I will go on record saying that of all the animated series on television in the last ten to fifteen years, South Park gets life’s unexplainables right more than any other (sorry Family Guy fans). In fact, the story lines are real enough for me to have thought – if only for a moment – that Eric Cartman (the ornery chubby character on South Park) had purchased the Washington Nationals baseball team.
Last week, the ownership of the Washington Nationals rolled out a “Take Back The Park” campaign aimed directly at Philadelphia Phillies fans. The idea is that for the two teams’ first meeting in May of this year, single game tickets are only being sold to people with addresses in Virginia, Maryland, or Washington, DC. This is an effort to keep the stadium from filling up with Phillies fans, and embarrassing the Nationals.
In a past episode of South Park, Eric Cartman comes into some money that he inherits and purchases a theme park. His disdain for other kids makes him keep all other would-be visitors out. He allows only a few people in so he can keep the park open. Ultimately, this reverse strategy creates great buzz and the park thrives with more and more people coming in, while angry Cartman is upset that other kids are having fun at his park.
And then we have the Washington Nationals. They do not want Philadelphia fans clogging up their stadium, even though they fail to draw very many of their own fans. This will make for a big story, and already Phillies fans are finding loopholes to get into the park.
As fans, this is something we have all wanted to do. Yankees fans would love to keep Boston fans out of Yankee Stadium. Boston fans would gladly keep New York fans out of their city entirely. But to go to these lengths and mandate such a change, is going to make for some great baseball fun in May. Here’s hoping the red team wins.