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Posted at 5:18 PM ET, 02/27/2006

Let's Go Red Sox?

By Fritz Hahn

We live in Washington, D.C., proud home of the Washington Major League Baseball Franchise. (Might as well start hedging bets on "Nationals.") There's another team about 45 minutes up I-95 in Baltimore. Going by the number of caps I see on the Metro and at sports bars, I'm guessing the New York Yankees are incredibly popular.

Judging by bar promotions, though, Washington is really a Boston Red Sox town.

When the BoSox went on that all-conquering World Series run a few seasons ago, I was surprised how many bars and restaurants suddenly declared their allegiance to the team: Sports Club LA's tiny bar and deli served up a Boston-flavored menu. The Flying Scotsman became part of the Red Sox Nation, with Sam Adams specials amid anti-Yankees banners. And after all was said and done, the World Series trophy made a visit to Stetson's.

We can't have that many New England transplants, can we? I'm guessing the real answer is a complex equation: the love of a winner; Boston's (former) reputation as the perennial underdogs; pure, deep-seeded hatred of the Yankees. (Some people, of course, just like adopting a Cliff Clavin accent and repeating "Paahk the caah at Haahvaahd Yaahd.")

Baseball hasn't even reached the mandatory arrival date for spring training and I've received an invitation to go to Mister Days for a Boston Red Sox-themed happy hour on Thursday. Besides a free dinner buffet and drink specials from 5 to 9, I can sign up for the Red Sox Fan VIP Card, which gives me "a 10% food discount during all Red Sox games, access to monthly Red Sox Happy Hours, Front of the line status for Big Games & Much More!!!"

I haven't seen any similar offers for any other teams, though the 51st State in Foggy Bottom will continue its claim as the only "New York Sports Team Bar," offering specials when the Yankees and Mets are on.

Once the season starts, fans can cheer for Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz at T.S. Muttly's -- covered in old programs and photos -- or the Pour House, which boasts a huge mural of the Green Monster. I'm trying to think of any bar that displays similar passion for our hometown teams and coming up blank.

So, readers, I'm curious: Why do you think there are so many Red Sox fans around? And which bars do you hit when you want to escape from the Red Sox Nation?

-- Fritz

By Fritz Hahn  | February 27, 2006; 5:18 PM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs  
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A city filled with recent college grads (DC) will have a heavy flavoring of alumni from Boston area schools. You would be surprised what four years there does.

Posted by: No Doubt | February 28, 2006 10:22 AM | Report abuse

I doubt that, in reality, there are THAT many true Sox fans in the area. But, Boston fans are obnoxious.. just as obnoxious as NY fans (hence, why they don't get along), so even if just one Boston fan is there, it becomes Red Sox Nation.

Posted by: Washington, DC | February 28, 2006 1:05 PM | Report abuse

haha 1:05:22 PM... so funny and true

Posted by: haha | February 28, 2006 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Wait -- from all the girls wearing ball caps around DC, I could have sworn that they were the Pink Sox.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2006 1:19 PM | Report abuse

boston fans? i think you mean why the influx of pittsburgh fans.

Posted by: hoosthatgirl | February 28, 2006 1:46 PM | Report abuse

The reason is that DC is full of front-running bandwagon tools. The Red Sox became the "cool" team to root for a couple years ago, so anyone with a severe lack of personality jumped on.

Posted by: Han | February 28, 2006 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Everyone is just jealous of the Yankees, so who better to root for than the Sox?

Posted by: IF | February 28, 2006 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Establishments have capitalized on the teams growing success and popularity, particularly pub atmospheres that are true to Bostonian nature. Who doesn't enjoy getting away from the stuffy DC scene?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2006 4:18 PM | Report abuse

It's true that it would be nice to find a Yankees bar during baseball season. There are plenty of NYers in DC! Anyone?

Posted by: Lauren | February 28, 2006 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Hoosthatgirl - I wouldn't call it an "influx of pittsburgh fans." After all, I don't see a lot of bars showing Pirates games around here. That said, Steelers nation is enormous in DC. Since the local economy in Pittsburgh isn't what it once was, many yinzers have migrated down here where the jobs are. Makes sense - DC's only 4 hours away from Pittsburgh. The only major cities as close or closer are Cleveland and Detroit, and their economies aren't exactly healthy either...

As for the preponderance of Red Sox fans, I've lived in DC 10 years and have only noticed it since they won the World Series. Bandwagon, perhaps? Or is it an anti-NY reaction, since many Washingtonians (irrationally) feel that we're embroiled in some sort of competition with New York?

Posted by: Aziz | March 1, 2006 9:02 AM | Report abuse

It's probably been said, but I think the bulk of Red Sox fandom has much to do with Yankee-hating. And I'm cool with that.

But as a Nats fan (and holder of a 20-game ticket plan for the second season) I like hitting up the Ugly Mug on Barracks Row after the games. I wouldn't call it a Nats bar but maybe with a little work...

Posted by: Jason | March 1, 2006 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I'll second Jason's suggestion of the Ugly Mug pre-game, but I think I did more pre-game happy hours at Trusty's than anywhere else.

Posted by: Fritz | March 1, 2006 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Ack! The Red Socs are only slightly less offensive than the Yanks to an O's fan.

On the baseball subject, is anyone aware of bars which will be playing the World Baseball Classic games? Neither my friends nor I have cable (what's WRONG with us?), and we would like to see the games.

Posted by: Kate | March 1, 2006 12:09 PM | Report abuse

As an actual Boston transplant, having been born and raised there, it is SOOOO frustrating to engage in a discussion about the Red Sox with a fan at the bar only to discover that they know nothing of the team prior to 2001 and have never lived in New England. For many Pats and Sox games, my New England friends and I choose to stay in instead of deal with all the other sox "fans"

Posted by: Anonymous | March 1, 2006 2:17 PM | Report abuse

It's true Sox fans can be annoying because we love to talk about the team and we have annoying accents and in general we are just loud obnoxious people. But I have learned something in my years away from Boston. Our unhealthy hatred of the Yankees is a result of one thing...Jealousy. We are jealous because they always win and we always lose. So we constantly talk about them and are obsessed with always pointing out how annoying they are.

I think I see some of that going on here. Just ignore it and remember, it's only sports folks. And remember this...Skins fans are pretty annoying too. For that matter, anyone who is a fan of any team other than the one you like is probably annoying to you.

Posted by: Jeff | March 2, 2006 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Why would anyone want to escape Red Sox Nation? I think its true; there are alot of New England transplants in D.C.
New Englanders (with the exception of Yankees loving Connecticut) are obsessed with the Sox. Obsessed. Fever Pitch wasn't a movie. It was a documentary. The Sox are more than a sports team, they are a passion handed down from generations before. Example of a bumper sticker before the World Series.
"The Boston Red Sox." They killed my Father and my Grandfather, and now they're coming after me.

Posted by: Cleo | March 2, 2006 7:59 PM | Report abuse

"Obsessed. Fever Pitch wasn't a movie. It was a documentary"

Your wrong, of course. It wasn't a movie or a documentary, it was a chick flick.

Most of the Boston fans you see are Fake Boston fans. It gives the real fans (not me) a bad name.

Posted by: Pinaki | March 3, 2006 9:21 AM | Report abuse

From my experience, there are indeed "that many New England transplants" in DC, myself included. Sure, the numbers showing themselves at bars has swelled in the past five years with the extraordinary success of both the Red Sox and the Patriots. But a vast majority of Sox fans I know are the real deal and haven't appeared out of the woodwork since October 27, 2004. Like it or not, we are numerous, passionate and not going anywhere.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 3, 2006 2:09 PM | Report abuse

When the Yankees play the Nats this season at RFK, there's going to be 20,000 Yankees fans cheering for the Yankees, 20,000 Red Sox fans cheering against the Yankees, and maybe 5,000 Nats fans cheering for the Nats and against the Red Sox and the Yankees.

Posted by: Scotty | March 4, 2006 10:16 AM | Report abuse

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