Roar & Peace

Scott Watson

Last Thursday, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven - Nationals Park was blissfully quiet.

Well, not quiet -- 20,000 people yelled their heads off when Felipe Lopez hit his grand slam, and other noteworthy action got appreciative noise from the crowd. Mets fans could be heard taunting (before the slam), then loudly muttering, then the sound of their tails dragging between their legs was deafening as they moped out of the park.

But it *seemed* quiet.

Walking in, there was no mariachi band. During the game, the PA speakers refused to pepper us. There were no exhortatory songs, no snippets, no "DAY-OH," no stupid music as batters came to the plate. Simply put, there was no din.

Maybe a 5-15 start just embarrassed the guy running the PA into shamed silence.

Whatever. It was a pleasure to talk to a friend about the game (or about politics, Metro, cute women, or the subprime mortgage crisis -- baseball games are all ABOUT talking) without having to raise our voices over AC/DC's "Thunderstruck." Or Austin Kearns' horrific "theme music."

I know that everyone occasionally wants to know they're "where the action is." But sometimes, it seems that people going to the park are a little startled, and slightly miffed, that a ballgame has busted out to spoil the party. Maybe the Nats will be kind to us, and offer one baseball game per homestand where baseball is front and center. Then, when it's over, we can get back to the music, the jugglers, the fire-eaters, and the clowns.

By Scott Watson  |  May 1, 2008; 5:44 AM ET  | Category:  Scott Watson
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Amen to that! Part of the fun of being a season ticket holder and sitting with other season ticket holders is getting to know everyone around you and having those random conversations. The incessant and loud music hinders the development of those relationships.

And put me down in the "NO" category when it comes to "Sweet Caroline." A collective groan came up from my section when Neil Diamond's ancient song started blasting in our ears last night. There's got to be some other pop song from the last 40 years with a catchy hook or two that hasn't been appropriated by another team.

Posted by: Tom Brooke | May 1, 2008 10:02 AM

"Neil Diamond's ancient song started blasting in our ears last night."

Boy, you're not kidding. Last evening's 4:35 start time must have pissed off the PA guys, as the sound was BLASTING from every speaker in that joint. It was the loudest game yet, and the most painful to sit through [until that sweet, sweet single in extra innings].

Posted by: PennyWise PundFoolish | May 1, 2008 10:08 AM

Sometimes it seems like they are still figuring out what volume levels are appropriate for what content.

Posted by: Lindemann | May 1, 2008 11:42 AM

What's wrong with country? I love it when Austin comes up to the plate and blares that. C'mon folks, lighten up, enjoy the game and expose yourself to something different. Would you say the same thing if he came up to Ghanian trance pop?

Keep it up Austin.

Posted by: DC Centurion's Shield | May 1, 2008 1:25 PM

I love well-chosen and old-timey ballpark sounds, especially the organ (see previous posts). I'd rather it be a consistent, well-tempered/chosen set of sounds (organ, DAY-OH, clappy thingy) all the time than noise overload some times and complete silence other times.

Posted by: Cole | May 1, 2008 3:28 PM

By and large i've been very pleased with the volume levels at the park. Tuesday's pre-game Nats intro was god awful loud, but otherwise the PA system seemed to be reasonable. The moronic Nats song that followed was played at a nearly pleasant level.

The scoreboard seems to try and have the usual exultations, but for some reason the audio is absent (Let's Go Nats graphic, but no synchronized audio).

Posted by: jindc | May 1, 2008 3:37 PM

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