washington+nationals+team+rally+monkey-p224284920-g1-k24-st.shtml"

Meh - generic MLB-licensed crapola. Replace "washington+nationals" with "baltimore+orioles" or any other team in the above and see what you get.

Nope - there's only one real Nats rally monkey. Dan, time for you to do some investigative reporting. Find out where we can get them 10,000 genuine rally monkeys.

Posted by: gilbertbp | June 22, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Of course, we won't need rally monkeys if we can get and keep the lead!

Posted by: Traveler8 | June 22, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Dan,

Thanks for giving due to two of the Nationals greatest fans and their wonderful monkey.

FYI his Facebook name is CURLY WASHINGTON.

Go Nats!

Posted by: LetTeddyWin_com | June 22, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Geez. Can DC sports do anything original? I suspect the Lerners will be announcing a red 'terrible towels' promotion for July 4th.

Posted by: HogsHaven | June 22, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Didn't the Angels start the rally monkey thing? At least the Nats don't play Sweet Caroline anymore.

Posted by: logan9 | June 22, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

It was written, Elwood will return when they are ready to win...

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 22, 2009 11:36 PM | Report abuse

"'And if there's 10,000 rally monkeys in Nats Park," Jeff added, "all being thrown up when we score, so much the better.'"

What's that come to, about 300 monkeys a fan? Or is that 30 monkeys per MASN viewer? The bright side is that these numbers suggest 10x more people watching than there are at the park.

Posted by: WorstSeat | June 23, 2009 3:01 AM | Report abuse

Dan - Great people! I enjoyed your story!

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | June 23, 2009 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Actually, red towels have already been done. Pay attention, HogsHaven. ;-)

---

Geez. Can DC sports do anything original? I suspect the Lerners will be announcing a red 'terrible towels' promotion for July 4th.

Posted by: HogsHaven | June 22, 2009 1:58 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 23, 2009 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Oooh, nice Elwood reference, sec3.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 23, 2009 8:22 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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