The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

The “W” Nationals

July 5, 2005

From Political Wire:

Many Democratic fans of the Washington Nationals are buying baseball capswith an alternate “DC” logo instead of the more common cursive “W” because it reminds them of the current occupant of the White House, according to the Washington Post.

“During the design process, a baseball spokeswoman said, nobody made the connection to a certain political figure, for whom the same 23rd letter of the alphabet is a down-home nickname.”

I own a red “W” Nationals cap; I find this whole thing pretty silly. Nevertheless, the spokewsoman’s comments confirm my basic sense of MLB’s decision-making process: these people are idiots.

But we already knew that, because they named the franchise the “Nationals” in the first place. Of all the great possibilities for a team based in Washington, DC, we get a meaningless name that invokes, at best, one’s citizenship status or, at worst, the city’s former airport. At least there are, to my knowledge, no plans to follow through with that last association and change the team’s name to the “Washington Reagans.”

My choice was the “Washington Partisans.” I would also have been impressed if they’d name the team the “Grays.” Even the “Washington Lobbyists,” however, would have been better than the “Nationals.”

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Daniel H. Nexon is a Professor at Georgetown University, with a joint appointment in the Department of Government and the School of Foreign Service. His academic work focuses on international-relations theory, power politics, empires and hegemony, and international order. He has also written on the relationship between popular culture and world politics.